Recently a 17-year old high school student in our town was hit by a van on her evening run. Sadly she passed away from injuries sustained.
It is a sad and strong reminder that we need to make sure that we are as safe and “defensive” on our runs. Here are some tips.
1. Light It Up – In the dark, twilight or gray light of early morning, runners are nearly invisible. Dark clothing blends into the street and until you are actually upon a runner, you often do not see them. At the minimum have a flashlight but ideally wear a reflective vest, a blinking light or headlamp.
2. Armed for Animals or Humans- If you run in the hills or trails be animal and human smart. Bring a phone in case you need help and run with a buddy or stick to well-populated trails.
3. Cars Always Win – Make eye contact if crossing in front of a car. Ditch the headphones in areas with heavy traffic and be aware when on the streets. I personally have been caught daydreaming during a run and slipped too far in traffic on an early morning run. It’s scary.
4. Share – Tell people where you are going or at the minimum, what direction you are headed.
5. ID Yourself – In case you ever have an emergency on a run, someone will want to know who you are. Write your phone number on your shoes, wear a runner ID tag, create a “pet tag” a the pet store with your name and phone number and put it on your laces like a charm.
We all should be able to feel safe on a run and with a few precautions it’s as easy as putting one foot in front of the other.
Now go run!