5 Tips for Running Safely
Lets talk about safety
Yesterday we turned the clocks back and my goodness was that extra hour of sleep incredible…am I right?! Well here in little Rhody that means the sun goes down round 4:30pm and a ton of folks will be hitting the Rhode (that never gets old) in the dark. So what do we do? Do we pack it up and scratch the run off the list? Maybe, but maybe not. There are a ton of ways to make sure we run safely this season. Here are just 5, I don’t have all day to write all of em!
Run somewhere safe
Well this one is quite obvious. Alright I’ll give that to you, but believe me I drive around the state in the dark and have seen folks running in some very unsafe areas. We like to think as runners we’re invincible and can run through almost anything. You are not invincible, if you want to run at night make sure to choose a well lit area and if you want an extra layer of security it could be somewhere you know there will be other people. If you can find an area with some sidewalks thats even better. Staying out of the road will increase your chances of not getting hit by a car to nearly 100% I say nearly cause…ya never know these days.
Always make eye contact
Most of these tips come from experiences I’ve had in the past. I’ve found crossing the road or a business entrance, to be particularly frustrating as a runner. The only real way to make sure the driver sees you is to make eye contact, give them a wave, get their attention and be absolutely positive they see you and you see them. I cannot count how many times I’ve approached a car taking a right hand turn onto a road, where the driver only looks in one direction left. If you’re facing traffic they just don’t look in your direction. You know what I do. I stop. I don’t go in front of their car until I’m absolutely 100% positive they see me and are allowing me to cross. The time on the watch is much less important than getting home safely.
Dress in bright colors
Keep your gear light and bright. Make sure you’re wearing colors that are highly visible, think bright yellow, pink, green, white, red. Avoid colors like black, navy, maroon anything that blends in with the darkness steer clear of. Brooks running makes a line of apparel called Nightlife and it’s the perfect addition to any runners wardrobe this time of year. These pieces are brightly colored but also highly reflective in all the right spots. You want to be reflective but also make sure you look like a human and not just a reflective cone on the side of the road, those moving limbs of yours should have some reflectivity.
Like I mentioned in the section on making eye contact, facing traffic is sooooo key. You need to make sure that if those drivers don’t see you, you at least see them. You need to make sure that if something goes awry and that car is coming towards you, you see it and have the time to react appropriately. Too often pedestrians are hit because they are on the wrong side of the road, a driver looks down and it’s too late. Make sure to keep your eyes up, stay situationally aware and avoid running with traffic. ALWAYS FACE TRAFFIC.
Be situationally aware
This final point is huge. Be aware of what is happening around you. Period. You need to know if that car is pulling out of their driveway. You need to know if that man over there comes at you what you will do. You need to hear cars or bikes or people coming as well as see them. Maybe the headphones get left at home for the night run or at the very least one of those earbuds comes out. If you are concerned about your safety, bring pepper spray, bring a whistle or cellphone, these items are light enough to not impact your run and can no joke save your life.
Bonus tip. Call or text someone.
Text or call someone to let them know you will be running and text them when you get home.