One of the things I have learned through my lifetime of being a runner is being smart about when and where you go running. You should always be aware of your surroundings, and this includes being familiar with where you are running, making sure you are visible to those who are driving, walking, or riding a bike, and having ID of some sort on you in case the unthinkable happens.
If you are running in unfamiliar territory, ask someone from the local community, preferably someone knowledgable of running routes, to share some locations with you. For safety reasons and to help in case you get turned around, be sure to carry your phone with you so that you can turn on a map app to find your way back to where you started.
Being aware of your surroundings is so important so that you, the runner, are safe at all times. Look for landmarks that you can easily remember in a down and back route or that you could recall if you get turned around. Be sure to have one earbud out at all times to listen for emergency vehicles. Better yet, run without music and enjoy the sound of the location where you are running!
Visibility is super important when it comes to any time of day while running. Be aware that most drivers are NOT looking for you on crosswalks or as they turn onto their streets to come from or go to work. You have to be aware of this and make yourself as visible as possible. One of the many items that can help make you visible is by wearing clothing that has reflective stripes or designs on it that shines brightly when light hits it. Another way to make yourself visible is to wear reflective straps and or blinking fluorescent lights that will also stand out amongst the normal atmosphere. My favorite thing to wear during night runs is a white shirt with reflective stripes and my headlamp turned on at a brightness that’s appropriate for where I am running.
Last, but certainly not least, is the importance of carrying an ID with y0u at all times in case there is an accident or medical mishap. I personally have asthma and have to carry an inhaler at all times in case there is an emergency and I need it. I also keep my Road ID bracelet on me at all times so that if something were to happen to me, my family could be notified, and I can easily be taken care of. Road ID is a fantastic company that came about because of one of those unfortunate accidents. You can read more about their story here: http://www.RoadID.com. I personally have my full name, and contact information for my 3 closest family members on mine. I also have my favorite quotes on it: Live. Love. Run. and RFP! If you are interested in getting $5 off your very own Road ID, please use this link here: Get $5 off your Road ID! Click me to do so!
Be safe out there runner friends!