Safety TIps from SAR

Randy Accetta December 11, 2011

As we hit full-on winter darkness, it’s a good time to practice some safety tips. Do you have any other tips?  Post them to the page.

Report to the Police —Report any threatening behavior to the police.  If you feel threatened, bothered, or harassed in any way, call 911 and report the incident to the police.

Bring a Phone – If running alone, especially in the dark, bring your phone so that you have the ability to call 911.

Head for Safety – In the event that you feel threatened, head for the nearest safe space, such as another person, a store, a house, or a crowded intersection.  Make noise and be clear about your needs. 

Avoid Headphones—Headphones are dangerous because they block out all local sounds. Resist the urge to wear headphones while doing any running unless it is in a gym or on a treadmill. If you must wear headphones, wear them in only one ear and with the volume lower.

Run Facing Traffic—When running on the road, you are just like a pedestrian: You should run or walk facing traffic and off the street when possible.  Be careful of traffic pulling out from side streets, as drivers rarely look right when pulling into the first lane of traffic. 

Follow the Rules of the Path – When running on a multi-use path, follow the rules established for that path.  As a runner, you are probably the most nimble, so keep an eye for bikes and those who cannot move quickly, Be respectful of the needs of others.

Cross at Crosswalks—You have the right of way when you are in a crosswalk, but many drivers are watching automobile traffic and not pedestrians. 

Be Bright at Night—Wear white or reflective clothing so that drivers, cyclists, and others can see you.  Running specialty shops sell reflective armbands with blinking lights that are effective for being seen at night or in the early morning hours.

Be Aware – Check your surroundings while running.  Use your peripheral vision and your ears to know what is going on in the area within 30 to 50 feet of you. 

Vary Your Routes - Avoid the habit of being at the same place on your run at the same time in any given week. Change the time you run and the course you follow weekly.

Recruit a Running Partner - In addition to there being safety in numbers, having a running buddy will help you to stay focused on your goals and will provide support for your new endeavor. 

Run with Your Dog - Running is also great exercise for your true best friend and could make a predator the prey. 

Join a Running Group - In addition to being a fun and social way to get into the sport, exercising with a group is the safest way to go. 

Wear ID—Wear an identification tag on your shoe or somewhere on your clothing that includes vital information such as name, address, emergency contact info, primary doctor, and insurance information.

Tell Someone—Let someone in your household know where you’re headed—which direction you’re going and the length of time you expect to be out.

The Southern Arizona Roadrunners is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting health and fitness in Tucson and Southern Arizona through running and walking.

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