Night Time Running Safety Tips

November is National Runner Safety Month.  

With the time change in full effect as of this past weekend, and the shortened day light hours upon us, I think it’s time that we begin talking about how we can remain visibly seen and safe during those early dawn and evening hours when runners become the most vulnerable to motorists.  

I know I tend to be a little obsessive when it comes to making sure I’m seen by motorists when out on the roads. I run with a whole slew of items that blink, sparkle or reflect light towards oncoming traffic.  And I’m not saying that you have to use as many safety items as I do, but wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?  Here’s a beautiful picture of me geared up and heading out for a night run.  

IMG_6926

{I know I look ridiculous, but I feel a heck of a lot safer than without all my gear}

Night Time Runner Safety Tips:

 

Run with a cell phone

If you are not already running with a phone, START.  You are going to feel more comfortable knowing you have a back up plan if something should happen while you are out.  There are awesome apps too that can help keep tabs on you as you’re out hitting the pavement.  (Road i.d. has an app called Breadcrumbs that allows  GPS tracking and will notify a contact person in case of a veer off course)  I highly recommend this for anyone running days and/or nights.  

Road_ID_map_screen

Road_ID_Lock_Screen

 

 

Run with identification or emergency information

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know that I never leave my house without my Road ID sports bracelet.  I think anyone who exercises  should have one for precaution.  You can learn more about them here.  I also think they make great stocking stuffers for those runner friends in your life.  Even if you don’t have or want a Road ID, at least carry your In Case of Emergency contact info somewhere on your person.  Cell phones also have an app to list your emergency contact.  The app is called I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency)

 

Run through a highly populated and familiar area that is well lit

My neighborhood is not lit up like a football arena, but I always feel more comfortable running a few loops through my community where I am no stranger to the people and my surroundings.  The more visibly lit and familiar the area, the more alert you can remain during your run.

 

Run Against The Flow of Traffic When a Sidewalk Isn’t Available

 

run_against_traffic

{Source}

I personally feel safest when I can see oncoming traffic.  Most of the time, I only run on either sidewalks or throughout my quiet neighborhood streets, but when I do venture out onto roadways with a heavier flow of traffic, that is when I stay extra alert and conscious of the cars along my path.  With all the diversions drivers encounter these days, it’s best to stay well aware of any potential threats up ahead.  

The Road Runners Club of America advises that runners try to avoid the streets when it’s dark, but we all know that isn’t always an option.  If you have to take to the street, they advise that you run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles. By facing on-coming traffic, you may be able to react quicker than if it is behind you.

 

 

Wear Reflective Gear    

 

Reflective_Vest

I own a plethora of reflective gear, but that mostly stems from my participation in the Ragnar Relays where participants are strictly required to wear those items for all nighttime hours.  The bright yellow reflective vests are not very flattering or appealing to the eye, but one thing is for certain, they make a tremendous amount of difference for runners where nighttime visibility is minimized.     If you don’t have a vest, make sure your clothing has reflective pieces; most shoes already come with a little bit.  

 

 

Illuminate your path with a head light or other style flash light.  

 

 

Petzl_orange_headlamp

I use this awesome head lamp from Petzl.  It’s reminiscent of coal miner’s head gear, but I find it to be fairly comfortable and  it lights up enough of my path to keep me from tripping over potentially hazardous elements.  Other  options are to run with a flash light or something else like the knuckle lights.

 

Wear blinking lights to draw attention to yourself

At a race expo, I found wrap around arm bands with blinking LED lights.  I bought a set for me and my husband to use during a night race.  They worked out great!  They are extremely comfortable, flexible, come in different sizes and have three different blinking settings.  Here is the website for the brand I use.  

 

Do you run when it’s dark out?  What do you use to stay safe?

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by my little space on the web. I'm Haley. I’m a digital marketer & social media strategist, a running coach, a skincare advocate, compulsive movie quoter, a ketogenic athlete, wannabe photographer, Capricorn, and a slightly sarcastic, ultra chatty extrovert living in Tampa with my awesome family. I love spending my time helping folks find their best self through fitness, health and wellness. I strive to help you live your best life, and enjoy the journey. Sometimes I write. It’s rarely worth reading, but I like to put it out there anyways.

My ultimate goal in this space here is to help you find your strong, capable, healthy and confident place.

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6 thoughts on “Night Time Running Safety Tips”

  1. I just won a pair of knuckle lights on another blog giveaway and am anxious to start back up running. I’m working on getting more reflective gear, but it’s tough when you are on a budget.

  2. The safety tips that you have mentioned are to the point, and there are many people who don’t use reflective gear and flash lights while running in the night time and there are times when they get injured and sometimes the injury can be fatal. I hope your article helps people to use safety gears while running in the night.

    1. Thank you Adam! I appreciate the kind words. It is my goal to educate others so that anyone sharing the roads at night are safe and stay injury free. Cheers!

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