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Important Safety Tips for Outdoor Runners and Walkers

Put Your Safety First with These 6 Strategies

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  • We live in the country with no leash laws and my adult daughter and I had to quit walking outside due to dog problems - particularly pit bull types. Tried using a stick to threaten with but it didn't last long. My best bet is to walk with a man - usually my hubby, who in our case the dog respects more -- but the opportunities to walk are much more limited. In home walking DVDs are my alternative for the most part.

    Also, I am glad to see some responses about the dangers the head/ear phones can cause while walking, jogging, biking. I have always felt it could be dangerous and appreciate seeing tips and warnings shared.

    Probably not necessary on SPARK but I would also remind bikers to please wear helmets. See a lot of bikers without them. - 6/1/2016 12:22:42 PM
  • As I child, I learned walk facing the traffic, ride with the traffic. I see so many people who walk, run, or bike on the wrong side of the road. Doesn't anyone teach basic safety rules anymore? - 3/19/2016 9:59:32 AM
  • My husband and I walk the same area for twenty years. Several weeks ago we were walking and a very large pet bull came running from around a house, this is out in the country with house and farms at least a1/4 mile away. The dog ran across the road to get to us it stopped and just looked at us. A man comes out of the house and tells us it won't bite you, but the dog did not listen to the owner and had to be dragged back into the house. Later we found out the house was sold without being up for sale. We now carry spray just in case. You never know when a situation changes you always need to be on the look out. - 10/5/2015 5:49:20 PM
  • PFARRAR65
    Also good advice for walkers. - 12/15/2014 7:09:43 PM
  • Add-on to my comment:
    www.RoadID.com has great info on "Rules of the Road" - 5/23/2014 11:18:26 AM
  • I didn't know about Road IDs and I am so glad you mentioned them as I am always keeping my ID on me and never have a good place to keep it. These are brilliant. - 5/23/2014 11:16:33 AM
  • YES! A dear teacher from high school was killed by running with the flow of traffic. A tractor turned right and my teacher was in a blind spot. It happened within seconds and could have been avoided.

    And I'd also like to add to the "don't run with music" : don't run with music in both ears if you must run with music. Use one part of the headphone/earpod. There have been two reported rapes in the 11 years that I've lived in my area. Both were women runners who were on their own during the day with music in both ears. Don't do it. - 2/7/2014 2:14:18 AM
  • I agree with what others have said about blasting music, especially if it's dark out and your awareness is already impaired. I was saved by my phone when I fell and hurt myself a few months ago, and instantly whipped it out and made a call when approached by a guy who gave me a bad vibe one time. Better safe. - 11/13/2013 8:55:02 PM
  • all good advice - thanks - 8/19/2013 7:17:54 AM
  • and in alaska, wear a bear bell... - 8/17/2013 3:44:00 PM
  • ALDEBARANIAN
    Great article. Love the comments about what to do about dogs.

    One thing I'd like to add. Get a class 3 reflective vest. They're inexpensive and available many places. They're mandated for road crews and workers with good reason.

    After working on roads for several years, seeing the things I've seen, I wouldn't be out there without one. - 8/17/2013 10:38:38 AM
  • Great article. - 8/17/2013 7:19:27 AM
  • SGCSVCEEC
    great tips! - 11/23/2012 3:44:12 PM
  • Iím surprised it wasnít mentioned to not have music up loud while walking/running. In some towns they are saying to not listen to music at all since it makes you more susceptible to attacks since so many people have their headphones/earbuds up so loud. I wear earbuds but I can still hear cars coming and dogs barking. As soon as one of us gets a new cell phone we put ICE in it. Iíve even done that with my grandparents phones too.

    As for the dog part, I canít disagree more. If the dog is going to actually attack, you will be worse off on the ground. Staying on your feet is the best bet
    .
    1) Donít look the dog in the eye. Dogs can see that as a sign of aggression.
    2) Donít run. The dog may decide to chase and attack if you do.
    3) Slowly walk or back away.

    I have several dogs where I walk that run loose and Iíve found that most just want to bark. What I do with the ones where I am isnít recommended, but I have gotten to know these dogs. There are two dachshunds that run towards the road yapping, but if I talk to them and take a step or two towards them they run the other way. There are several larger dogs on my route too and they are all different. One will bark and come to the end of the drive where it lives, but I just talk to it a little and keep walking. When he sees I am not stopping heíll go lay back down. Another large dog will walk with me. He is friendly but barks when he sees me excited and ready to go. There is a brown dog that I donít trust though. He has tried to sneak up on me before. If I see him Iíll just raise my voice and tell him to ďGet outta hereĒ or something and he will. I have told the owner of that one that Iím going to start carrying a walking stick and the next time it comes at me I will defend myself. They told me if I do they will call the police, but Iíve already talked to the Chief, two officers, and the dog catcher. They have all told me I have the right to protect myself. This dog has chased several kids, but it is smart and hides when the dog catcher is in our area.
    - 9/16/2012 8:29:22 PM
  • Please dont curl on the floor if the dog attacks you, you will expose your head and neck area to possible injury. What kind of safety advice is THAT? It is very very wrong!

    Keep your hands in your pockets or folded on the chest because dogs will try to grab at the limbs, so dont wave at them. You need to protect your face and neck!! Do not curl on the floor!!!
    - 9/16/2012 5:19:12 PM

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