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November 2006
March 2006

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Charles’ Corner

Thoughts on Running, Walking or Biking after Dark
In response to the recent tragic death of a prominent local runner, I would like to share some of my ideas about running after dark or in the early morning. Some suggestions apply to all outdoor running; others are specific to running in the dark. This means to be alert at all times. So:
  • Leave the ipod at home. At night hearing is even more important than it is in the daylight. Run in low traffic areas like residential neighborhoods.

  • While reflective material on vests, shoes, jackets etc. is very important, it is much more important that you see the cars than that they see you. A driver can see you and still hit you if they are distracted by a cell phone call or are intoxicated. But, if you see the car, you can take action to avoid being hit.Stay off of busy streets after dark.

  • Know your route. Run the route in the daylight first so you will be aware of potholes and other obstructions.

  • Crossing streets at crosswalks can be more dangerous if runners feel safer having the legal right-of-way. Decide for yourself where to cross but be on heightened alert.

  • If you feel that you may be in danger or you cannot make eye contact with a driver who is in your vicinity, stop running and step away from the road.

  • If you run alone at night, let someone know where you are and check in when you return.

  • Be careful. Don’t zone out when you run. Your safety is in your own hands.