As a runner, you understand the importance of making sure drivers notice you. Regardless of whether you run in high-traffic areas or areas that are much less traveled by motorists, you have to make sure you are visible so you can ensure your safety. By being proactive, you can ensure you are noticed by drivers and significantly decrease the chances of being struck by a car. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you are visible to drivers when you are running.
Adhere to Traffic Laws
Any runner needs to adhere to the traffic laws. This means that you shouldn’t just run past a stop sign or blow off a red light. Instead, you approach traffic signals, stop, make sure the path is clear, and then proceed. Otherwise, you could find you are running right into the path of a vehicle that didn’t see you until the last minute. Because runners are so much smaller than cars, a motorist is much less likely to see you.
Dress to be Seen
When you are going running, you need to make sure you dress so you will stand out. This means you need to wear fluorescent clothing, such as neon yellow, lime green, hot pink, bright red, and orange when running during the day. These colors are going to stand out in the crowd and get you the attention you need when running with traffic.
Stand Out After Dark
If you are out before dawn or after dusk, your brightly colored clothing isn’t enough to get you noticed. You want to stand out after dark. This means you need to wear reflective gear. Safety vests that are fluorescent colors and have reflective strips will help you get noticed. You can put reflective tape on your back, chest, and legs. Reflective bands can be worn on the ankles and wrists. You should even make sure you have some reflectors on your shoes. A flashing LED light on your clothing also gets attention far more than a stagnant light does.
Don’t Run Between Cars
Whenever possible, you should run on the sidewalk. You should never run between or around cars but instead, run in an area where you will be more visible. By staying on the sidewalk, you are putting a farther distance between you and the cars so you are less likely to get hit. Always stay alert so you can react in a defensive manner and get out of the way if the need arises. Try to avoid bicycle lanes as well. Because cyclists are much smaller than vehicles, you may not notice one approaching in time to get out of the way.
Run Where You Can See
If you are running in the early morning or late at evening, you should run in areas where you can also see. This means running in well-lit areas. These areas will not only help drivers see you, but they will also protect you from tripping over obstacles such as broken sidewalks, uneven bricks, or debris. These areas are also safer because you will notice any unusual behavior or people loitering. Don’t run down streets that appear too dark or that make you feel uncomfortable. It’s always safest to jog in public areas.
Run with a Friend
When two people are running together and dressed in gear to make them visible, they are much more likely to be noticed. When at all possible, you should go running with a buddy. This is also beneficial if there should be some kind of emergency to arise and one of you needed help. If you have a running friend with you, you may be encouraged to run further or make better time than you would on your own!
Additional Safety Tips
You should be able to enjoy your time out running. By making sure you are visible to drivers, you can significantly reduce the chances of being hit by a car. Know how to make yourself noticed and how to stay out of harm’s way so you can enjoy your run. Always carry your cellphone and contact information along with you in the event of an emergency. You can tape your name and emergency contact information on the back of your phone. If possible, let someone know you are going running and when you plan to be back from the run. With a little planning ahead and common sense, you can avoid any incidents with motorists.