Increasing your safety if you walk or run after dark

Pedestrians are always in a vulnerable position when they are walking or running close to vehicle traffic.

Vulnerability increases after dark. However, there are steps you can take to make yourself safer as a runner or walker when you are out after the sun sets.

A little background

According to 2016 statistics the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put together, 5,987 pedestrians died as the result of vehicle crashes that year. In fact, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than the occupants of passenger vehicles to die in a traffic crash. Pedestrian safety is a major concern, especially since most pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas at night.

Safety measures

Most running or walking shoes have reflective material that will show up in a vehicle’s headlights. You can also purchase vests, running belts and wrist or ankle cuffs with reflective material. Increase your visibility with lights. Consider LED safety lights that you can attach to your shirt or waistband, great for walkers, runners or bikers. You can also wear a headlamp. Some are available with small lights in the rear. There are several models; choose one that is lightweight and comfortable but that provides sufficient light.

The proactive pedestrian

If you are out running or walking after dark, you want to remain especially alert to your surroundings. At night, pedestrians are often struck by vehicles when they are exactly where they should be and obeying traffic rules, such as using a crosswalk. Injuries to pedestrians are often devastating and may require extended hospital stays and rehabilitation. Doing all you can to ensure a safe run or walk is top priority when you are out after dark.

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