There’s more to running safety than using the correct shoes and stretches. Follow these safety rules below are key to being smart and safe on the open road.
- Remember: headphones can be dangerous.
As much as everyone wants to hear music, it drowns out sounds such as a horn honking, footsteps behind you, or someone calling out to you. Instead, try running with a friend and have a conversation. Or try playing music out of your smart phone speaker instead of using the headphones. Be aware and extra-alert if you do choose to listen to music with headphones.
- Run against traffic.
Run or walk against the traffic. You want to face the cars and/or bikes so they see you. Make sure when cars are making a right turn, they see you. Many cars only look left when entering into oncoming traffic. Be vocal and yell.
- If you run at night, make yourself visible.
Wear light-colored clothing and invest in a reflective vest and headlamps. Not only should you make yourself visible, but you want to be able to see things (potholes, animals, people) on the road as well.
- Don't assume a car will stop for you.
If you and a car are both approaching an intersection, stop and let the car go first or make eye contact with the driver and communicate who will go first.
- Run with others.
Running with a group or even one person is safer than going alone. Strength in numbers.
- Avoid trails and empty roads when you are alone.
Find a well-lit area to run in where there are cars and people who go by frequently. Go with your gut: if the area feels unsafe and too quiet, get out of there.
- Carry ID.
Carry identification, or purchase a road-ID. This is an ID you wear on your wrist, ankle, or shoe. You can include your name, emergency contact information, blood type, and any allergies. This has saved many lives.
- Carry pepper spray.
The Army/Navy store sells a hand-held pepper spray that is “at the ready” when you need it.
- Don’t give directions to strangers in cars if you are running alone.