Seven Tips to Keep Night Runs Safe
Last week in Hangzhou, another girl is strangled to death while jogging around the west lake. She was attacked from the behind and dragged to the lawn unnoticed by the pedestrians. This is the second accident happened to the jogger, both victims are girls who were brutally killed after being raped, according to the reports of the newspaper.
As a person who loves to jog and cycle outdoors, I thought long and hard about how to keep safety while doing exercises. I know that I should always make sure someone knew where I was going and when I expected to be back, and I began to carry pepper spray.
As daylight dwindles with the approach of fall, for many runners, that means training in low-light conditions. And often, being safe means being seen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests pedestrians keep these tips in mind when they head out for a hike, walk or jog:
1. Be visible by wear bright reflective safety clothing along with a headlamp. Make sure reflective fabrics cover both front and rear, so people can see you coming and going.
2. Pay attention when you’re jogging on the road, run on sidewalks or jogging paths, if you can. If you must walk on the road, walk facing traffic on the shoulder, and as far away from traffic as possible.
3. Run in a group, if you can. It's always best not to go by yourself, especially in a secluded area.
4. Keep alert at all times, and don't allow music, smartphones or other devices to distract you.
5. Be predictable by using crosswalks and intersections whenever possible. If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
6. Carrying pepper spray can afford runners, walkers and hikers a level of protection from animals or even people with nefarious intentions, though it's not a be-all, end-all. But take care to spray with caution, something like that can always be used against you.
7. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
While none of these precautions is a guarantee that you'll be safe when you go out for your next jaunt, it certainly doesn't hurt to stack the odds in your favor. Or at least, that's what I keep telling myself.