Although running is a relatively safe sport free from many of the risks associated with contact activities such as hockey or football, running alone can pose a multitude of dangers to a runner. Injury, accidents, and tragedies can occur even to the most vigilant of individuals. Stay safe by following the important guidelines listed below.
Use the Buddy System:
Running with others is always safer than running alone. If planning to run in a desolate area, at night, or on trails, consider bringing someone along. Not only will having a running partner ward off potential predators, but can also be lifesaving in case of an accident or injury.
Let Someone Know
Where You are Going:
If running with someone is not enjoyable or feasible, always let someone know where you are running and when you plan to be finished. If possible, be specific about route or trail you intend to tackle. Should something occur, your whereabouts will be easier to track, which could be potentially lifesaving. Just be sure to stick to your plan and not turn a 10k run into a 30k!
Every year, even the healthiest of runners suffer from allergic reactions, unknown heart conditions, and collisions with motorists while out for a run. Help improve your chances of surviving by carrying a form of identification. Many products are available, such as a RoadID, which help emergency workers quickly identify your name, emergency contact information, and whether you suffer from any health conditions or allergies.
Although running with music or podcasts can make the run go by faster, avoid doing so unless on a treadmill. Headphones can distract a runner and mask important noises, such as traffic or someone coming up behind you. Many tragedies that have occurred to runners have happened because of incomplete awareness of their surroundings.
Run Against Traffic:
When running on the roads, always run against traffic. Exceptions to this rule are only when running on hills or rounding a blind turn. In general, running against traffic helps driver and runner be better aware of one another, and allows the runner to move off the road in case of driver distraction.
Wear Reflective Gear:
If planning to run early in the morning or in the evening, wear some form of reflective clothing or blinking LED light. Poor runner visibility has led to many accidents on the roads that could have otherwise been avoided.
Use Caution When
When running on a bike path always use caution when turning around to return in the direction from which you came. Most trails are multiuse, and collisions with bikers, runners, walkers, skateboarders, rollerbladers, or other pedestrians can occur. Just recently, a cyclist and runner were involved in a serious collision that led to head trauma for the cyclist because a runner haphazardly turned around in the front of the biker. To be safe, slow down to a walk, look over your shoulder, and only make the turn when certain no one’s path will be impeded.