14 Jul 5 Reasons An Accident Can Happen While Running
Running is highly beneficial for your overall health. Not to mention how fulfilling, exciting, and rewarding this activity can be.
But it could also be unsafe if precautions are not taken while on the road. Running in urban areas have risks that we usually overlook, or somehow tend to minimize.
Statistics show that approximately 122,000 runners get hit by cars on a yearly basis, forcing unexpected visits to the hospital. Statistics which don’t include the percentage of runners who are also involved in traffic accidents but only resulting in minor injuries.
Pavement or sidewalk?
Most runners will favor the first option, but it really comes down to common sense (sidewalk impact is not much greater than pavement in case this is the argument).
If pavement is the preferred option, these are 5 reasons why accidents can happen while running near traffic:
1. You are not watching
Running with the traffic flow is definitely not a good practice, in fact, is the option with the highest risk of becoming a statistic. You have minimal control and visibility of your surroundings. On the other hand, running against traffic flow is a safer choice, it could even be considered ‘defensive-running’. When you run against traffic you have a greater awareness of possible incoming distracted drivers, allowing you to make quicker decisions in case you need to ‘reposition’ yourself.
Of course, bad things can happen no matter how prepared we are.
The reason being, you are not watching.
You should always be on the lookout, not just knowing what’s right in front of you, but running with an absolute awareness of your environment is critical.
Remember, danger comes mainly from distracted drivers.
2. You are not listening
Another big mistake runners should avoid, specially newcomers, is running with headphones. Experts agree runners should never wear headphones while running with traffic, because you unconsciously isolate yourself from everything around you, including cars.
Headphones also cause inattentional blindness, which happens when you are unable to perceive unexpected objects even when they appear right in front of you. This is due to a fragmentation of your awareness levels that happens when listening to music with headphones, which affects the cognitive function of seeing moving objects as they get closer to you.
**In case you still need the stimulation and motivation from music, you can try the AfterShokz Headphones. These headphones are built with ‘bone conduction’ technology, delivering situational awareness (a must for runners). They provide the ultimate open ear listening experience to stay aware while on the road. These headphones are perfect for runners.
3. You are not visible
Sometimes not being visible enough is the main reason why runners get into accidents on the road. Wearing clothing and accessories with vibrant colors will improve your experience by making it easier to be spotted by drivers, consequently minimizing all potential risks.
Regarding low-light running, wearing colorful and reflective clothing, plus a headlamp, should be the norm. Low-light running is specially important to mention as morning/night runners face higher risks, based on drivers lower visibility.
MAKE YOURSELF AS VISIBLE AS POSSIBLE.
Need better visibility while on the road? The Biolite Headlamp can be of great help on low-light running. It has a max Output of 330 Lumen to keep things highly visible in front of you. Fits perfectly on your forehead, no bounce or slippage, and a moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry. This Biolite Rechargeable LED Headlamp is the perfect headlamp for any runner.
To get fully noticed even at greater distances, this Tracer360 Reflective Vest will let you be seen by drivers right on the spot. It provides high visibility thanks to its fluorescence effect, maximizing alert signs to distracted drivers. Its unique shape and LED lights guarantees a larger visibility area, making you visible from over a quarter of a mile in all directions. It is fully adjustable, lightweight, and comfortable too.
4. You are too close to danger
Running on busy roads, crossing multiple traffic lights, all these scenarios increase the possibilities of accidents happening. If possible, take the time to find better locations to run in the first place. Just by getting away from high-traffic areas will reduce almost all chances of unfortunate events happening.
Running on the road? It’s always better to do it while running against traffic flow, as mentioned before. Stay alert and aware of what’s in front of you.
Making several traffic lights crosses? Make sure the road is clear before you go, also look behind every other car approaching.
GET FULL CLEARANCE BEFORE YOU GO.
Running on busy streets? If possible, try avoiding them. Running in parks or any other open spaces designed for recreational activities is always safer.
5. You are a solo runner
While many people prefer to run with groups, many others will enjoy running in solitude. If you choose to run on your own, be sure you’re fully aware while making every decision.
Running groups are significantly more visible on the road, group participants can share their personal awareness with others by acknowledging possible threats or risks on their path/route.
Running solo means that awareness and alertness relies in one person. If you are running by yourself, you mus take all precautions to a higher degree.
Other tips for solo running:
Avoid isolated places ⇒ Even small injuries can become a bigger risk if no one is around to provide assistance.
Stay connected ⇒ Make sure means of communication are always available and do not go out running with batteries running low. This Ultra portable Anker Powercore Charger is all you need. It will help ensure you don’t run out of battery on the road
ID ⇒ Do not go out on the road without any form of ID. This is critical is something happens, you can be easily identified so better and faster decisions can be taken around any situation.
Avoid low light running ⇒ Besides being in a place with overall lower visibility, being alone on the road reduces your chances of being spotted by those in motor-vehicles. MAKE YOURSELF AS VISIBLE AS POSSIBLE.