Whether you’re walking or running down a wooded trail or down a busy sidewalk, reflective gear should be a staple item in your safety plan. You might ask yourself, “why do I need reflective gear for running at night in the woods?” There are no cars in the woods, why would you need reflective safety gear? Well, imagine this scenario:
You’re running in the woods during the afternoon, and you trip over a root. You seriously injure your leg and cannot move. You call for help on your phone but cannot pinpoint your exact location. The night is getting darker, and you don’t have the flashlight you should also be carrying when running close to nightfall. If you weren’t wearing reflective safety gear, then the rescuers’ flashlights would have a hard time finding you. Every scenario you can think of has reflective gear benefiting you in the end.
Whether you’re isolated in the woods, running on the beach, or running on the streets, reflective gear lets others know where you are located to help or avoid you. If you’re someone who prefers to run along a road, then it’s obvious reflective gear plays a vital role in your safety after the sunsets.
However, you don’t need to wait until the sun sets to don a pair of reflective running gear. It’s difficult to see pedestrians, even in the bright of day. Any reflection off of your body only improves your safety. Wearing reflective gear is less bulky than carrying your own source of light, such as a headlamp.
Reflection gear also adds visibility to your body during different weather conditions. If you find yourself caught by a flash rainfall, even the best windshield wipers won’t improve any car’s visibility. Having a reflective vest may be the difference between life or death.
You may ask why anyone runs outside when it isn’t light out. Today’s society keeps most of us busy during the day. Unfortunately, the only time anyone can get a healthy cardiovascular workout is early in the morning or late at night. You don’t want reflective gear that only reflects when light is shown directly on it. The best reflective gear will be visible regardless of the direction of the light source.
There are different types of reflective gear from a lightweight and cheap vest to reflective shoes, pants, gloves, and wrist bands. The more you light up during inclement weather or during the dark of night, the safer you are. However, isn’t it easy for drivers to see pedestrians? That’s not necessarily the case, because drivers have a hard time adjusting their eyes when driving at night because of changing lights. Even at a slower speed, a driver can only see a couple of hundred feet in front of the car. Without proper reflective gear, a driver might not be able to adjust quickly enough. Reaction time is slower because drivers usually are sleepy, which is common when driving in the morning or night.
There are some tips you can follow while wearing reflective gear. However, following these tips doesn’t mean it’s safe to take reflective gear for runners and walkers off. You should still wear reflective safety gear when following these tips.
The first tip is to stay on the sidewalk when possible. This might sound like a no-brainier, but many roads do not have pedestrian sidewalks or some runners prefer to walk on a smooth surface. Another tip is to plan the route along roads with sidewalks or plan a route nowhere near the streets at all. If you plan on walking or running nearby roads, then face traffic while you’re doing so. The reaction time between the driver and the runner boosts your chances of survival in case of an accident.
Remember, it only takes a couple of seconds for a driver to react when they see you. Give them plenty of time with reflective gear.
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