Sadly, the long daylight hours of summer are behind us. Whether you run after the sun sets or in the middle of the day when it’s shining bright, safety is something we should all keep in mind. And since November is National Running Safety Month, it’s a great time for a refresher on what you can do to stay safe on every run.
Here’s a list of safety tips to keep in mind when running outdoors. Most of these tips can be used year round, no matter what time of day you workout.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Stay alert and aware of what going on around you.
- Wear reflective clothing or add reflectors, such as a reflective vest or arm band, when running or riding before dawn or after dusk.
- Brighten yourself up with lights. Consider using a jacket with lights or using clip on lights.
- Wear white, bright colors, or fluorescent colors.
- Wear reflective clothing.
- Run with a friend.
- Stay in well lit areas.
- Carry a noisemaker (like a whistle or air horn) and get self-defense training.
- Trust your intuition about a person or area. If something doesn’t feel right, then avoid it.
- Carry an ID with you and your cell phone.
- Tell someone where you’re going and how long you expect to be out.
- Obey the traffic laws. Whether you’re cycling or running, obeying traffic laws keeps you safe and makes it easier for others to predict if you’ll be turning or stopping.
- When running, use sidewalks and paths whenever possible. If you must run on the street, run against traffic.
- Look both ways before crossing. Don’t assume you’ll be seen or that a car will stop.
- When using multi-use trails, follow the rules of the road. Check around you before crossing trails or changing directions.
- Ignore verbal harassment and do not harass others.
- Keep the music for your indoor workouts. Running with earphones can be a distracting and prevent you from hearing your surroundings. Remember, you want to be aware of and hear everything around you.