Common Park Trail Hazards to Watch for While Running

Running on trails is fairly safe endeavor; at least for the most part. Experienced trail runners prefer to run on trails because the risk of a vehicle hitting you is virtually nonexistent. Local trails are also softer on your joints, tougher on your legs, and quite scenic for your enjoyment.

It is not very common that you hear of a serious injury or death of an individual working out at a park. But if you intend to join the trail running community, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the dangers of running on trails. The common dangers out there include:

  1. Wildlife

You will certainly encounter local fauna on the trail, ranging from tiny insects such as ticks and bees to dangerous carnivores such as cougars to venomous predators like snakes. Depending on the trail you are running on, you may also encounter bears, coyotes, mountain lions, and bobcats.

These animals are forced to flee from their natural habitat due to increased construction activities, and have to survive in uninhabited parts of the community. The more forests are destroyed to build homes, the greater your chances of encountering wildlife. Some flora can also cause you a lot of agony, such as poison oak and poison ivy

Before you try out a new trail, it is important that you investigate the likely predators in that area, cover more of your body to protect yourself from poisonous plants, and look out for warning signs and fences put up by rangers.

Runners, campers, and hikers are generally expected to know the risks and take the necessary precautions for their own safety. That said, the person or organization that owns the property may also be responsible for any danger depending on the purpose the land is put to.

Click here to consult a personal injury attorney to determine whether your wildlife-related injury could have been caused by the negligence of another party.

  1. Weather

Many parts of the country don’t experience a lot of severe weather. But if you frequent trails up in the mountains, you should definitely watch out for the weather as it can change very quickly without warning.

It is not unusual to see sudden gusty winds, hail, thunderstorms, or flash floods in the mountain trails. You should especially be careful when running in the winter months as temperatures can change drastically, catching you off guard.

A good rule of thumb is to always check your local weather forecast before starting your day’s activities, and packing accordingly.

  1. Uneven surfaces

Trails are certainly entertaining for most runners, but you should also be prepared to trip over some rocks or twigs. The constantly changing surface dramatically increases the risk of injury, especially breaks or sprains to the ankles and feet. But if you trip and fall, you may also sustain injuries in your hands, wrists, shoulders, and even the head.

You can reduce the risk of injury by running as lightly as possible and watching the surface before you step. When trail running, you must be prepared to jump and weave around many obstacles to arrive safely.

Reduce your risk of injury

Although runners agree that trail running can be a little dangerous, most of them prefer the adventure and uncertainty of the wild to constantly watching out for vehicles. Make the necessary plans and carry the right gear and supplies before setting out.

In the unfortunate event of a serious injury in the outdoors due to the negligent acts of the property owner, you should contact a skilled personal injury lawyer to see if you can pursue damages.

 

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