Nighttime Safety Tips for New Runners & Cyclists
Everybody has their own time to work out, usually it is by day. But if you are busy at work or someplace else, after sundown might be the only time you are able to squeeze in an exercise. Especially in the summer, people like to run at night because the temperatures are lower and it makes it that more bearable. But night runners and bikers should take extra precaution since the visibility is low and the approaching cars might not see them. Here are some helpful nighttime safety tips on how to be more visible at night and avoid an accident.
Turn down the music
Most people like to listen to some tunes while they exercise, but at night, that might not be very smart. Consider putting only one earpiece in. This will allow you to listen to your favorite music, but it will also let you hear what is going on around you. You should be able to hear any approaching traffic or a vehicle behind you. Plugging in both your ears to music would diminish your chances of hearing a car approaching and could end your run in a catastrophe.
The buddy system
Day or night, it is always more fun to bring along a partner, somebody to run with. Having somebody besides you on the run will prevent many dangers that could potentially happen. The buddy system is especially good for night runners. Besides having someone to work out and make it more fun, you will also add safety when there is two of you. If you don’t have anyone close to you, you can find some organized group training runs. Or at least let somebody know that you are going for a run and when you will be returning.
Make yourself visible
Running stores have clothes made with the light-colored reflective material, which will make you more visible than if you were running in your everyday clothes. This kind of clothes lights up when the headlights are pointed at them. Shirts are the most common part of clothes made from these materials, but you can also find pants, shorts or leggings made of fabric that lights up. If you don’t have a sports shop nearby you could do it yourself. Just take some reflective gear tape it on your regular running clothes and make yourself more visible to passing vehicles.
Changing your usual route
If you are riding your bike at night, you should also be very careful. You could go down the dark road while being well lit and visible, so any nearby vehicles can see you. Or you could simply go down the well-lit road if you don’t have any reflective clothes on you. The street that has lights will let you see any hazards on the road, like potholes or cracks in the road for example. It might be wise to go on a well-known path, which you have seen during the day and you are familiar with already.
Always be on alert
Another of the great nighttime safety tips is, for a cyclist who rides at night, is to be on high alert. During the day when you are very visible, it is still hectic to ride a bike in traffic, and you have to watch out because sometimes drivers simply don’t see you. You have to assume that at night too. Be very careful when crossing intersections.
With these nighttime safety tips in mind, you will be safer while running or cycling at night. You should do everything you can so you minimize your risk while exercising at night, drivers sometimes just look through you and it is up to you to protect yourself.