Running can be an excellent way to stay in shape, but only if you exercise basic safety. If you frequently run on roads that see a great deal of traffic, you should take extra care to make sure that you can be easily spotted by passing motorists.
It's unwise to rely on drivers to see you—you run the risk of experiencing devastating consequences if they fail to notice you. While they obviously would prefer not to hit you either, you're the one on foot, which means you're the one who's most at risk. When choosing your route, pay close attention to the quality of the street lighting in the area, especially if you choose to run in the early morning or after dark. Also, keep an eye out for blind curves, and stay well off to the side as you approach them. Whenever possible, steer clear of sidewalks with designated bike lanes—these can be too cramped to allow you to pass safely, and you don't want to end up in the middle of traffic.
Running isn't a fashion competition—it doesn't matter if you look ridiculous, as long as you're both comfortable and visible. In this sport, your choice of clothing can contribute greatly to your overall safety. Choose brightly colored tech shirts and socks that will help you stand out from the surrounding pavement. You might even want to invest in an illuminated garment, or at least a neon vest similar to the ones worn by road crews. For early morning and evening runs, wear an LED headlamp (also available in the camping sections of most sporting goods stores), and make sure you're always facing the oncoming traffic so the light will be clearly visible to the cars as they approach.
It might be a good idea to leave the earbuds at home when you're running. If you can't hear the cars approaching, you're relying too heavily on the chance that they'll be able to see you, and that's a risk that you should never take. If you feel that you're unable to run without music, keep only one earbud in or turn the volume down so that you can still hear the sound of your own breath.
While all drivers should keep an eye out for pedestrians, you can't be too careful in these situations. By following this advice, you'll reduce your risk of injury and be better able to focus on what's important—the workout itself.
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