Taking extra safety precautions when running in the dark can help ensure that you will return home safely. Sometimes we have no choice but to run in the dark, such as during the winter when it is dark late into the morning and early into the night, or during the summer when we want to avoid running in the extreme heat. No matter whether you are an early morning or evening runner, if you are running in the dark, there are some precautions you should take.
Wear light colors and reflective clothing. Good colors to wear in the dark are white, orange or yellow. It's also a good idea to invest in reflective gear, such as a vest. Some items such as running shoes and jackets come with reflective pieces on them, but you can never wear too much. Running with a headlamp will not only help other people see you, but also illuminates your route.
Leave your iPod at home. If you must listen to music, turn it down very low so that you can hear cars, cyclists, dogs or people approaching you.
Always carry your ID. If you don't want to carry your driver's license with you, a good investment is a Road ID tag. Simply attach it to your shoe and you won't have to remember your ID before you leave the house.
Run with a friend, especially if you are a woman. Sadly, women have to be a bit more concerned about safety, and there is safety in numbers. Get a group of women together to run with, or find a local running group in your area to join. If you must run alone, tell someone the route you are running and approximately how long you will be gone.
Avoid busy roads and those with no shoulders or sidewalks. If you are running on a road, make sure you always stay on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, find another street to run on that has one. Also, if you are running on a road, run against traffic. It is easier to avoid cars if you can see them coming.
Carry a cell phone in case you need to contact the police.
More: Tips for Night Running
Consider varying your running routes and times. Potential attackers can study a runner's routines and loom in a particularly dark or isolated area. Don't make yourself an easy target. Also, regardless of whether it is light or dark outside, don't post your route publicly on social media sites. Even if your profile is set to "private," you never know who could be accessing your pages. If you want to brag about your route or how far you ran on Facebook or Twitter, for instance, do so when you get home from the run and don't specify your exact route.
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