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Running in the Rain: Seattle Pedestrian Safety Tips
Posted in Pedestrian Safety on December 20, 2017
If there’s one thing that Seattle is known for, it’s the legendary rainfall. We’re also a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts, so we can’t let a little moisture get in our way of a good time. If runners, for example, only ran outside on sunny days, they wouldn’t be getting out very often.
Running in the rain can be cathartic, but it’s not without its dangers. Observe a few simple safety tips to enjoy your rainy Seattle runs for years to come:
Wear a Brimmed Hat
When it’s rainy outside, visibility is a must. Being aware of your surroundings is especially important in a downpour so you can see cars and other potential hazards on the sidewalk or along the road. A brimmed hat can be a valuable ally to your rainy runs. Be sure to choose a breathable mesh variety that wicks moisture – this will help the sweat escape and can prevent you from overheating. If the weather is chilly, add a fleece headband over the hat to keep your ears warm.
Dressing appropriately for the rain can be difficult, because you don’t want to overheat, but you also want to be warm enough to handle the moisture. This is where dressing in layers becomes helpful. The most important layer is the one that is closet to your body – it should be able to wick moisture when you’re hot, and insulate your body if it’s cold. Look for garments with CoolMax and polypropylene. Your outer layer should be a windproof and water-resistant jacket or vest. Don’t wear a waterproof rain slicker because this will prevent body heat from escaping.
In fact, one of the biggest mistakes that novice rain runners make is overdressing. More layers won’t make you dry – and getting a little wet is a part of the run. Wet layers will just add more weight, so dress for the temperature, not the rain itself.
Be Highly Visible
Protecting your own visibility is important, but so is remaining visible to other pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. Wearing reflective clothing is essential as it catches a vehicle’s headlights and alerts you to your presence. Neon-colored clothing can also make you stand out against a rainy backdrop. Finally, some runners choose to wear lights or headlamps that alert others to their presence, which might be advisable at night.
Check Your Shoes
Lastly, check the treads on the bottoms of your trusty running shoes. If they’re smooth on the bottom, they might be too worn down to take on your rainy run. In order to run in the rain, you should have grooves that are at least a millimeter deep. This will ensure that your shoes have a better grip on the road and will minimize your risk of falling. Also consider wearing thinner socks because they will absorb less water.
Running in the rain can be a fun way to get your exercise – and in Seattle, you’ll probably be doing it a lot. Follow these simple tips to maximize your safety and reduce your risk of injury. For more information on pedestrian safety, visit our Seattle pedestrian accident page.