Your training runs can make you feel like it’s just you and the open road. But of course, you’re sharing the road — even if you don’t see vehicles or other runners. Did you know that there are “rules of the road” for runners? Use these tips to run safely — and avoid driving your fellow runners crazy!
- Run on the left: When you are running on the road, stay on the left side and face traffic. This helps ensure that a car doesn’t sneak up behind you. Also, you want to be as visible as possible to drivers.
- Stop at traffic lights and intersections: Practice the same rules of the road as drivers do. If you have a red light or stop sign, make sure you stop. Then move through once it’s safe. Use crosswalks when possible.
- Run single file: Running with groups can be really fun — but also really hazardous if you aren’t paying attention. When running with a group, make sure you run single file in busy areas. This will allow you to pass safely and avoid getting hit.
- Take precautions when using headphones: We all love a great tune to pump us up on our run. But you may want to keep one ear bud out so that you can stay alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in busy areas.
- Arm band your cell phone: Everyone these days has a smartphone, but did you know they can be dangerous on your run? Try using an arm band to secure your phone instead of holding it in your hand. This will prevent distractions, as well as dropping the phone into oncoming traffic or other runners.
- Go with the flow: If you are on a trail, make sure to run with the flow of traffic. This will allow cyclists and other runners to pass safely.
- Keep your pets close: It’s fun to run with your furry friends, but keep them close. This can help you avoid scaring other runners and creating a hazard for cars, cyclists, and any other traffic.
- Wear reflective gear: When running in low visibility or the dark, make yourself highly visible to traffic. Buy (and use!) reflective jackets, lights, and flashing bracelets.
- Always have identification: If something serious were to happen, it’s critical to have identification available for first responders. Many companies, like RoadID, make ID bracelets to include important information like allergies, emergency contacts, and medications.
Whether you are headed out for a short jog with friends or a focused training run, safety is always important. Take all every precaution to protect yourself and other runners. Being prepared and alert will allow you to react quickly and avoid disaster!