14 running safety tips grandma wants you to know

Remember Grandma Barbara?  If you don’t, I caught you!  You skipped last week’s post :).  If you do, today’s post is a result of her urgent plea.  Do Grandma Barbara (and your loved ones) a favor,  and consider these brief tips.  They could save your life.

That’s right, this week we’ll discuss several ways to enhance your running safety.  I have included some links to running safety gear that I use or that is recommended by other runners (I rarely run in the dark, so I asked some trusted runners for help).  I do this from time to time, if I think you will benefit from the information or suggestions.  If you decide to purchase anything through these links,  note that I will I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you), but please only purchase items that you feel will be helpful to you!

Special thanks to Megan Popielarczyk, R.N., B.S.N., Master’s in Public Health for sharing some of these tips.

14 Tips for running safety:

  1. Keep your headphones’ volume low and listen for drivers.
  2. Make eye contact with drivers to make sure that they see you.
  3. Call out or make a loud warning noise to the driver, when in doubt.
  4. Always wear reflective and brightly colored running gear.  The larger the reflective area, the more likely cars are to see you.  Consider wearing a reflective vest if you must run in the dark. 
  5. Avoid busy roads without a sidewalk/pedestrian lane.  Stay on sidewalks and crosswalks while running.  If you must run on the road, run  facing traffic and keep your eyes/ears open. 
  6. Be extremely careful on hills if there aren’t sidewalks (I run uphill with the direction of traffic, and downhill facing traffic – so drivers have the best chance of seeing me).  
  7. Don’t assume cars will get out of the way for you (slow down and move to the side, as much as you can).
  8. Avoid running in the dark.  If you must, find a well-lit area with other people around (like an outdoor track) and avoid headphones, so you can be alert.  If I run in the dark, I am very careful and run on a highway access road with a very wide sidewalk. 
  9. Utilize a running flashlight (these knuckle lights seem like they would work great) or headlamp and blinking lights when running in low light.
  10. Give vehicles a wide berth (it’s easy to trip and lose your footing when you’re tired).
  11. Run on smooth surfaces to prevent falls/trips and try to avoid jumping up and down a lot of curbs.
  12. Look before crossing or changing directions on roads and paths (you may not see a vehicle behind you).  
  13. Avoid routes where you have to cross lots of busy intersections.  Make sure to always use the cross walk and comply with traffic signals.
  14. Carry a cell phone (cover with a sandwich baggie in a zipper pocket or waterproof armband) and visible identification (I like this running shoe tag) for emergencies.
Note: If you run with your children in a stroller, this is a great opportunity for teaching and modeling good safety behavior.  Point out the different traffic signals you encounter and what they mean.  Explain why you are using sidewalks and cross walks.  Health and safety go hand in hand!

I will continue sharing more running safety tips throughout our upcoming safety series.  Do you have any safety tips?  Share them by commenting below so we can all benefit.

Additional running safety resources:

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