Runner Safety: In the Battle of YOU versus CAR…
Posted by Krissy
on Aug 17, 2012 in Tips
As runners, we sometimes feel invincible – that elusive runner’s high after completing a particularly tough run or impressive number of miles…but we must remember that we are only human. And if you outside in environments similar to mine – auto-centric and high-trafficked – you must be extra vigilant when completing your road mileage. While we might feel that cars are impeding on our running workouts, it’s important to keep in mind that although “Rules of the Road” exist, it is our responsibility as runners to be mindful, vigilant and respectful of all that share the streets – even when it seems like we’re the only ones doing it!
To always be the protagonist in this epic showdown, keep these simple tips in mind:
- STOP – Right as you set out on your run, STOP – for just a moment – and think about the route you are planning to run. Where are the turns, street-crossings and intersections? What is your plan of action when you come to a stop at the same time as a car or bicycle – are you going to wave them through, or go for it?* Have absolute confidence in your decisions because a moment’s hesitation could lead to disaster.
- LOOK – Look around, look ahead and look the part! If you’re running in low-light, wear bright colors and/or reflective gear if need be. You want to see and be seen!
- LISTEN – If possible, run unplugged. You’ll be able to have a closer reign on what’s going on around you. However, if you absolutely cannot run without music, keep the volume very low or wear just one earphone.
- ACT – Be the steward of the road that you’d expect of any other runner by showing respect toward yourself, as well as others. If conditions require you to run on the road, run toward traffic and do your best to make eye contact with any and all pedestrians, cyclists or drivers, if the situation necessitates it – as overly cautious as it may sound, the more people that you make an impression on, the more people would be able to recognize you if something were to go awry. Additionally, carry ID – just in case – this could be a driver’s license, RoadID or medical bracelet, shoe tag or something similar – because it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
The aspects of keeping safe during a run may not be the most exciting of topics, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Incorporating these simple steps to your running regiment will not only make your run safer, but more mindful in general – in fact, after a few ‘runs’ it’ll be second nature!
*I always err on the side of caution and let others go before me, but that’s a personal decision I made.
How do you stay safe on your outdoor runs? Please share in the comment section below.