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Safety for Runners

Summary

Advice on keeping safe whilst out running

This article is owned by fetcheveryone

For many of us, running is an enjoyable way of keeping fit. But sadly, we must consider our personal safety - not everyone you meet while out running will be nice, and roads can be dangerous, particularly if the footpaths are poor.
*Road safety*
Of course, many of the ways of keeping safe are obvious - made sure you can be seen - all running shops sell reflective and flourescent clothing - buy some! The more visible you are, the less likely you will be involved in a car accident, and obey the highway code at all times! (See bottom of this article for the rules). However, do not expect other road users to obey the highway code - eternal vigilence is the price of your safety! Where you can't avoid running on the road, run so you face oncoming traffic.
If you listen to music whilst running, have the sound low enough to hear traffic and anyone approaching you, don't use headphones that block out outside sounds. Alternatively use only one earphone.
Jogging with head phones in , but at low volume or turned off off gives you a way to pretend you do not hear any "unpleasant public encouragement" ,which is also less likely to be offered .
*Protect yourself*
There are nasty people out there! Hopefully you'll never encounter any, but you should always tell someone(preferably someone who'll notice if you don't come home!) where you'll be running. Running with others is safer, if you don't know anyone in your area, consider joining a running club. Avoid running at pub closing time - people who are drunk are not always very pleasant. And keep to well lit areas.
It's always worth making sure that if going out on your own, you take some form of identification with you. A good cheap way of doing this is buying some CramTags (Link (roll over me to see where I go)) and putting one on each pair of shoes you run in, or buying a RoadID (Link (roll over me to see where I go)) from America. This means that if anything does happen despite following all the great advice above that any passer by, paramedic or doctor can find out who you are. It's also worth putting any known allergies or similar medical information on the identification to help assist any medical staff.
*Dealing with a crisis*
Keep a pound coin for that emergency call handy -- don't rely on your phone working, but take a fully charged mobile phone with you in case of emergency.
*Dogs.*
If a dog runs at you while you are out running and seems aggressive, stop running, cross your arms over your chest and don't look at the dog. It will soon lose interest in you, or it's owner will have repremanded it.
Though don't always expect it's owner to understand. Do bear in mind, there are laws to protect you: The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. It is the responsbility of the owner or the person in charge of the dog to keep their dog under proper control in a public place. Should a dog go for you, take down details of dog/owner/owner's car registration etc. and inform the Police. (If you've have you camera phone to hand, even better). Sometimes reminding the owner of the above is all that is necessary, but, if the owner turns nasty, don't allow yourself to be coaxed into an argument, get the details you need and get out of there.
Don't be alarmed though as the majority of dogs you'll encounter really just want to play with you- a runner is just something different to chase. Therefore, in these situations a firm "No" or "Stop" in a commanding voice usually does the trick, as the dog realises you don't want to play, gets bored rather quickly and moves on to the next best thing to chase after.
when approaching if you watch the dog , you can generally see it the dog is interested in you and have a chance to act , dependent lead length etc, . i find its best to catch the owners attention as you approach , to avoid
scaring the owner , which the dog will react too.
*The highway code lists the following rules for pedestrians:*
1: Pavements or footpaths should be used if provided. Where possible, avoid walking next to the kerb with your back to the traffic. If you have to step into the road, look both ways first.
2: If there is no pavement or footpath, walk on the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic. You should take extra care and
- be prepared to walk in single file, especially on narrow roads or in poor light
- keep close to the side of the road.
It may be safer to cross the road well before a sharp right-hand bend (so that oncoming traffic has a better chance of seeing you). Cross back after the bend.
3: Help other road users to see you. Wear or carry something light coloured, bright or fluorescent in poor daylight conditions. When it is dark, use reflective materials (e.g. armbands, sashes, waistcoats and jackets), which can be seen, by drivers using headlights, up to three times as far away as non-reflective materials.
4: Jogging on grass verges can be better for your joints and give you an extra distance to other members of public
which can avoid unwanted accidental collisions and the like.

Recent Updates User Comments
Aug 2012 thomas h some advise from my experienced .hopefully appropriate here
Oct 2006 Gasping 4 breath Dogs- more suggestions based on what's worked for me/ my friends.
Aug 2006 AddledAdder Added the one earphone option, and added the nice formatting for headlines (I hope)
Jul 2006 PamB reorganised
Jul 2006 Boab Added dog section
Jul 2006 Dochart Highway code rules for pedestrians
Jul 2006 Colinzealuk Expanded out the ID section
Jul 2006 KatieB music...good to run with but be careful
Jul 2006 fetcheveryone Article created

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