Running & Walking Safety | Winter Running Tips

Nighttime & Winter Running

Night Running Safety Tips

Scientists who study vision say a few interventions can help keep commuters and exercisers safe on winter nights.

1. Light up your joints: Add reflective stripes on your ankles, knees, wrists, elbows. Put together, they spell biological motion and tell drivers you are a moving person, not a stationary object. Our brains are skilled at making sense of bright spots on a moving body. According to a Boston Globe article:

“The brain interprets a dozen strategically placed strips of light on our arms and legs as a body in motion. Those signals — like constellations come to life — can be light from reflective tape on our moving ankles, amber reflectors on bicycle pedals, armbands on swinging wrists and elbows, or stripes on pumping knees.”

2. Mix it up: Reflective gear works only when lights shine directly on it. Use reflectors on many sides: bicycle spokes, running shoes, gloves, backpacks.

3. Don’t put all your faith in lights: Flashing lights are better than nothing but not sufficient by themselves.

4. Assume drivers just can’t see you: Make eye contact whenever you can, especially at intersections.