Running at night

how safe is it?

21 to 37 of 37 messages
24/10/2012 at 15:29

One problem of running towards the traffic on an unlit road is that very few motorists bother to dip their headlights when they see you, so you have to close your eyes or look away.  If it's a fairly quiet road I tend to keep to the left, provided there is at least a bit of verge I can climb on to, as the headlight give quite a good advance warning of an approaching vehicle.  I also direct the beam of my headtorch towards the road so that there is some indication of my presence to an approaching car.  If no verge then I keep to the right apart from bends when I do as MattDA does.

24/10/2012 at 16:01

Ive been a high viz wearer for a few weeks now and to be fair definitely feel much more visible even if I cant actually tell because obviously I cant see myself from the oncoming car!

24/10/2012 at 16:09

Have you been run over less since wearing it?
I had a conversation with the local pub landlord last year, who said that I should wear a hi-viz top, as the problem with the little flashing led was that he had to slow right down before he could work out that I was a runner.
He couldn't understand why I might think that was good  

24/10/2012 at 16:13

Yes definitely run over less

 

24/10/2012 at 16:18
From a driving point of view - wear white or light coloured clothing from top to bottom and you will be more visible to drivers than hi viz top and black leggings/tights.

Flashing lights - well I hate them. By definition they are off half the time, distracting and harder to follow than a bright steady beam. How far does a runner/cyclist move when their flashing light is in the off phase - might seem like a fraction of a second but that could translate to a few metres and the difference between being seen or not seen. If you must use them always use a non flashing light as well.

Climbing down off my soap box now ...
24/10/2012 at 16:31

I agree that I hate flashing lights - I use my armbands on all the time. Mostly it's because I can't be doing with it, it'd drive me nuts, however I also know I don't like them when on the other side of the wheel.

However I don't really think there is much of an issue of movement during the off phase. Simple maths - 1609m per mile, and an averageish pace of 8 mins for the mile -  480s, would mean a runner at that pace covering only 3.35m per second. The lights flash much quicker than that so I'd suggest that movement in the off phase is going to be about a metre at most. Perhaps you move significantly quicker than me Katrina!

24/10/2012 at 16:34
Katrina O 2 wrote (see)
Flashing lights - well I hate them. By definition they are off half the time, distracting and harder to follow than a bright steady beam.

I find em distracting when I drive too, which is why I always use them when I cycle/run.  As a small (well not that small) bit of easily sqelched flesh I want something that keeps a driver fully occupied with me.

NB3
24/10/2012 at 16:47

Only thing I'm worried about is the cyclists who cycle on the pavements at night with no lights, nothing. I've seen a fair few station commuters do this near me and its really dangerous as the street lighting isn't great around here either.

24/10/2012 at 17:09
TimR wrote (see)

Run Wales wrote (see)

 

I don't concur with the childhood training to always walk (/run) on the right, to face  oncoming traffic. The purpose of that advice is surely only so you see from a distance, traffic that is going to pass closest to you. But for quiet country roads, you can hear it anyway.   In my opinion, this is safest practices for dark road running are... 

...

The point you have overlooked is about passing. If you are going in the same direction of the traffic it can be difficult for the cars to overtake you. If lots of cars come up behind you you either have to stop every time a car comes up or force them to slow right down until they can see far enough ahead to safely overtake.

If you go against the flow, the car, or you, can either stop, or move out and back in within a few feet, making passing much more easy.

You get a much better idea of where the car is and whether the driver has potentially seen you or not, by their positioning rather than waiting to hear the engine noise change and them slow down. 

I don't agree TBH... 

My bullet points said run on the right on straight roads. So there is only an issue when near right-handers, when I think it is much much safer to cross, for the reasons I gave.  And if a car is coming... then stop.

It takes drivers no longer to pass you if they're coming from behind you, with you on their left...  or if they are coming towards you with you on their left.  You aren't any wider!

24/10/2012 at 20:49
Well your childhood advice was wrong then. Stay on the right except on a bend when you should be on the outside of a bend.

You're not any wider, but on a narrow road you will be constantly stopping to let cars pass if there is traffic in both directions as the car coming behind you won't be able to move out to overtake. If you're on the right the car will slow right down and you can squeeze past each other. It's a lot safer than having a car come up and drive behind your knees looking for overtaking opportunities.

It all depends on how wide the road is and consequently how fast the cars are moving.
25/10/2012 at 15:27

Getting dazzled by full beam headlights is pretty disorientating. Fortunately most drivers dip their headlights as soon as they see me. I have found that when running downhill you can get dazzled by headlights from oncoming traffic no matter what the angle of the lights.

I really do appreciate the spring and summer months now.

25/10/2012 at 15:47

running at night is safe! I wear white shorts, lumo green shirt and if I know I'll be on roads with poor lighting, I have a reflective band with a red flashing LED.

 

However, the past 2 nights, every runner I've come across (around 7 so far) have all been in black with little to no reflective clothing to be seen!

 

Running at night is as safe or as dangerous as you make it IMO!

25/10/2012 at 16:30

I alternate cycling and runing in my commute, because I can secure my bike at work, so I cycle in, run home, then next day run in, cycle home. repeat.

At the moment i'm running in the dark most of both ways. I'll get a slight reprieve in the mornings from next week, when the clocks go back so it'll be lighter in the mornings for a few weeks, but generally I feel safer running in the morning. As discussed previously on a thread here, the thugs and ne'er do wells are not famed for their early starts, so are all tucked up in bed when i'm on my way to work, but they're out and about when i'm running home. Thankfully my route is well lit, extremely busy. I'm also a bit handy when I need to be, although I suspect that wouldn't be much help if leapt on by a bunch of teenagers :-\

cougie    pirate
25/10/2012 at 16:35

There was a bloke on here a few years back who swore blind about running with the flow of traffic. Nothing would sway him.  Er but I've not seen him around for ages.

The main advantage of being on the right is that you can see if a car has seen you. The amount of cars that you see in the daylight that drive too close to the car in front is shocking. If you can't see the driver of the car behind - they can't see you. Prepare to dive into the hedge !

 

25/10/2012 at 19:14

Have to say from experiance I've had less "near misses" when i set my head torch to flashing , a lot of drivers don't sem to react to a steady light, as Ian M says a flashing light distracts me when I'm driving which in my book translates to I've seen something.

 

26/10/2012 at 10:24

And that is why F1 drivers have a flashing red light during wet races. A flashing light gets more notice than a light that is permanently on.

Think about it, zebra crossings, amber lights on skips/traffic cones, police lights (extreme example I know), hazards, rail crossings etc etc.... Anything that needs attention flashes!

Edited: 26/10/2012 at 10:25
30/10/2012 at 12:41

Thanks for all your suggestions guys! my run went fine, im going again this wednesday


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