November is National Runners Safety Month. The days in the Pacific NW are getting short; the nights long – and wet. This calls for poor visibility on the roadways. And with the necessity of work that occupies most people’s day, many of us run early in the morning before work, or in the evening after work – in the dark.
Our friends at Brooks Running have put together a nice infographic and BROOKS mnemonic to help you out. It’s not so much runner’s not seeing that creates accident threat; more so, it’s runners who are not seen by motorists.
- Run during the daytime if possible
- Run with a partner
- Tell someone your planned route and time of return…and stick to it
- Run against traffic
- Run in a lit and well-populated pedestrian area, which Portland has numerous options:
- Run with mace pepper spray…it is legal in Oregon
- Run without music…or if music is a must, wear only one ear bud to keep it easier to hear your surroundings
- Wear a Road ID or carry another form of ID
- Run with your cell phone
- Be sure to have C.E. (In Case of Emergency) contacts set in your phone and turn on the Medical ID option for emergency contact access by fire and police
- We recommend a slim line waist belt phone carrier (uFashionC3, fitTek) or arm band (Senbor) strap. Do not carry it in your hand as this offsets normal efficient arm carriage during the running cycle as well as creates a habit to keep looking at your phone and increases the risk of tripping and distraction.
- Have your phones GPS turned on so you can be tracked
- If you have an advanced technology sport watch, many have an option to sync GPS tracking from the phone to a website and app to track your metrics. Give a trusted source access to this website or app in case it’s necessary to track your whereabouts.
- Don’t run the same route time after time
- Wear reflective gear and lights (see Be Seen below)
Products we recommend must be easy to don, low profile, fit snugly without being too tight, and need to be lightweight. Thanks to technological advances, there are numerous products that fit this bill.
Now you don’t need to go out and purchase all these items and run weighted down by all the gadgets as well as look like a lit up Christmas tree. But choose a few. Think top (head), middle (torso and arms) and bottom (legs) of the body. The top and middle afford options for most visible gear; but there is something to be said about reflective ankle bands not being missed when car lights reflect off them as a runner is grinding through their strides.
Our favorites include:
- Head lamp: MergerGo, Black Diamond Astro
- Vests: EvoLike kit (includes reflective wrist/ankle bands), Tracer360, Flytt2,
- Wrist/ankle bands: EvoLike, Seen,
Gear up and go run. Be Safe! Be Seen!