Self Defense…Safety On The Run!

Run as though you are invisible!  Runners are hit by cars and even bikes in many different settings and it is important to practice “defensive running” especially out on the roads!  Here are some tips to help reduce your risk: 

  1. When running the roads, remember to run against traffic and stay as far away from cars as possible.  When running in a herd, run one or two abreast….don’t fill the road.  The streets belong to vehicles, not runners!  Watch for vehicles making a right hand turn.  Most of the incidents we have experienced in the past have occurred when a driver making a right hand turn is watching traffic coming from the left.  They don’t expect a runner approaching from the right.  Always have an escape route planned should a vehicle appear to be at risk for hitting you. 
  2. Where brightly colored clothing at all times and reflective clothing early in the morning or in the evening when it is dark.  Lightweight reflective vests, blinking lights and even a headlamp are accessories that will help approaching vehicles see you.  You will notice the difference when you wear a reflective vest or other accessories….more drivers dim their brights and move over because they see you much sooner!  
  3. Tune into the environment, not out!  Stay alert to the sounds of approaching vehicles or cyclists.  Obey traffic crossing signals.  Turn off the Led Zeppelin and stop rocking in the brain…..don’t wear headphones unless you are running in an area free of traffic.  Save them for the runs on the trails!  Enjoy a chat with running friends instead. 
  4. Whenever possible, try to stay off roads when driving conditions are slippery or visibility is poor.  Avoid high speed roads, especially those with no shoulder. 
  5. Carry ID and money.  In case of an accident you will need to be identified.  Road ID is a great option.  Also bring cash in case of emergencies or if you need to stop for food and drink.