A woman was running along Key Biscayne when she was struck by something no one expected: a truck tire. She remains in the hospital in critical but stable condition. Stephanie Hilzinger, the woman who was struck, is in the intensive care unit. Her boyfriend says she is making progress towards recovery.
According to reports, a tractor-trailer was driving along Rickenbacker Causeway when it lost two tires. Each of the tires weigh over 200 pounds. One tire bounced through a parking lot, and the other hit Hilzinger and her boyfriend as they ran along the causeway.
Her boyfriend used CPR to revive her while another runner called 911.
According to Capt. Ignatius Carroll with City of Miami Fire Rescue, “This is one of those unseen incidents that took place here obviously. It looks like a freak accident. We’re just hoping that the runner pulls through. It is a miracle that no one else was struck by these tires.”
The driver of the truck, Argelio Salazar, said, “I feel terrible.” He had no idea that he had lost the two tires on his rig. Miami police are investigating the accident and it remains unclear whether or not any citations will be issued.
Freak accident or not, this incident reminds us that running safety should always be a priority as you are lacing up your running shoes. While nothing could have been done on the part of the runners to prevent this accident, thousands of runners are hit by vehicles each year. Staying smart about your running habits can help to ensure that you are not one of these athletes.
1. Tell Someone
Before you leave you house, leave a note, send a text or make a phone call. No matter how you do it, tell someone where you plan to run and how long you plan to be out. This ensures that your loved ones know to come looking for you if they do not hear from you at a specified time. If no one knows that you are gone, no one will know to look.
In the unforeseen event that you are involved in an accident, you want to be sure that first responders are able to identify you. Carry identification and your cell phone with you at all times. Install an emergency contacts or ICE app on your phone. This will give responders a list of of people to call should they find you to be unresponsive.
3. No One Can See You
Well, of course people can see you. But what if you pretended they couldn’t? When you pretend that people can’t see you, instead of assuming they can, you behave differently. Always pretend that you are invisible. How would you act differently? How would you make yourself visible? Ask yourself these questions and then pay attention to your answers.
4. Face Traffic
Face traffic when possible. You will be able to see oncoming cars and have more time to react should something happen. If you cannot run on a sidewalk, run as far to the side of the road as you safely can. The more distance between yourself and passing cars, the better.
5. Be Seen
Since you aren’t really invisible, it’s important that you make sure drivers can see you. Wear light, bright clothing. If you are out near dawn or after dusk, reflective clothing is a must. If you do not have reflective clothing, decorate yourself with reflective tape. You can also make yourself more visible by wearing a headland or carrying a small flashlight in your hand.
6. Free Your Ears
If you insist on running with your earbuds in, keep one in your ear and keep the other ear free. If you can’t hear cars coming toward you, you don’t have time to react should you need to. If you wear even one earbud, keep the volume turned down low.
7. Hills Don’t Have Eyes
While “The Hills Have Eyes” may be a great movie, it simply isn’t true. Be extra vigilant on hills. Drivers’ vision can be blocked quickly, especially when they crest hills. You never know if the sun is going to temporarily blind a driver. You don’t want to be in the blind spot. Stay far off the side of the road if you can do so safely.
Your parents taught your manners, and now is a great time to use them. Obey the rules of the road, even though you are traveling on your feet and not four tires. When you come to an intersection, either used a marked crosswalk or wait for a driver to motion you across. Acknowledge their kindness with a polite wave. When you do this, that driver will be more inclined to treat the next pedestrian with the same courtesy they treated you.
9. Odd Hours
Be very careful if you are running at odd hours of the day or night. Early in the morning and late at night, drivers may not be on the lookout for runners. Keep this in mind as you pound down the street.
10. High-Risk Areas
Know that there are areas that pose greater risk than others. Parking lots, driveways and other areas where there may be higher-than-normal traffic put you at increased danger of accident. Always look before you run across a driveway or through a parking lot. Don’t ever assume that people are looking out for you. It is your job to lookout for others if you are hoping to arrive to your destination safely.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian or truck accident in Miami, you may be entitled to compensation under Florida law. Please be aware that there is a statute of limitations for your case. Call us today for a free case evaluation so that we can move forward in a timely manner. We are here to assist you and your family as you begin to put the pieces of your life back together. Call now.