Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Be Safe - Be Seen!

Have you ever been driving to work in the morning or heading home around dusk and narrowly missed hitting a walker or runner you just couldn’t see until you were right on top of them?  It instantly makes your heart race.  As the days get shorter, more and more athletes are taking to the streets in the dark, and I get so excited to see people out taking care of their health.  But I am constantly surprised at how many are out with no illumination or reflective running gear.  Don’t be that pedestrian!!

Each year, over 122,000 runners, walkers, and cyclists are hit by cars.  To limit your chances of joining their ranks, do what you can to make yourself more visible to motorists.  The best way to accomplish this is with reflective gear, from vests to wristbands to clip-on LED lights.  These items are especially critical during the fall and winter months when pedestrian accidents are at their highest volume, as reflective apparel and accessories can add up to several hundred feet to visibility.  Reflective gear is more than just bright-colored clothing; it includes clothing and accessories with reflective patches that actually illuminate when light (like car headlights) is shone on them.
My personal favorite piece of reflective gear is the New Balance Tri-Viz Cap, which we sell at the store.  Not only is it highly reflective, but it also has built in LED lights in the brim to light the path ahead of you.  It’s seriously great because it helps you be seen, and it also does a wonderful job of allowing you to see where you are going and improve your footing in the dark.  No more carrying a flashlight with you on your runs!
Other best practices to keep yourself safe include running with iPods on low volume (so you can hear traffic) and running on the left side of the road, facing traffic. You are much more able to act quickly to avoid an oncoming motorist if you can see or hear them approaching.

Tri-State Running Company heavility promotes visibility and advocates safety awareness in our community.  I cannot stress the importance of reflective apparel and accessories enough if you are going to be exercising outdoors early in the morning or later in the evening, when light is limited.  Stop by the store to learn more about the reflective gear we carry and try out a head lamp, reflective hat, clip-on LED light, or any of our new fall/winter apparel with built-in reflectors.  The more reflective gear you wear, the more likely it is that drivers will spot you.  We hope to see you staying safe on the roads this winter!

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