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Safety Tips for Runners and Cyclists

Safety in numbers! (Photo courtesy of Reggie Casagrande)

Poor Reese Witherspoon! According to this NBC LA article the actress was hit by a car running on a road in Santa Monica on Wednesday. Witherspoon was struck by an 84-year-old woman who failed to slow down at a pedestrian crosswalk. Luckily, Witherspoon only suffered minor injuries and after a quick trip to the hospital is said to be resting comfortably at home. Unfortunately the chances of getting hit while running or cycling is greater than we often think. But that doesn't mean you have to bring your routine inside. Instead, keep these precautions in mind the next time you head out.

For Runners:

  • Always carry ID! Whether it's your actual license or an identification tag like Road ID, it's important to have something on you in case you do get hurt and need assistance.
  • Run facing traffic, not with it. And always run on the outside of turns if possible, not on the inside where cars are likely to whip around before seeing you.
  • Keep your music low. Blasting Lady Gaga might make you run faster, but it's also going to make you miss a car's horn or warning call.
  • Wear reflective clothing, especially late at night.
  • When you can, run with a friend. You can be on watch for each other!

For Cyclists:

  • As opposed to running, make sure to ride with traffic, not against it.
  • Make sure your brakes are in top condition in case you need to stop suddenly.
  • Know the traffic laws! Many states have cycling laws riders have to abide by in addition to traffic laws that all riders should obey as well.
  • And we have to say it -- wear a helmet! Not only will it protect your noggin, it will help cars recognize there is a cyclist on the road.

Now tell us: Are we missing something? What's the best outdoor safety tip you've ever received? More from FITNESS: