Running safety and everyday awareness that saves lives.

With darkness upon us early that multiplies the road hazards that already exist, this is article is an informative safety reminder.

Running Safety Rules and more

Most running safety rules are common sense, but there might be some you haven’t thought of that can save your life.

Consider the following:

  • Always carry identification. ID should state your name, phone number, blood type, and a contact number. RoadID sells shoe pockets and ID carriers on line or you can write the information on the inside sole of your running shoe.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back. Among the contacts listed in your cell phone, you should have your emergency contact information listed under ICE “In case of Emergency”; all police and EMO know to look here first.
  • It’s recommended not wearing headphones, but let’s face it – we like to run to music, so keep the volume low enough that you can hear your own footsteps hitting the ground. It is difficult to hear car horns, cyclists or a potential predator coming up behind you if the volume is too high.
  • Run against traffic. The best way to prevent an accident is to be able to see what’s coming. That means running against the flow of traffic! You would think all runners practice this, but I am amazed on how many don’t.
  • Be ALERT at all times and never ASSUME what a driver is going to do. Be vigilant of cars pulling out of driveways and side streets especially when running on sidewalks. ALWAYS assume they DO NOT SEE YOU and go BEHIND the vehicle.
  • If you run at night, make yourself visible. Wear light-colored clothing and invest in reflective tape, a reflective vest, or blinking light. I cringe every time I see a runner dressed in dark clothing, running with traffic on a rode with no shoulder!!
  • Don’t challenge cars to a race. If you and a car are both approaching an intersection, stop and let the car go first. (News flash: They’re faster than you…and a lot bigger!)
  • Run with others. This may be the easiest way to avoid problems altogether. Sharing the road with other runners is also a great way to stay motivated and enjoy the sport.
  • If you must run alone, NEVER run the same pattern. Mix up your course.
  • Make it a habit to always carry a $ 5 bill in case of emergencies such as: 1. You got lost or hurt and have to call a cab2. You need to buy a second bottle of water.
  • Carry a cell phone in case of an emergency!!! You can purchase cell phone holders specifically for running and for every type phone on line.
  • Women, please carry pepper spray. There are many types that are easy to carry for running. Avoid running alone in unpopulated, unfamiliar areas; avoid trails surrounded by heavy brush. Buy online and learn from a pepper spray instructor & police detective here.
  • Always trust your intuition. If you’re unsure about a person or a place, avoid it and use your cell phone to call police.
  • Don’t stop to give directions to strangers in cars if you are running alone. Don’t wear jewelry.
  • If a vicious dog crosses your path, slowly back away facing the animal. Do NOT show fear. Do NOT panic. Yell. Try to intimidate the animal. If you must, spray your pepper spray into the animal’s eyes, nose and mouth.

Everyday Safety Advice and Practices that may SAVE YOU LIFE, from a pepper spray instructor and a police detective.

  • Some good advice on the usage of pepper spray or mace is to hold it in your hand when walking to your car or to your front door late at night. A common error many women make is carrying it in their purse. Real crimes have shown that when a woman is attacked, the first thing she does is to hold her hands up to defend herself. In the process she DROPS HER PURSE. She can NOT REACH THE PEPPER SPRAY nor can she reach a cell phone, gun, knife, or anything else that might help her. You MUST have the can already in your hand, or in a pocket you can EASILY reach, but in your hand is best!
  • If you have to defend yourself, kick the attacker HARD. Low kicks are the most effective, especially to the groin, shins and knees. Use your weight when you kick the knee.
  • If you are approached and asked to hand over your wallet or purse, do not hand it to the robber – instead TOSS IT AWAY FROM YOURSELF. Chances are the thief will be more interested in your wallet/purse allowing you time to RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION.
  • Practice awareness when going to your car especially in parking
    garages and parking lots Predators often unexpectedly from the passenger side, so lock your doors as soon as you get in your car! If approached, push your panic button on the car remote!
  • The odds of being victim to a carjacking are fortunately on your side, but if you happen to find yourself with someone holding a gun to your head and telling you to drive, DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Repeat- DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything. You will wreck your car, but your airbags will save you. As soon as the car crashed, bail out and run. You have the advantage of element of surprise.

Watch for circumstances that play on your sympathetic nature:

  • Being bumped from behind on a dark, desolate road. Don’t get out of your car. Drive to a populated area or police station.

FYI – Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well-educated man who played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He’d walk with a cane or a limp and ask ‘for help’ into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

Dawn Ciccone is an accomplished athlete who has built her reputation on 30 years athleticism, integrity and honesty. An athletic coach, nutritional health counselor and motivational speaker, Dawn has has received numerous awards for her athletic performance, including 21 marathons and hundreds of races. but her greatest achievement is her comeback from a horrific tragedy that left her wheel chair bound.

To learn more about running and safety and everything in between go to You Certainly Can Run.