Street Smarts: Safety Tips For Runners

Running in bright, reflective gear such as the New Balance High Visibility Beacon Jacket ($175) and New Balance Glow in the Dark 1400 running shoes ($90) can help increase your chances of being seen by motorists. Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

Running Safety Tips

Be Aware
No matter how invincible running makes us feel, it’s important to never stop paying attention. Simply being aware and making smart decisions while running is the most important piece of safety advice runners can take with them on every run.

Bring A Buddy
Avoid running solo after dark, particularly in poorly lit areas. Find a friend, or hook up with a running group. There is strength and safety in numbers.

See And Be Seen
If you are out on the road, run facing traffic, if possible, so you can see the vehicles coming toward you and make any last-minute moves if necessary. Try to run on sidewalks or trails whenever possible, but if you have to run along a road, wear brightly colored clothing and shoes and carry some sort of light.

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Avoid Running With Headphones
According to research from the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, incidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones hit by cars and trains have increased threefold in the last six years. And even more shocking — in 70 percent of those incidents, the runner or walker was killed. “Avoid wearing headphones while running on roads or in traffic,” says Rod Koborsi, a coach for the Run Smart Project based in Flagstaff, Ariz. “If you want to run with music, run on a track, a trail or a treadmill.”

Carry ID
Always carry or wear identification, whether it’s a driver’s license in your pocket or an ID bracelet, so first responders know who you are, any medical conditions you have, and how to contact your loved ones.

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