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When in Doubt, Run Defensively

Forty-one million Americans consider themselves runners. We are by far outnumbered by the 202 million licensed drivers in our country. In light of those numbers you need to play it safe and run defensively. Here are a few ways to run safely as the days become shorter:

  • No matter how much reflective detailing decorates your sneakers, and no matter how bright your neon windbreaker seems, you should never assume drivers can see you. Pay attention to the traffic around you.
  • Make yourself as conspicuous as possible. Wear a flashing red bike light on your back.
  • Make eye contact before you cross the street or in front of a car.
  • Run against the traffic, whether you run in the street or on the sidewalk. If you run in the street, since asphalt is kinder to knee joints, be aware of cars making right turns, since motorist often don't look around when turning right.
  • Keep your iPod volume down, and if it is dark skip music entirely so you can use your ears to stay aware of approaching cars.
  • Most importantly, if you're running in the dark, run with a buddy. Two people are more visible than one, and you can look out for each other.


Join The Conversation
True-Song True-Song 8 years
hippiecowgirl, I think the blinky lights are maybe a few dollars. Might be worth it to go ahead and buy one for yourself now.
crayolasky crayolasky 8 years
I live in a safe neighborhood, but running during the day (or night for that matter) still makes me uneasy. I would LOVE to go running all the time, but I think there are too many things to be aware of, especially as a (young) woman. But still-- good tips!
Fitness Fitness 8 years
The gal in the photo is certainly conspicuous!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I'll add another safety tip: Never, ever assume cars will stop. I have been hit before by a car pulling out of a drive thru...I thought she'd stop before pulling out into traffic, but she was distracted by her food and she just kept going and her tire rolled over my foot, causing me to fall down and almost get hit by the rest of her car. If you see a car pulling out into the road, either wait for them to go or run behind it so they don't run you over.
Angela123 Angela123 8 years
Ha, tlsgirl! I was going to say, or you could just wear the pictured outfit and you certainly won't have to worry about visibility.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Okay, I have to know what city that's from!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
That picture (the background with the "barber shop" sign) looks SO familiar. Weird. Also, that outfit is pretty sweet :)
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
Thanks for the reminders. Much of our small town is sans sidewalk. It's dark when I leave for work and dark when I return, so I do a lot of my outdoor running in the dark. I think I'll add a blinky light to my Christmas list.
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