Follow these tips to stay safe on your next run

When you get up for that morning run you may mentally plot out your route, take the time to stretch, grab your water bottle and sneak out the door without waking up your wife. You probably focus more on performance and time than you do on staying safe. Your neighborhood is fairly quiet, so you do not consider your routine run to be especially dangerous. However, it is important to remember that accidents happen every day and usually when we least expect them.

Whether you are running in the city of Columbus or the suburbs, there are steps you can take to keep yourself safe and decrease your chances of becoming the victim of a negligent driver. Read further for tips to protect yourself while running outside.

Leave a note

If you are sneaking out for an early morning run, be sure to at least leave a note identifying the area you will be in and the length of time you expect to be gone. This way, if something does happen, your family will know where to start looking for you.

Carry ID

Carry some kind of identification. A picture ID or a runner's bracelet containing your name and emergency contact information will help emergency responders render aid if you are in an accident that leaves you unconscious. In addition, carry your cellphone with your name and emergency contact information taped to the back of it.

Assume you won't be seen

Always assume that drivers will not see you, even if you think they are looking right at you. Most drivers are watching out for other vehicles, not for runners, cyclists or other individuals not incased in a metal box with four wheels. This means that you constantly have to stay on the defensive and be ready to react.

Run against the traffic

Be sure to run against traffic so that you can easily see approaching cars. This will provide you with more time to react if a vehicle does something that could result in an accident and also makes you more visible to drivers.

Wear appropriate gear

Be sure to wear brightly colored clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night. When running in poor light, wear a headlamp to alert traffic of your presence. Blinking red lights are often the most effective because drivers interpret these as indicators of danger.

Use your ears

While most people tend to run with their personal soundtracks blaring in their ears, this is actually very dangerous. You need to be able to hear vehicles approaching so that you do not pick the wrong time to cross the street or so that you are aware of impending danger. If you have to run with music, be sure to keep the volume low or only use one earbud.

Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you take, it is sometimes impossible to completely avoid an accident. If you have been the victim of a negligent driver and suffered injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

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