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Staying Visible While Running

This guest blog post was created Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com), an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only.

While road races are always blocked off and safe from traffic, we’re not always lucky enough to have designated running paths. If you find your running routine interrupted by traffic, here are some top ways you can stay visible on the road and ensure your run is as safe as possible.

Tip #1: Run Against Traffic

Pundits will usually recommend running against traffic because it gives motorists more time to see you and slow down accordingly. You do want to run against traffic, but not for the motorists’ sake—if you’re running against traffic you’ll have a couple of extra seconds to see any reckless driving and dive out of the way if need be. If a car approaches from behind, you lose this safety net.

Tip #2: Watch Intersections

If you’re running directly in the road (let’s face it, sidewalks are not built for runners), you’ll want to be sure to stop and really pay attention when going through intersections. You’re much harder to see than a car, so drivers may not notice you at an intersection as they would another vehicle. By stopping to assess the situation you can ensure you won’t have any close calls with drivers who may not be paying attention.

Tip #3: Adjust Your Outfit

While you don’t have to run with strobe lights in hand, wearing all black while running at night isn’t a good idea either. You should try to wear at least one piece of highly visible clothing every time you go for a run.

In the daytime, this means wearing something florescent. Bright green, yellow, and pink are all eye-catching. If you’re running in the evening it doesn’t matter what color you’re wearing because it’s impossible to see anything. You should instead wear something reflective so you’ll stand out against a car’s headlights.

Tip #4: Bring a Flashlight

Flashlights are good for two reasons. First, it’ll be a lot easier for a car to see a bobbing light from a distance than you running without one. Additionally, a flashlight is great because it allows you to see the path ahead. Cracks in sidewalks are the top cause of injury among runners, so if you use a flashlight you’ll dramatically reduce your chance of injury. If you’d rather run hands-free, you can consider investing in a headlamp. While it may not be the most fashion-forward choice, it will be equally effective.

Tip #5: Run With a Friend

When you run with a friend you’ll be twice as easy to see by motorists than you would be running alone. Running with a friend has additional benefits on top of staying visible. When you run with a friend you’re more likely to run faster, run longer, and stick to your exercise routines than you would if you ran alone. Waking up at 5 AM is a lot easier when you have a friend coming with you!

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