Perhaps the number one safety tip for runners is to try to avoid traffic when you can. Run at the gym, run on the track or go for a trail run. All of these things can help you stay in shape without exposing you to the risk of being hit by a negligent driver.
That said, not everyone has these options. Many people end up running on sidewalks or just the edge of the road multiple times per week. What can you do to stay safe if you have to run around traffic?
Always obey traffic laws
First and foremost, make sure that you always obey different traffic laws, including the walk or don’t walk signals at intersections. Runners are sometimes tempted to jaywalk or ignore these symbols so they don’t have to break stride, but this can be a very hazardous decision just to save a few seconds on your running time.
Be visible at night
If you have to run in the dark, one thing that you really want to think about is your visibility. It’s a good idea to wear white or at least bright colors, rather than wearing anything that is brown, black or gray. You may also want to put on a LED light vast or a headlamp. Some runners will also wear reflective tape or clothing with reflective fabric.
Don’t listen to your headphones
You may enjoy listening to your headphones while you run so that you can listen to your favorite band or a new audiobook. It can help to pass the time and some people even claim that music helps them run faster. These are benefits, but there is a serious risk to wearing headphones while you run because it makes you feel a bit more disconnected from traffic. It can also be a distraction, and it can block the road noise that you need to be able to hear to run safely.
What if you get hit anyway?
The tips listed above can certainly help you be safer than you would be if you didn’t follow them. But nothing can guarantee that you won’t be hit by a negligent driver who just makes a mistake even when you’ve done everything correctly. If you suffer serious injuries in this type of accident, make sure you know what legal options you have to seek compensation.