10 After Dark Safety Tips
Now that the clocks have gone back, our evenings are darker and many of us will now run in the dark. It’s time to take safety even more seriously. We’re sure you think about training, technique, kit and nutrition. But what about running safety? Take a look at our ten top tips (and if you’re not doing any of them – start now!)
1. Get Road ID
Carry your name, medical details and an emergency contact name and number (at the very least) in a pocket, tied to your shoelaces, or in a wristband whenever you head out for a run. No excuses! There are ready-made tags and devices on the market, or you can make your own.
2. Tell Someone Where You’re Going
Make sure your significant other, neighbour or someone close to you knows where your running route will take you and when you can be expected home.
3. Update Your Kit
Now’s the time for a bit of shopping! On your list: reflective bits of kit, bright colours, kit with fluorescent or reflective piping and panels, and perhaps even a small light designed for runners (white to the front, red to the back).
4. Don’t Run In Dark Colours
It’s obvious, but worth saying (we still see runners heading out in poor light dressed entirely in blacks and greys). Don’t underestimate how difficult it is to see a lone runner in the dark. Make it as easy as possible for motorists and other road users to see you.
5. Stay Alert
Your safety whilst out running is your responsibility, so make sure you are on the alert for cars, cyclists, dog walkers, other roads users, and vehicles coming out of hidden driveways and exits.
6. Ditch The Distractions
It’s not a good idea to run wearing headphones (or looking at your phone – yes, we see people doing this!) in the dark or in poor light conditions. Stay extra safe whilst running at this time of year. You need all your senses to protect you against potential risks.
7. Never Assume
No matter how bright your kit, how much reflective piping it has, or how alert you are, don’t assume that road users have seen you. In fact, we always think it’s best to work on the assumption that they haven’t (or that they are distracted).
8 What Would You Do?
Do you know what you’d do if you or your training partner fell and sustained an injury? Or if you got lost in the dark (it does happen!) Brush up on your first aid knowledge, make sure you have emergency contact numbers to hand, and carry some money in case you find yourself somewhere with poor mobile network.
9. Don’t Take Risks
Now is not the time to spontaneously head off down a new running route, or to take a short cut down an alleyway, or to quickly nip down a rural footpath just as dusk is falling. Don’t take any extra risks out running at this time of year.
10. Assess The Conditions
Take extra care at this time of year to assess weather and road conditions. There’s a lot for runners to contend with: sudden darker evenings, along with weather changes, leaves and branches underfoot, puddles and potholes.