Tips For Runners & Walkers Safety
Before You Leave:
- Plan your outing.
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
- Tell friends and family of your favorite exercise routes.
- Know where telephones are located along the course.
- Wear an identification tag or carry a driver's license. If you don't have a place to carry your ID, write your name, phone number and blood type on the inside of your athletic shoe. Include any medical information.
- Don't wear jewelry or carry cash.
- Wear reflective material.
On The Road:
- Tell a family member or friend where you are going and the time you expect to be back.
- Stay alert at all times. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.
- Run or walk with a partner or a dog.
- Don't wear headsets. If you wear them you won't hear an approaching car or attacker. Listen to your surroundings.
- Consider carrying a cellular phone.
- Exercise in familiar areas.
- Know which businesses or stores are open.
- Vary your route.
- Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets and overgrown trails. Especially avoid poorly lighted areas at night.
- Run clear of parked cars or bushes.
- Ignore verbal harassment. Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
- Run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles.
- Trust your intuition about a person or an area. React based on that intuition and avoid areas you feel unsure about.
- Be careful if anyone in a car asks you for directions; if you answer, keep at least a full arm's length from the car.
- If you think you are being followed, change direction and head for open stores, theaters or a lighted house.
- Have your door key ready before you reach your home.
- Call the police immediately if something happens to you or someone else, or if you notice anyone out of the ordinary. It is also a good idea to check with police about any criminal activity in the area you plan to run.
Sometimes runners and walkers get lulled into a "zone" where they are so focused on their exercise they lose track of what's going on around them. This state can make runners and walkers more vulnerable to attacks. Walk and run with confidence and purpose. If you get bored running without music, practice identifying characteristics of strangers and memorizing license tags to keep you from "zoning out".