Running Safety Tips
Running is a great way to stay in shape, but it can be dangerous. Here are nine ways to stay safe while running on the road:
- Be defensive. When you’re running, act as if drivers can’t see you. Even if you’re taking other precautions, never assume a driver can see you.
- Head-on. When running, run against the direction of traffic. this will make it easier for both you and the driver to react if needed.
- Use sidewalks. Use the sidewalks whenever possible, especially in heavy traffic or poor weather conditions.
- Be visible. When running, especially in dark or low light, wear things that will make you more visible to drivers. Brightly colored clothing, reflective material and even wearable lights can help drivers see you well in advance.
- Unplug. Listening to music is great while running, but it deprives you of a key sensory input that helps keep you safe. Keep your ears free or, if you need to, keep one ear open with the volume as low as possible.
- Hills. When a driver is on the top of a hill, especially steep ones, the car creates a momentary blind spot. Stay to the sides when approaching a hill and jog at a calmer pace until you’re clear.
- High-traffic areas. When planning your route, stay clear of highly trafficked areas as much as possible. Stick to side roads, bike paths or roads with clear sidewalks.
- High-risk drivers. If you like to run early in the morning or late at night, there’s a higher risk that you’ll encounter an impaired driver, likely due to lack of sleep. Be cautious when vehicles approach.
- Road rules. On your run, obey the rules of the road like you were driving on them. Only cross when signals permit, use hand signals when turning and be courteous to drivers you encounter. You can keep your heart rate up by jogging in place until you can safely proceed.
No matter how safe you are, pedestrian accidents can happen, and it helps to seek assistance in dealing with the aftermath.