Staying Visible While Running

Running is one of the healthiest forms of exercise. A cardiovascular study found that runners have up to a 40% reduced risk of premature death, and may live on average up to three years longer than non-runners. While it’s one of the best ways to get from Point A to Point B, it can be challenging to run in a car-free environment. If you find your runs frequently interrupted by vehicles, here are some top ways to stay visible and ensure every motorist on the road sees you:

1. Dress for the Time of Day

Wearing high-visibility clothing will go a long way in preventing any incidents with motorists, but you’ll want to adjust your attire depending on what time you’re running.

When you’re running in the day, you’ll want to pick florescent clothing. Bright green, yellow, and orange are highly visible colors that’ll help you stand out from buildings or parked cars. At night it doesn’t really matter what color you wear because you’ll be hard to see regardless. Opt for something that’s reflective so you’re illuminated as soon as a car’s headlights pass over you.

2. Get Low

Going along with dressing for the time of day—a car’s headlights are pretty low (typically below your torso), so be sure that your reflective clothing doesn’t stop at your chest if you’re running at night. Bright pants or socks are a great idea, as is a bit of reflective tape on your shoes.

3. Carry a Flashlight

2016 Leadville Trail 100 RUN

Flashlights are attention grabbing for motorists, sure. But they’ll also help you see the path at dawn or dusk as well. The #1 cause of injury for pedestrians isn’t actually getting hit by a car, but tripping on an uneven or cracked sidewalk. Cracked sidewalks, rocks, holes, and general trip and fall accidents make up more than half of all injuries among pedestrians. A flashlight will help you see any potential obstacles in your path. While it may not be glamorous, a headlamp frees up your hands and lets you run distraction-free.

4. Run Against Traffic

When the sidewalk isn’t an option (let’s face it, sidewalks weren’t really built for running), always run against traffic. This gives motorists a little extra time to see you, but more importantly, it gives you a few seconds room to dive out of the way if a reckless driver is approaching.

5. Run in a Group!

Two runners are much easier to see than one. Three’s a downright crowd! Running in a group makes it much easier for cars to see you. Just be sure to not run more than two abreast to prevent becoming a road hog. Running with friends has more benefits than just visibility. One study found that people with exercise buddies twice as long as those working out alone. Running with a friend keeps you accountable and working harder!

While some of these tips may feel inconvenient (how often can you incorporate those neon socks into the daily attire), they really do go a long way in keeping you safe and visible during your run.



Deanna Power is the Director of Outreach at Personal Injury Help. A graduate of Emerson College and avid fisherman, Deanna currently lives in Boston, MA. She can be reached at

This article was created by, 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. Be sure to review your local ordinances to ensure you run safe and legally!



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