by Erik Stanley
Daylight savings is upon us, and chances are that most of your runs will be happening before the sun rises, or after it sets. Here are a few important tips to keep you safe while running in the dark.
First of all, don’t ever think cars are watching out for you. Running against traffic and reflective clothing are both important, and LED blinky lights are even better. Aim for all of the above!
Picture this: you find yourself in the middle of a workout and you are haulin’ ass down the street. You see a car pulling up to exit a parking lot and in your mind you think, “of course he sees me, I am running!” Not true. People get hit all the time this way and we have friends that are killed by cars each year here in Austin. It is worth the wait to make sure it is safe to cross!
Running against traffic ensures that you can always see what is coming your way while running. If a car veers into the sidewalk you have a better chance of being able to react and move to a safe spot. This can be a challenge on winding roads, but still safer than having cars at your back! And of course, do your best to avoid busy roads during rush hour. As I know from experience, Redbud is not a safe road to run at 6pm!
Most importantly, make yourself visible. Rogue Running carries plenty of options to help make you more visible and safer while running in the dark. Reflective clothing is a must, but also having a light or blinking band can increase your visibility, especially at places like the Town Lake Trail where there aren’t many lights to reflect off of your reflective gear.
The following are some of the great options we’ve got this year:
This is a snug nylon vest that can be worn over any base layer or tech tee. It offers 360 degree visibility and doesn’t make you feel like you’re wearing a crossing guard outfit.
This is a lit up band that offers full visibility and is water resistant. This gives ¼ mile visibility and can be worn on your skin or over tights or shirts. This is also great for walking your pets at night! Nightbeam also offers a hat with front LED lights and rear flashing red LED lights for ¼ mile visibility as well.
Headlamps give you visibility and show you where to run. Don’t like stepping in potholes? Want to make sure you are not hit by a bike or runner on the trail? This is your answer. Rogue carries Petzl Tikka and Tikk XP. The Tikka XP offers a lense that will disperse the light instead of acting as a spotlight. This is what I recommend for my trail runners. It also offers a red LED flash option.
This can be clipped on to your hat or shorts to help light your path. This is not going to be as bright at the Petzl, but at a lower price point it may be plenty for the majority of the roads in our area.