Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stay safe on your dark runs/walks

I was reminded this morning that running, although an amazing cardiovascular exercise and stress reliever, can be a super dangerous sport as TWO cars almost flattened me at TWO different crosswalks. Soooo…I thought I would review some safety tips for runners/walkers who are finding themselves running in the dark now that the sun rising later and setting earlier.

Although I was practicing most of these safety tips, the drivers of these cars were not paying attention (one was doing something on their phone and the other might have just been completely blind and therefore shouldn't have been driving a car). And, although I had the right of way in both of these situations, it is really really important to pay extra attention and assume that I am not seen unless acknowledged and take the proper precautions even thought they were in the wrong. Okay…that’s my little soap box. Here are the tips J

1.      Wear reflective and light colored clothing. Don’t be one of those people with a death-wish wearing all black and running in the street pre-dawn.
2.      Run with a flashlight or headlamp. Not only does this really draw attention to you in the pitch black, it helps you navigate while you run. Nothing sucks more than stepping on something you couldn't see and breaking an ankle (ask my friend Alice).
3.      Pay attention and take precautions. Don’t assume that drivers see you…make sure to make eye contact with them. It doesn't matter if it’s your right of way if you’re flattened on the street.
4.       If you’re running on a street, run on the left side of the street. You should be going against traffic when walking and running anyway so that you can leap out of the way if a car comes at you.
5.       Run in populated areas with plenty of lighting. That’s just a no brainer.
6.       Run with a friend. It’s easier to see two people than one person, plus you have a bit of defense if you happen to run into a sticky situation like an injury or creepy person.

I’m sure you all have other suggestions as well…feel free to leave a comment and share it with us!

1 comment:

  1. Erin, I usually run at 6am. I tried holding a little flashlight and I don't like it. I do, however, wear an orange vest with reflectors - the kind that road crews wear. It's mesh. And my new running shoes are bright yellow! But I also live in an area where there are no street lights for a while. Ugh! There's a guy that rides his bike with no reflectors or flashing lights or anything. A couple of times we've just about crashed into each other because I don't see him until he's 5 feet in front of me!