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Safety Tips For Running At Night

By Jeremy Chin
Posted on 19 Aug, 2015

Safety Tips For Running At Night

A great way to wrap up a day is to end it with a run. But unlike daytime running, you have to take extra precautions when running in the dark.

The two key things about running at night are to see and to be seen. You have to keep in mind that nighttime running not only presents potential vision problems for drivers. Your vision is poorer at night, too; potholes, unmarked ditches , icy pavements, branches, broken glass, and muggers all pose a greater threat to us. So when you go, stay alert and follow these tips for staying safe while running at night.


Run Against Traffic

One of the biggest mistakes made by after-hours runners is when they travel in the same direction as traffic. You always want to run against traffic so you can see a potential accident coming. You’ll have a much better chance of performing an evasive maneuver this way.


Don't Wear Dark Colors At Night.

While this one may sound like common sense, most accidents involving runners occur at night when they are wearing dark clothing. Choosing a well lit route and wearing reflectors can help you be seen by motorists from up to five times further away. Wearing reflective gear on your arms and legs, rather than on your trunk, is also important because drivers are more likely to see the reflective or glowing light when it's in motion.


Turn Off The Tunes

Whilst listening to music on your run may help motivate you, listening to music while running at night can be a dangerous pairing. Your ability to see is already hampered because of poor light. There is no need to compromise your hearing as well.

According to a study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine the amount of runners wearing headphones that were involved in accidents has increased 300% in the last six years alone. 70% of those accidents resulted in fatalities.


Wear A Baseball Cap

A brimmed hat and clear glasses are important to protect your eyes at night. Cobwebs, leaves and thin branches are often difficult to spot in the dark and could cause trouble if they come in contact with your eyes.

The bill of a cap will hit an unseen tree branch or any other obstruction before the obstacle hits your head.


Vary Your Routes

A potential attacker can watch for runners' patterns and loom in a particularly dark or isolated area. So it’s best to not run the same route every night. Instead establish the routes you’re comfortable running and switch it up every other night to keep it random.


Run With A Partner

Safety is truly greater in numbers. Women should especially avoid running solo after dark in poorly lit areas. If you're running alone, let someone know the route you're running and approximately how long you will be out.


Be Alert

Drivers aren't looking for runners and sometimes they' won't see you even if you’re lit like a Christmas tree. You have to look for them.


Run A Familiar Route

Night time is not the best for exploring remote trails and new neighbourhoods. Stick to the routes you know. When deciding your route, go for one that is well-lit. Oncoming cars see you better, and you'll always be able to see the road and avoid potential hazards.


Stick To Roads

Trails are not advisable for night running due to their uneven surfaces and the potential for ankle rolling. By staying close to home, preferably neighborhoods, you are surrounded by homes filled with people that can come to your aid if need be.

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