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Austin Winter Running Tips

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Running is great. It boosts your mood and keeps you fit, meanwhile increasing your physical and mental fortitude. At the Loewy Law Firm, we advocate a healthy work/life balance, which is why it is so important to find an activity like running to do before or after work.

Wintertime, though, threatens to keep us indoors with its falling temperatures and decreased daylight. Whether you have the grit for cold early-morning departures from cozy blankets or the energy for a post-work session, it is partially or completely dark outside. The dark is not only demotivating – it can be very dangerous.

Active.com published a story about two runners, Fred Kaiser and Pam Cantelmi, who were running after work on a rainy winter night. They were struck at an intersection by a pick-up truck and had to be hospitalized for head and shoulder injuries. Luckily, they both recovered.

Kaiser, after the accident, reflected that despite his efforts to stay safe, “Sometimes, it just doesn’t matter. Drivers aren’t looking for runners and sometimes they’re not going to see you…You have to look for them.”

Nighttime significantly reduces drivers’ vision, so the first way to stay safe is to wear reflective gear. You can find some of the top reflective running gear here, on Austin Fit Magazine and Runner’s World.

The keys to staying safe are “to see and to be seen.” Below are a few ways to do this and ensure that you will arrive home safe and sound.

Run against traffic – This is very important because it is much easier to spot an oncoming car than to hear one behind you.

Wear bright colors – Aside from your reflective gear, you should wear white, orange, yellow, or pink.

Run behind vehicles at crosswalks – They may not see you crossing, especially if they are about to make a right hand turn.

Don’t wear headphones – This is the hardest one, because music can make or break a good run, in my opinion. One compromise might be to put music in only one ear.

Try to make eye contact with drivers – This interaction can be the difference between being seen and being in an accident.

If you are in an accident while running, you have options for coverage as a pedestrian under the other driver’s policy as well as your insurance policy if you have elected for UIM – Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage, as we have reiterated often, is essential to making sure that you will be taken care of in unexpected situations.

Arm yourself with this knowledge and a few extra layers, get out there, and enjoy some brisk Austin winter running!

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