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10 Safety Tips for Running in the Dark

Stay Safe When Running at Night or in the Morning

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Updated June 13, 2014

With busy schedules and limited hours of daylight, some runners find their only time to run is in the darkness of early morning or evening. Running in daylight is always a safer choice, but if you have to run at night or in the early morning, make sure to follow these guidelines.

1. Always Run Against Traffic

It's easier to avoid cars if you can see them coming. Avoid busy roads and those with no shoulders or sidewalks.

2. Choose a Well-lit Route

It might not be your favorite route to run, but the most well-lit route is your safest choice. Oncoming cars see you better, and you'll always be able to see the road and avoid potential hazards.

3. Be Visible

If you're running in the early morning or at night, even at dusk, wear white, yellow, or orange clothes. Also, make sure you have reflective gear on. Although some items (running shoes, jackets) already have reflective pieces on them, it doesn't hurt to add more. A headlamp is also a great item for runners who do a lot of early morning or evening runs.

4. Always Have Identification on You

Put your driver's license in your pocket or wear an ID tag on your shoe.

5. Vary Your Routes and Times

Potential attackers can study runners' routines and loom in a particularly dark or isolated area. Don't make yourself an easy target.

More: Where Should I Run?

6. Run with a buddy.

There's strength and safety in numbers. If possible, try to never run alone. If you're running alone, let someone know the route you're running and approximately how long you will be out.

More: How to Find a Running Group
How to Find Running Partners

7. Carry a cell phone.

You'll be able to contact police immediately if something happens to you or you notice anything out of the ordinary.

8. Watch out for bikes and runners.

Even if you're running on a path or in a park with no cars, always be aware of other runners and cyclists. Before you stop or turn around, make sure your path is clear. This advice applies to running in both daylight and darkness.

9. Ditch your music.

Make sure you leave your radio, MP3 player, or iPod at home. Cutting off your sense of hearing leaves you at a disadvantage. You can't hear oncoming cars, cyclists yelling to move, dogs, or any other potential threat.

More: Can I Run With Music?
Tips for Running Without Music

10. Follow your instincts.

If you feel that you're entering an unsafe situation, trust your gut and run to a safe location.

Also see: What's the Best Time of Day to Run?
Must-Have Gear for Winter Running
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