Running at night

how safe is it?

1 to 20 of 36 messages
21/10/2012 at 19:26

Hi guys,  the dark nights (not batman!) are upon us and as a im trying for a marathon next year, Im a little bit concerned about running in the dark, i have a high viz jacket and a head torch but im a little worried still about the risk of car users not seing me on country lanes etc. i would run on the street lit roads but they are not practical at all as they are seperated by very busy roads, has anybody got any advise?

21/10/2012 at 19:33

It's always going to be riskier in the dark than the light, so all you can do is minimise risk.

Hi viz and head torch are good, but something reflective/flashing as well would be ideal.

The other thing to bear in mind is to give any car drivers extra time to react. PRESUME that they haven't seen you, and don't try and cross anywhere until they've stopped. Even on zebra crossings wearing all the above half will still just shoot over.

For country roads, running towards oncoming traffic is the safest, unless it's round a sharp bend.

21/10/2012 at 19:38

ive seen a few red flashing lights that clip onto clothing on amazon, there under a tenner so I might try one

21/10/2012 at 19:53
I run on country lanes too, I feel a lot safer because I can see cars coming from miles away and take appropriate action.
Dark Vader    pirate
21/10/2012 at 19:57

I use a proper hi-viz vest like you see on a construction site...  you can be seen a long distance away... its cost about £4..!   Do anything to see and be seen....

 

21/10/2012 at 20:43

I run on country lanes and agree with everything others have said, when running into a bend I always push myself out into the middle of the road so any cars coming around the bend see you (and you see them that little bit earlier). The other thing that I have found helps is if your head torch has a "Flashing" settting use that when running on Country lanes, it doesn't really hinder what you can see but in my experiance definately increases the chances of oncoming cars actually registering the fact you're there.

 

21/10/2012 at 22:42

I agree completely with head torch, reflective and flashing red lights. I also carry a small handtorch and remember to close one eye whena vehicle approaches from the front so you can still see with one eye after it passes. Oh, and don't look the driver in the eye - you will temprarily blind them! (It is almost three miles to the nearset lit road for me)

21/10/2012 at 22:44
If you're already on lanes I'd turn off onto footpaths, bridleways, etc. if you're worried about traffic, and get good gear to suit, e.g. Good headlamp, shoes that'll handle mud and trails, maybe a gps, and a heart rate monitor so that you can do sessions primarily by effort rather than distance.
22/10/2012 at 13:51

I regulary run on country lanes, woods and fields at night. 
The only noticable difference at night is the beast is awake and hungry, but if you don't disturb it you'll be perfectly safe.
 

22/10/2012 at 14:32

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...

  • on straight roads, run on the right. .
  • if there is any sort of right hand bend, then cross over. You'll hear cars coming from behind you, and if there's any difficulty with that (e.g. other noise) then stop or walk, keeping an eye behind you). 
  • If you stay on the right, round a right-hander, there are so many boy-racers (and not-so-boyish racers) who treat those roads like rally tracks, and take corners at pace, their wheels hugging the grass verge. 
  • ALWAYS stop for cars on narrow lanes.... even if there is plenty of room for a car to go past.  This is not a time for going for PBs. Be patient.
  • I got 4 of those flashing LED arm / leg bands - they're great. To complement the other high viz stuff.
  • If you used one of those super-bright LED head torches, designed for off road, then turn them down when on the road. They are VERY dazzling for drivers.  Impolite at best... but pretty bad if they run into you because they're being blinded!

 

22/10/2012 at 16:51

thanks for the advice guys, im actually really looking forward to it now. ive got a petzl myo to try out and im going with a friend aswell.  I bet i sound like a big wimp but its completley new to me

23/10/2012 at 01:20
Dark Vader wrote (see)

I use a proper hi-viz vest like you see on a construction site...  you can be seen a long distance away... its cost about £4..!   Do anything to see and be seen....

Yup, I got myself one of those, less than 2 quid on eBay. I got a childs size large as the adult ones are made for wearing over big bulky jackets and are just huge.

If you're looking for clip-on flashing lights, don't spend a fortune. ALDI have got running/cycling kit in stock right now - two flashing LED lights (one red one white) on elastic loops that can be pinned onto jackets etc for just 3 quid. Total bargain. They often have the flashing reflective armbands as well.

23/10/2012 at 06:22

Watch out for dog walkers, especially those who use extendable leads, you think you are running between owner & dog and end up with your face on the tarmac.

23/10/2012 at 06:58
I bloody hate them extendable leads. Pain in the arse they are especially if theres a case of small dog syndrome.

Run wales- thats a good point on the way to take corners. I've often noticed that it would be a bit stupid to run round a right hand bend to be confronted with a 1+ton lump of metal going up to 60mph. Because I swear as you say the counrty roads are a race track to drivers.
I think I would advise anyone running to:
A) run like all drivers are completely blind an haven't seen you at all. Regardless of how much hi viz you got.
And
B) run like you yours self are deaf so allways look rather than assume you've heard the traffic, some cars are pretty qiute i've found.
23/10/2012 at 12:06

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. 

23/10/2012 at 15:46

For lanes I ditch the headtorch.

I've got some reflective armbands with red LEDs on them from Lidl - only a few quid for 4, and they are great.

23/10/2012 at 19:44

Just be careful you don't do what I did last Tuesday night and fall of a kerb in the dark whilst doing a run I've done dozens of times before.

I'm now sat here with my feet up, instead of out on one of my last training runs before my first marathon this weekend...... .

I won't be running at night again, even around well lit streets, without a torch as there's always a few places where it's too dark to see the kerb.

23/10/2012 at 21:45

you should be safe with one of these

 

24/10/2012 at 07:56

The only thing I'd add is that there's way less traffic to worry about at 5 in the morning, than there is in the evening. I run in country lanes too and can quite often get a 6 miler done, starting at 5am and not see a single vehicle. Obviously I still have headtorch and hi viz jacket.

And runwales is right, don't just run on the right. I will also cross over or run in the middle, depending on which way the road is curving.

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.

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