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Tips for Staying Visible While Running

Aug 31,2018

Running is one of the healthiest forms of exercise. Not only do you lose weight and stay fit, but a study performed by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that people who are active at least 30 minutes per day have significantly reduced odds of getting cancer. While it’s always best to run on a designated jogging path, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid running alongside traffic. If you find your exercise routine frequently interrupted by motorists, here are some top ways you can ensure you’re visible to drivers.

1. Dress for the Time of Day

While it’s not reasonable to stick two dozen reflectors and strobe lights to your workout clothes, making smart wardrobe decisions can go a long way in helping drivers see you on the road.

If you’re running during the day, you’ll want to wear fluorescent clothing. Bright yellow, hunter orange, and electric pinks are all easily seen from long distances. If you’re running at dawn or dusk, it actually doesn’t matter what color you’re wearing. What’s far more important is wearing something reflective that’s visible when a car’s headlights pass over you. You can knock out two birds with one stone by wearing a fluorescent and reflective vest over your typical attire.

2. Stick to the Sidewalks

It’ll be downright challenging for a car to hit you if you run primarily on sidewalks. The challenge with running on sidewalks is that they’re not really designed for runners—many have cracks or uneven cement, making the trail hazardous. If you’re running on sidewalks and not a designated running path, be sure to run during the daytime or with a flashlight at night so you won’t roll an ankle (or worse). If there’s no sidewalk available…

3. Run Against Traffic

There’s a reason why we were always coached to walk or jog against traffic when we were little. Running on the opposite side of the road won’t give the motorist much additional time to see you, but you’ll have much more time to react to a reckless motorist than when one approaches from behind. Running against traffic gives you a few extra seconds to leap out of the way if need be, and hopefully prevent an accident.

4. Carry a Flashlight

As mentioned above, it’s always a good idea to have a flashlight on hand when running in less-than-sunny conditions. It’ll ensure you see the road in front of you, but by carrying a flashlight oncoming traffic will have a better chance of seeing you as well. While it may not be the most “fashionable” accessory, headlamps allow you to see the path at night ahead hands-free.

5. Run in a Group

Two runners are always more visible than one, and more than three is a downright crowd. By running in a group you’ll be easier to see by motorists, and you’ll have accountability buddies to keep you exercising! Consider the Kohler Group Effect—nobody wants to be the “weakest link” in a group, so exercising with others pushes us to work harder than if we were to run alone. Just be sure to not run more than two abreast to ensure you’re not a road hog.

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Resources:

https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2009/07/28/bjsm.2008.056713

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2010.00333.x

https://www.personalinjury-law.com/slip-fall/accident-scenarios/broken-pavement

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/sports/running-in-the-dazzle-of-neon.html

This article was created by 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 constitutes legal advice or opinion and is intended for informational use only.

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