In a perfect world, runners would only venture out during daylight and never have run-ins with vehicles. Unfortunately, daytime running isn’t always an option, so runners need to take extra precautions when they’re out at night. Though we’re quick to think of vehicles as nighttime hazards, it’s also important to account for other dangers when running past dusk.
If you’re thinking of running at night, consider this advice:
Run with a partner. There is strength in numbers, especially when running at night. A group of reflective runners is much easier to see than just one, and criminals are less likely to target groups. And if there is an incident of some kind, you have friends there to call for help.
Run against traffic and make eye contact with vehicle drivers. Oncoming traffic is easier to see, and even brief eye contact with vehicle drivers can be enough to save your life!
Don’t wear dark colors at night. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many people wear dark pants and shirts in the dark! Even if you’re decked out in reflective gear, it’s a good idea to wear lightly colored clothes for extra visibility. You can never be too visible at night!
Don’t wear headphones. Most of us love to listen to music while we run, but wearing headphones makes it almost impossible to hear oncoming traffic, animals, etc.
Vary your routes. Potential attackers will notice if you run the same route every night. It’s also important to let people know where you will be running and take a cell phone with you.
Wear reflective items on your arms and legs instead of your torso. Vehicle drivers in particular are more likely to see reflective gear if it is in motion. You can also carry a flashlight, fix a blinking light onto your body, and wear shoes that blink. Again, the better your visibility, the safer you are!
Sadly, many runners know people who have been injured or worse while running at night and on roads. While we can never be completely safe, taking the precautions above could significantly improve your chances of having a safe run at night.
Do you have any tips for staying safe during nighttime runs? Let us know in the comments!