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Road Running Safety Tips

Road Running Safety Tips Brian Kondas EnduraRun

Running on the road has many hazards, including ultraviolet sunlight during the day and darkness at night. In addition, fast-moving vehicles on the road can be deadly. Discover the safest times to run, safety running gear, and tips to avoid road hazards.

When is the Safest Time to Run?

Generally, the safest time to run is during the daytime, so it’s easy for people to see you. Bright sunlight makes you more visible but can cause sunburn and increase your risk of skin cancer. Thus, it’s vital for your health to protect your skin from the sun. 

Running in the early morning at sunrise or late evening at sunset can reduce your exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. The safest times to avoid peak UV hours are usually before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

When it’s too hot in the daytime, it may be safer to run at night.

Running Safely at Night

When running at night, the temperature is usually cooler. However, the darkness makes it more difficult for people to see you. The following tips can help you run more safely at night:

  1. Wear light-colored clothing – for example, pastel colors like pink or baby blue. These are mostly white color hues resulting in pale (pastel) colors. White is the safest and most reflective color
  2. Attach a lamp – wear a rechargeable LED headlamp or chest lamp so you can see where you run, and others can see you on the road. I recommend a chest lamp because a headlamp mounted to your forehead and angled down glares brightly into your eyes, making it hard to see at night. 
  3. Reflective or Illuminated Vest – you can wear dark clothes with a reflective or illuminated vest for safer runs on the road. I have worn and recommend the Noxgear Tracer 360. It uses fiber optic technology to keep you highly visible on the road

You can read about my Halloween night training run and view a long-exposure photo of myself running with the Tracer 360 vest. 

Road Running Safety Tips

Awareness of your surroundings when running on the street is essential to avoid hazards. For example, fast-moving vehicles can impact you and cause severe injury or death. The following safety tips can help keep you safe on the road:

  1. Run facing on-coming traffic. In America, run on the left side of the road so you can see approaching vehicles. Avoid getting hit by oncoming traffic by maneuvering to the sidewalk or the far left side of the road. 
  2. Keep your eyes forward and look outward.
  3. Listen to your surroundings. Bikes and scooters may speed past you from behind, so you need to be able to hear them approaching. Otherwise, you could accidentally knock into them. 
  4. Avoid wearing headphones or AirPods and listening to music while running on the road. 
  5. Run in residential areas if possible, and avoid high-traffic roads.

When approaching a blind turn in which you can not see on-coming vehicles, move off the road for safety. 

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