How do you keep yourself safe when out running? It’s a topic that we all need to take seriously when we are out on the roads or trails. Our sport is energizing and fun, but if we aren’t conscious of our safety, things can go downhill quickly. It’s important that we stay safe when we are running.
General Runner Safety.
1. Run against the flow of traffic. While it’s always safest to run on a path or sidewalk, if you do need to run in the road, you should run against traffic and in one straight line if you are with a group.
2. Carry a cellphone. In case you need to call for help, or happen to get lost, a cell phone proves an important and invaluable tool when out running.
3. Be alert. Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t anticipate that the other guy or a car is going to see you, be proactive and be able to think quickly. Also, this applies to watching any potential strange people that might be on or near your running route.
4. Tell someone your route. Make sure a family member and/or friend know where you will be running and when you think you might be returning.
5. Follow the rules. Use the crosswalk signals, wait for cars to signal you it is safe to go by them.
Early Morning/Night Runner.
Are you a runner who hits the pavement before the sun comes up, or after it goes down? Here are some tips to keep yourself as visible as possible.
1. Wear reflective clothing/material. Many companies make shirts, shorts, jackets and such that are more visible when you run in the dark hours. Also clip on reflectors/flashing lights are great.
2. Eliminate distractions like running with headphones. If you are listening to music, you can’t hear the traffic around you at all or as well as you need to.
3. Headlamp. A good, powerful headlamp on your head or hat not only helps light the path ahead of you, but makes you visible to vehicles and others that may be coming out of the darkness.
4. Run with a buddy or group. It’s safer to stick with a running buddy or a group if you are running, especially when it’s dark outside. There’s safety in numbers.
5. Carry ID. Whether it’s a RoadID or your driver’s license, you need to carry some sort of form of ID on you in case of an accident and you are not able to communicate with rescuers.
What other safety tips do you have for fellow runners?
Are you a runner who runs early or late in the dark?