I’ve been running a long time and have learned how to stay safe (after a few close calls).
Here are a few tips to keep you safe.
- Don’t assume…people see you. Especially when it’s dark. Wear reflective clothing when running in the early morning or evening. Run against traffic so you see what is coming. This helps prevent getting hit by a car or possibly abducted. Run on the sidewalk when you can. There are a few women in my neighborhood that walk in the early morning when it is dark and for some reason they walk on the street instead of the sidewalk. They wear dark clothing, making them almost impossible to see. I have been lucky enough to see them in time, (before running them over) but it always freaks me out when they suddenly appear “out of no where”.
- Don’t assume… cars will stop. When crossing busy streets I run outside the crosswalk. I always watch for cars approaching the red light in the right hand turn lane (or any lane for that matter) because most drive into the crosswalk before they stop.
- Don’t assume… the trail/road is all yours. Share the road. When running on a multi purpose trail, stay to the right. Bikes can be fast and nearly silent. Some warn you, but some don’t. Also if you are running with a group (unless there is plenty of room) run in pairs so other runners (bikes, roller skaters) can get around you. It is proper etiquette and it keeps people happy.
- Don’t assume… you’ll get the “right of way”, even when it’s yours. Look over your shoulder before crossing a street or driveway when a car might be turning right. Pedestrians have the right of way but drivers don’t always follow that rule (or they just don’t see you). Also slow down and look when approaching driveways. Again, drivers don’t always look “left, right, left” before pulling out. Some never even look right as I am approaching them.
- Don’t assume… you don’t have to follow the rules of the road. You may have the “right of way”, but you still need to be courteous to cars and cyclist. Stop at red lights and be cautious at stop signs.
- Don’t assume… the dog coming your way is friendly. Or the owner has control of them. It can be scary for a dog to have a human running toward them, and a frightened dog is an unpredictable dog. I run with my German Shepherd, so I am aware of dogs and people on my route. I keep my dog close and either let others pass or I go around them. Since we’re talking about dogs…having a dog to run with can keep you safe (unless it’s a purse dog). It is unlikely someone will bother you with a German Shepherd at your side.
I hope these tips give you something to think about. Bottom line, be aware of your surroundings.
In light of the woman that was abducted in Northern California while out for her morning run, I will be posting Safety Tips For Woman Runners in the coming weeks.
Thanks for reading! 🙂
Keep running and be safe!