Recently, the news has covered several attacks on joggers across the country. These news outlets have raised a concern about safety for people enjoying the outdoors and if they should return to their favorite trails, parks, and city streets at the risk of possible danger. If you or someone you know is an avid jogger, runner, cyclist, or dog walker here are some tips to help you stay safe:
1. Always Face Oncoming Traffic Facing oncoming traffic keeps you aware of your surroundings. When walking in the same direction that cars are traveling, you could easily be followed, hit by a car, snuck up on, forced into a car, and even abducted more easily than a person who is walking against traffic.
2. Be Noticed Always walk confidently and with your head up. Wear bright colors, especially at night, so you are noticeable to traffic and other people on the path.
3. Safety In Numbers Organize a running club, convince friends or family to go with you, or even just take the dog along. If you are out alone, try not to listen to music but if you must, keep the volume low, be aware of surrounding buildings as well as your environment in case you need help.
4. Tell Someone Let a trusted friend or family member know your route. Alert them when you are leaving and when to expect your return.
5. Carry a Personal Protective Device Mace/pepper spray, batons, tasers/stun guns, knives, tactical flashlights, whistles, hornet spray, and door keys can all be used against an attacker. Many active wear companies are now including specific pockets for you to be able to carry a device of your choosing. You can also consider carrying your firearm like these great concealed carry guns for runners.
Tips brought to you be Refuse To Be A Victim program. To find out more about the program or sign up for a course check out RTBAV.nra.org.