Tips For Running Safety

17 Oct

Mommyland

While I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on running or safety I want to share with you some of my tips to being safe while running on the roads.

First, and I feel the most important, PLEASE run in the opposing direction of traffic. I see it every day, someone running in the direction of cars and if you’ve driven the roads here in Pennsylvania you know they can tend to be narrow. I take this so far as to even run opposing traffic when there are sidewalks, it’s kind of become second nature for me.

When you run in the same direction as traffic you are putting a hell of a lot of trust that those drivers are paying attention to the road. With so many distractions in the car these days it’s easy for drivers to quickly find themselves on the shoulder (where you are running) and you’ll never see them coming to be able to get out of their way.

Here’s a little nugget of information from the NHTSA and while they don’t break this down by the type of pedestrian we do know that roughly 69,000 pedestrians are injured each year with about 4,500 of those being fatalities.

Do you still run the risk of being struck by a car while running in the opposing direction of traffic? Probably, I know I’ve had a few near misses, but your odds are better if you can see the car coming and take evasive action.

Try not to blend in with your surroundings. Wear bright colors that will be easily spotted and if you run in the dark, wear a light or at the very least something highly reflective. Just because you see the car doesn’t mean the car sees you.

Next, if you’re like me and you NEED music to run (or you’ve got the GPS in your ear), leave one of those ear buds out. Also, don’t blast those tunes.

It’s easy to get in the zone when you’ve got the music cranked and you’re enjoying a beautiful run, but zoning out could prove to be dangerous. Along with seeing cars that pass you by you should be able to hear them too. Another reason to leave one of those ear buds out is to hear someone or something that might be out to cause you harm. Hearing a dog running up on you could save you a trip to the ER.

A few months back I read an article about a woman being attacked and nearly killed while running and from that day on I started leaving one of my ears free to hear my surroundings.┬áJust because you live in a safe area doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. There are areas of the country that are actually seeing an upswing in attacks on women runners, Arlington Virginia being one of them. If you prefer to run alone (like me), take steps to protect yourself.

Basically, the message I’m trying to convey here is to stay alert while you’re running on the roads. Please, try to always be aware of your surroundings.

What is your favorite part about hitting the road for a run?

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