Road running safety tips

When running on the road, it is important to remember safety first. You should always face oncoming traffic, so that you can anticipate and avoid any potential dangers. In some areas, this is a legal requirement, while in other areas it is a matter of choice. Research has shown that this practice decreases the chance of accidents with fatalities and injuries by up to 77%. Additionally, if possible, stay on the sidewalk. Roads can be softer than concrete sidewalks, but they require more caution. When running on the road, always follow the proper etiquette and stay alert for any potential hazards. 

If running with friends, make sure to stay single file. This ensures that none of you stray into the traffic lane. If you need to switch sides of the road, be sure to alert your running partner of any oncoming vehicles. Keep safety in mind and follow these tips for a safe and enjoyable run. 


Running safety starts by making yourself easy to be seen when out running especially when you know you will be sharing the road with traffic. Here are a few tips:

  • Wear bright, reflective clothing to make yourself more visible to drivers, especially when running in low light conditions or at night.
  • Look for running clothes made with fluorescent or high-visibility colours like neon green, yellow or orange, these colours are easily visible during the day and in dim light
  • Look for clothing with reflective detailing or patterns, such as reflective tape or stripes.
  • Try to wear long pants or sleeves to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Opt for moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry and comfortable during your run.

It’s important to note that clothing that fits you well, will also be important for your running comfort and performance. Clothing that is too tight or too loose can cause chafing or discomfort during your run.

In addition to clothing, you can use different types of accessories to be more visible and improve your running safety. Reflective vests, armbands, and headbands are examples of these. And it’s important to wear comfortable shoes with good cushioning and arch support to prevent injuries.

Women out running wearing high visibility vest

Running with headphones can put you at risk when running on roads. When you can’t hear what’s going on around you, you can’t anticipate potential threats like oncoming cars and cyclists. If you feel like you need to listen to music or something else while running, keep the volume very low or take out one earbud so you can still hear your surroundings. There is also the option to use bone conduction headphones, these are great for running as they sit just in front of the ear and allow you to listen to music while still being able to hear what is going on around you. 

Hills and bends

When running on the roads, you may come across turns and hills that make it hard to spot oncoming cars if you’re running against traffic. To stay safe, cross to the other side of the road when you cannot see around the curve to get a better view of the traffic. The same may be true on a blind hill — switch sides and look back frequently for cars that might be coming from behind. Always switch back to the correct side of the road after passing through these risky areas. 


Paying attention to traffic is extremely important when running on or near roads. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Safety: By paying attention to traffic, you can better anticipate and avoid potential hazards, such as cars, bicycles, and other vehicles. This can help you stay safe and avoid accidents.
  • Visibility: Drivers may not always see runners, especially if they’re not paying attention or if the runner is wearing non-reflective clothing. Paying attention to traffic can help you stay visible and make yourself more noticeable to drivers.
  • Road conditions: Paying attention to traffic can also help you stay aware of the road conditions, such as potholes, debris, or other obstacles.
  • Traffic laws: By paying attention to traffic, you can also help ensure that you follow traffic laws and regulations. This can help you avoid getting ticketed or fined.
  • Defense Position: It also put you in a better defensive position to avoid accident and give you more time to react to a driver who might not be paying attention.

When running on or near roads, it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings and to pay attention to traffic at all times. This can help ensure your safety and well-being while you’re out on your run.