We’ve probably all heard about defensive driving. What about defensive running? If you run on the road you should “run smart” and “run defensively”. Don’t assume you are being seen and that you are safe. Your life can depend on it! Here are some tips for being smart and defensive and safe. When running on the road (not on a sidewalk):
1. Run FACING traffic, not with your back to traffic. See what’s coming. Just make sure you’re more alert to people pulling out of driveways or side streets as they may not be looking your way.
2. Be careful if you’re using headphones. Be able to hear cars, bikes, and people around you.
3. Wear reflective clothes and lights if you’re running at night.
4. Tell a trusted friend or family member what your plan is (what route, how long you expect to be gone, etc.)
5. Carry your cell phone with you in case you need help (e.g. get lost, get injured and can’t continue, have a negative encounter with someone who means harm). Use a live tracker and let someone you trust monitor your whereabouts.
6. Women especially need to be cautious (sorry to say). Consider running with a friend, know the area, be alert, don’t where a ponytail or long hair that can be pulled, carry pepper spray or some other form of defense.
7. A courtesy thing: use hand signals at an intersection to tell a driver when you are turning left or right instead of crossing the street in front of them.
Hope these will help you be safer out there! Chime in with your own suggestions!