I almost ran into a runner as I drove from my home to a local run group gathering last night.
Well, the term "almost" might be a little bit of a stretch. I was a couple of feet closer to him than I felt comfortable. I had my low beam driving lights on and cannot say I was distracted by anything. In fact, it wasn't until I was about 50 feet away from the guy that I saw anything.
I know my nearly fifty-year-old eyesight isn't the greatest, even at baseline. Top that off with the twilight conditions and the poor lighting on this stretch of road along the bluffs just off Pensacola Bay, it's amazing more runners (and bicyclists) are not injured or killed there.
In my own defense, when a guy runs out along the side of the road at twilight wearing dark gray and black thermal compression wear, with nothing light-colored, lighted or reflectorized he is not doing himself any favors.
The period between Thanksgiving and the New Year might best be called "open season" on runners, walkers and cyclists. Motorists are in a hurry to get from home to work, from work to shopping, from shopping to social function, and from social function to heaven knows where. Multitasking is something most humans do poorly, yet they do it regularly. That leaves the responsibility to the person not cocooned in a motor vehicle to either stay clear of where the distracted motorists are, or to make themselves very, very visible.
Lots of runners loathe the treadmill because of its boring nature; the same surface step after step. The same pace minute after minute. Are we talking about the same runners who go out for a run with headphones? Dude, wear them on the treadmill. Make a game out of the treadmill run; go hard for a song, then easy for a song. Sing along with the jams - I bet that will encourage everyone to steer clear.
Reflective clothing can be bought in a variety of styles (vest, belt, top), (bright) colors, and fabric weights. I recommend pairing reflective clothes with clip-on lighting; the more the better. At the least if you don't feel like wearing lights or reflective stuff, then a light-colored long-sleeved top is better than nothing. And definitely better than black, dark gray or dark blue.
And, most importantly, don't forget that cell phone with the camera, just in case things do go south on the run. You never know when you might see someone who needs assistance...or when you might need it yourself. If changing the time or the location of the daily run or ride to get away from traffic is not possible, then do what you can to make yourself seen out on the roads.