Running is a great form of exercise, and many people find it to be a great way to rejuvenate their minds. Yet, if you are running on the street or along the side of the road, you also put yourself at risk of being hit by a passing vehicle or otherwise getting injured. Luckily, there are at least four ways you can be a safer runner.
Avoid Unsafe Roads
If you enjoy running along the road, it is important to be aware of any potential dangers along your running route. To help you better understand if your potential route is safe for a runner, take a drive yourself down your planned running route. Look for blind corners, busy intersections, or other areas where drivers may not notice you when you are running. You may also want to pay attention to areas where the road narrows or where there may otherwise not be enough room for a runner to safely run along the road. As a runner, you may not notice these as much as you will while driving the path.
Run With a Partner
Whenever possible, run with a partner. A partner increases your chances of seeing a potential danger and decreases your chances of becoming the victim of an assault. Along with that, if you have a running partner, the other person can go for help or help you to a safe location if you are injured.
If you are unable to run with someone else, it is important to let a friend or family member know your running route as well as how long you anticipate your run taking. Avoid deviating from your anticipated route without letting someone know. If something should happen to you, your friend or family member will know when and where to look for you.
As a runner, it is your responsibility to pay attention to your surroundings. While it might be relaxing or enjoyable to run while listening to music, you are less likely to hear a car coming or hear another danger if you are focused on your music rather than what’s happening around you. Ditch the earbuds and instead pay attention to your surroundings.
Once you’ve gotten rid of your earbuds, you can likely pay attention to your surroundings. To better see traffic and to make yourself more visible, you will generally want to run against the flow of traffic. Instead of having cars coming at you from behind, you will see them coming toward you and be able to react sooner. You may need to switch sides of the road for a short time if you are on a blind corner or otherwise feel that running on the opposite side of the road is safer.
Make Yourself Visible
It is especially important to make yourself visible to drivers if you are running at night or during bad weather when a driver’s visibly might be reduced. If you plan to run when it’s dark or in low visibility, be sure to invest in bright, reflective clothing as well as a headlamp. This will make it easier for drivers to see you and make it easier for you to see the ground.
Part of making yourself visible is also making sure that drivers see you before you cross the street or otherwise move to another location on the road. If you are running along a street with parked cars, avoid weaving between vehicles. Before crossing the street, make eye contact with any drivers, and make sure that they are aware of you and your intentions. Don’t assume that just because you see the driver, the person sees you.
Unfortunately, even safe runners sometimes get injured by drivers who were not paying attention. If you were hit and injured by an inattentive driver while running, contact us.