Many people run as part of their daily exercise routine. Not only is it great for your waistline, it’s also great for mental health, as it releases endorphins to the brain that help you stay happy and fight off depression. But as autumn approaches and days are getting darker faster, it’s a good idea to stay alert and follow some basic safety precautions while going out for your evening jog.
Jogging is usually safe, but there are still numerous things that can go wrong when running, especially at nighttime. For one, your visibility is reduced, so there’s a greater chance of a car accident, or you twisting your ankle because you didn’t see a pothole in the road. And female runners face a whole other world of problems. It’s always a good idea to be vigilant while out on a night jog because unfortunately, tragic things can still happen to a runner, especially a female one.
Last year, 27-year-old Google employee Vanessa Marcotte was killed when she went for a jog near her mother’s house. This horrific situation reminds us that female joggers can make easy targets for an attacker, especially at night.
How to Stay Safe on Your Nightly Run
In a perfect world, we could all go for jogs at any time of day and night and be safe. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and we all have to take precautions. The most important factor is staying safe.
Before you put on your running shoes and hit the pavement, keep in mind these basic safety tips that can help keep you protected on your evening jog:
- Don’t go jogging alone. Run with a trusted friend, or better yet, a group. There is power in numbers. You are far less likely to be mugged or assaulted if you’re with another person. And on the off chance that you trip or get hurt, you will be able to get medical assistance immediately instead of being stranded alone for possibly hours.
- Pick a safe route. Having a route you know and feel comfortable with is a good way to ensure your safety. Somewhere with plenty of people around and good lighting so you can avoid injuring yourself. At the same time, don’t stick to routine completely, as it is crucial to vary your route a little to ensure that nobody can track your schedule.
- If you have to jog at night, don’t do it in secluded or badly lit areas.
- Wear bright-colored clothing to ensure your visibility on the road to oncoming cars or bikes.
- Have your phone with you at all times in case you need to call the police or emergency services.
- Carry pepper spray with you when jogging.
- Beware jogging with a music player. Yes, it’s fun to run to music, but music detracts from your senses. If you’re jogging alone in the evening, you need your senses to be on high alert for anything suspicious. You want to be able to hear if someone is coming up behind you, if a car is driving nearby, or if a bike is trying to pass you. At the very least, keep one ear open to the sounds around you.
- Watch out for any wildlife. Staying on path and in well-populated areas will help ensure that you don’t run into any four-legged friends.
- Wear a headlamp. Sure, they’re not the sexiest fashion statement out there, but jogging is not a runway, and headlamps are great at making cars and other pedestrians notice you.
- Always tell someone where you are and what time you should be back. Don’t leave the house without someone knowing your whereabouts.
If you were injured due to an unsafe road, bad lighting, or because a reckless driver or bicyclist hit you, you might have a personal injury case. If you’ve been hurt, you’re probably suffering from stress, anxiety, and physical pain on top of having to pay your medical bills. At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., our NJ pedestrian injury attorneys are more than happy to meet with you and investigate what happened, and whether you are owed compensation from a negligent party.
Call us at (609) 240-0040. Your consultation is free, and if we take your case, we charge no fees until we get you a fair settlement or trial verdict.