Importance of safety while running
As per this report, over 47 million Americans run or jog to keep themselves fit. Some of them also train for running full or half marathons. While the concept of running is laudable, for some it turns out to be fairly dangerous. In fact, as per this NHTSA report there were 6,283 pedestrian deaths in 2018.
Against this backdrop, it is imperative to understand how to run or jog on the roads safely. Here are 5 easy tips to follow that you must know.
1. Dress appropriately
Wear comfortable weather-appropriate clothes at the time of your run. In addition to being comfortable, your clothing must be clearly visible to other runners and joggers. Bright clothes during the day and reflective clothing during night times would be a good idea. You could also use a flashlight at night. Be visible at all times. You must also wear comfortable shoes, with high grip soles. Don’t get out with worn out soles, as they make you slip on wet or sandy surfaces.
2. Run against traffic
Running or walking on sidewalks, as opposed to in the road, is mandatory. There are conflicting views on running with or against traffic when there is no sidewalk and only a shoulder, which often results in serious pedestrian injuries. Some states such as Virginia and Maryland have legislation, which requires runners to run against traffic. Common sense seems to suggest running against traffic is the better option. You can see oncoming traffic when you run against it and will not be blindsided by traffic approaching from behind you.
3. Be vigilant
Remember, you are sharing the road with different types of vehicles coming from all sides, including from homes and parking lots along the sidewalk. Secondly, the sidewalks will have breaks to allow vehicles to enter homes and parking lots. You have to be vigilant and run safely. If you are not, you run the risk of falling or being hit by a vehicle. You can get seriously injured if your head or other body parts hit the curb.
4. Be a model road user
As mentioned earlier, you share the road with others. You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others. It is best to follow all traffic rules. Don’t be an impediment to vehicles and other runners and joggers. Cross only at crosswalks and if there are no crosswalks, double check the road for vehicles before crossing safely. Since your objective is fitness, don’t combine it with other objectives, such as listening to music or carrying on a conversation on your mobile. They are a distraction and are high injury risks. Carry your ID with you, along with your mobile phone.
5. Scope out the route for your run
As you start running check out alternate routes and different timings, to determine the safest route and safest time for your run. You can look for zero traffic times, even running surfaces, fewer runners and joggers, safe zones and plenty of trees. You will be able to identify your running route after a few trial and practice runs.
Running is a pleasurable activity, allowing you to stay fit and lead a stress-free life. But, you have to take care of your safety by following the tips outlined above.