Stay Safe With These Nighttime Running Safety Tips
For millions of people across the country, running and jogging is their favorite way to stay fit. If you’re a fan of running, you know exactly how great it feels to come home from a long day at work, lace up your running shoes, and go for a run to burn off some stress. Unfortunately, the arrival of fall and the end of daylight savings time means there isn’t as much daylight to run in anymore. While the weather’s still nice for running outside, the fact that it gets dark so early now means that many people simply don’t have the option of running during daylight hours.
While running is a great form of exercise, running accidents are more likely to happen when running at night, particularly if you aren’t able to run on a sidewalk. Before you put on your running shoes, here are a few tips to help you stay safe and avoid personal injuries.
When you’re running at night, the best thing you can do is make yourself as visible as possible to drivers. If you tend to wear black when you run, go pick up some more brightly colored running gear. Neon-colored and reflective running gear will help drivers see you. Carrying a light or using a headlamp are also great ways to help drivers see you. If you’re waiting to cross an intersection and you believe a driver has stopped to let you through, don’t proceed unless you have actually made eye contact with the driver or you see them wave you through, just so you’re completely sure that the driver knows you’re there.
Run Against Traffic
As you run, make sure you run against the flow of traffic. Being able to see oncoming traffic gives you the advantage of seeing cars whose drivers might not see you.
Turn Down the Volume
Going for a run while listening to an audiobook, podcast, or music sounds like a very nice idea in theory, but when you’re running in the dark, it’s extremely important to remember to keep the volume down. Turning the volume down will make it easier for you to stay aware of you surroundings, including cars, other people, people riding bikes, and dogs. Better yet, skip the music all together or only use one earbud while running.
Avoid Risky Areas
Some areas are safer to run in at night than others. Try to stick to well-lit areas you’re very familiar with and avoid areas where drivers could potentially have a hard time seeing you, such as by parking lots or on busy, hilly, or curvy roads.
Watch Out for Fallen Leaves
Fall just wouldn’t be the same without the beautiful leaves. But once those leaves hit the ground, they can become remarkably slippery. Always watch out for large piles of fallen leaves on the ground as you run, especially if it’s rained recently.
If you’re going to be running at night, you may also want to find a running buddy. The old adage about there being safety in numbers is very true in this situation. Also, make sure to always have identification and cell phone with you so that you’ll be able to call for help or be identified in the event of an accident.