Fall is upon us once again and the amount of daylight hours has dramatically decreased. Being out in the dark can be hazardous to runners and walkers, so we put together a list of some essential gear to help you to see and be seen at night.
1. Light Source: Having a light is important for a number of reasons--a light will not only make you much more visible to traffic, but just as important you will be able to see the path in front of you. Many accidents at night are often simply falls from not being able to see an uneven sidewalk or pothole, which can easily be avoided by simply carrying a light of some type. Obviously we are partial to Knuckle Lights, but Headlamps and Flashlights are other options.
2. Safety Blinkers: Safety blinkers, or similar type of gear, will assure that traffic sees you on those dark mornings or late nights. Most blinkers have multiple flashing options to suit your preference, but the faster the blinking, the more noticeable to passing traffic. There is no shortage of options for safety blinkers to choose, from the traditional clip on blinkers, to light-up arm bands--even lights that clip on to the heels or your shoes.
3. Reflective Vest: There are even more options when it comes to reflective safety vests, there is an endless number of types and options available, but having something that covers your upper torso is the best way to assure you are noticed and recognizable as a human figure while running or walking at night. We are particularly partial to the Road Noise safety vest because not only is it a stylish looking reflective vest, it also has built in speakers on the shoulders so that you can listen to your tunes without headphones--another important part of being safe running or walking in the dark is being able to hear your surroundings.
4. Identification: Okay, so hopefully nothing happens while you are out training at night, but regardless of the time of day it is certainly important to take precautions, and having some type of identification on you in case of an emergency is critical. Road ID is a great option, or simply carry your driver's license in your pocket that has your address on it. If you run with your cell phone, perhaps just a label on the back of your phone with your name and an emergency phone number to call in an emergency.
5. Reflective Clothing or Tape: If you have a reflective vest that should cover it, otherwise there is tons of reflective clothing available from all the big brands (lots of cool smaller brands out there too with some great safety products). A really neat new trend is reflective tape, that you can apply yourself to any of your clothing, making your entire wardrobe potentially reflective. Going one step further is spray-on, or roll-on reflective material that can be applied directly to your skin. Pretty cool stuff, and we say whatever makes you more visible to traffic is a good thing.
Keep safe, be seen, and see your path. Often as runners we feel safe and that as long as we know where we are on the street, we can avoid hazards, but tragedy can happen in an instant. Think of the people that love and care about you, they want you to be safe and adding a few simple pieces of safety gear while you are out in the dark isn't much to ask and simply makes sense!
Stay safe, be seen, and Own The Night!