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Staying Visible While Running*

Subscribe to BriefingRunning is one of the best activities for staying in shape and reducing your chances of cardiovascular disease. While it’s always ideal to run on a designated jogging path, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid motorists. If you’ll be running in a busy area, here are some top ways to stay visible and ensure everyone on the road sees you.

Tip #1: Dress According to the Time of Day

You may think that it doesn’t matter what you wear while running in the day, but florescent colors are much easier to see than your standard attire. Lime green, bright yellow, and orange are all very easy to see from afar. But what if you’re running at night? It actually doesn’t really matter what color you’re wearing at night, so long as you have something that’s reflective. That way you’ll stand out against a car’s headlights.

Tip #2: Carry a Flashlight

Speaking of visibility, you should always have a light source on hand if you’re running at night. This not only makes it much easier for motorists to see you from a distance, but you’ll also be able to see the path ahead of you. Uneven sidewalks are the top reason for injury among pedestrians, and you’re much more likely to roll an ankle at night when your vision is impaired. If you’d rather run hands free, consider purchasing an inexpensive headlight.

Tip #3: Run Against Traffic

It’s no mystery why sidewalks are so dangerous—they were not designed for runners due to cracks and uneven surfaces. You’re often safer just running on the street, but always be sure to run against traffic. When you run against traffic you give yourself an extra couple of seconds to dive out of the way when a reckless motorist approaches. If you run with traffic, your back will be turned to any potential hazards.

Tip #4: When Running in the Road, Obey Traffic Laws

It’s always safer to follow every traffic law motorists are obligated to obey, particularly when it comes to stop lights and top signs. You’re astronomically smaller than another vehicle, so motorists will have a much more challenging time picking you out against a typical city background, especially if you’re running a red light or not stopping at a stop sign.

Tip #5: Run in a Group!

Two runners are always more visible than one, and when you run in a larger group you basically command the streets. You’ll be much easier to see from afar and motorists (should) give you more space, but just be sure to not run more than two abreast, otherwise you may become a road hog.

Running with a friend has benefits aside from just increased visibility. Numerous studies have shown that when you have an exercise buddy you are more likely to stick to your running plans, more likely to run farther, and more likely to run faster than you would on your own.

*This article was created Personal Injury Help (, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only.

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