Let’s get real here:
Statistics revealed by the U.S. federal departments show over 5,000 pedestrian deaths and around 70,000 pedestrian injuries were reported each year.
And only a fraction of pedestrian incidents that cause injury are recorded by police.
While walking pedestrian hit by a vehicle or tripped on an uneven/cracked sidewalk are among the top causes of these incidents —
There are excellent innovations / products to make you safe and secure in the dark.
Walking In The Dark: Key Strategies For Staying Safe
There are 3 key aspects to take care when you head out for a walk in the dark:
- You need to be seen by vehicle drivers
- You need to be able to clearly see the path ahead, and
- Be ready to distance yourself from becoming a victim of crime.
Based on extensive user reviews, we have identified 7 best products that will definitely help to increase your safety and security in the darkness –
while we also cover additional safety tips for walking / jogging alone at night in the later section, including very useful apps and phone settings that you don’t want to miss out!
Wear LED Reflective Gear to Be Seen by Vehicle Drivers
When you walk in the dark at night or in the early morning, visibility is crucial.
Avoid wearing clothing with dark colors, as they don’t show up in the dark.
You want to protect yourself by making sure that drivers can see you, and LED reflective clothing helps ensure you are visible to motorists.
To dress safe and be safe, here are three top rated LED reflective clothing and safety gear to help you stay visible in the dark — you’re sure to find something that fits your style.
#1: LED Reflective Safety Vest
One of the best reflective safety vest is definitely the revolutionary illuminated and reflective Tracer360 by Noxgear. Watch the video below for overview.
The LED fiber optics and 360° illumination of this amazing Tracer360 vest with six bright solid colors give eye-catching visibility to you and warning to motorists. Vehicles will see you well in advance.
This lightweight and very comfortable specialty vest can also be worn for jogging, running, cycling etc to provide high visibility and signal your presence in the darkness.
Check out these >> 1000+ Positive User Reviews on this Top Rated Reflective Vest
#2: Flexible LED Reflective Belt
As shown in the video below, you can wear it around the waist, wrap it on your body (front and back), etc.
A bright LED belt reflects oncoming light AND illuminates in the darkness to make sure others can’t miss you.
Adequate preparation for a night walk requires some investments in appropriate clothing and safety gear. While most people would usually wear sports apparel such as joggers, shorts, trainers, singlets, sports bras, etc –
It is important to wear as much reflective material as possible all over your body, to make others easily recognize you from far and near.
#3: Clip On Strobe LED Light
And LED safety light by Apace Vision is a top rated product of this category.
The clip on LED light is the best budget option, nonetheless it’s not providing the 360 degree illumination offered by LED reflective belt and Tracer360 vest that give better visibility from all angles with much larger visibility area.
Light Your Way To Clearly See The Path Ahead
Visibility can be a serious challenge when taking a night walk, especially in areas without proper street lighting. Additionally, geographic conditions differ from place to place, and this implies that some terrains may be more difficult to navigate at night than others.
Lighting is important to improve your visibility and safety, so that you don’t trip over unseen obstacles, or step in a hole and fall down.
If you don’t want to carry a flashlight, then consider these two hands-free night walking gears for steady illumination of your path – and make your walking in the dark safer.
#4: Adjustable LED Headlamp
One of the top rated choice based on user reviews is Black Diamond Spot Headlamp.
This lightweight and compact LED headlamp is equipped with a dimming function, a flashing mode, maximum power for long and short range, and a red night vision mode.
As you can see from the review below, this is a powerful little lamp that can help you to see the path in front of you at night.
There are also companies that make caps / hats / beanies with lights built into the front, such as the POWERCAP by Panther Vision as next in this list.
#5: Fashionable LED Lighted Cap / Beanie
With 43 hours battery life, this cap provides hands-free distance lighting and ultra-bright visibility of up to 13m (42 ft) for you to see in the dark.
>> Check out Full Details of POWERCAPS
Comfortable to wear and convenient to use, this night walking head gear with 4 LEDs has a stylish design that is liked by many users.
As shown in the video above, POWERCAP also has fleece beanie designs available at higher specifications, to provide longer distance visibility up to 22m (72 ft) with longer battery life up to 68 hours.
>> Discover POWERCAP LED Beanie with 10+ Colors and find one that best fit your lifestyle
Distance Yourself From Becoming a Victim of Crime
How safe do you feel walking alone at night in your area?
Many of the crimes were committed in darkness, which is a major driver in lawlessness.
While you can reduce the risk of being targeted by walking with a friend in the dark, there are innovations that can be helpful to combat crime especially if you are alone.
#6: Thermal Imaging Monocular To Spot Danger Ahead
Its unique ability to see in total darkness makes it an ideal tool for security and surveillance purpose.
With thermal monocular allows user to see and detect heat signature of objects at a distance, it is a powerful solution for applications like personal / home security and law enforcement to notice suspicious activity.
Thermal imager like FLIR Scout TK pocket-sized Thermal Monocular can help to reveal the danger hidden behind the bush / tree / woods etc in darkness, as shown in video below.
This technology can give you clear view of your surroundings to greatly improve your personal security and safety in the darkness — by spotting potential danger ahead of time.
For example, if your thermal monocular reveals a suspicious person, you can cross the street or change your path to avoid them. Don’t be their victim, and prevention is better than sorry.
Recommended Read: 5 Best Budget Thermal Imaging Monocular For Your Security
#7: Portable Self-Defense Emergency Alarm
Since you never know who or what lurks around your route, you may want to protect yourself with items that can help you tackle whatever eventuality that pops up during your night walk, especially if you are walking alone.
Besides sheath knives, pepper sprays (where legal), and whistles –
there are many personal alarm keychain and electronic devices available in the market.
Personal alarm keychain by SL Force is one of such light weight products with good user reviews.
The 130 db alarm of this security device is loud enough to draw attention from far away.
This portable self-defense emergency alarm is a practical product for you to immediately attract attention when you need help, and gives you vital seconds to flee the dangerous scene when get into troubles.
Additional Safety Tips For Walking (Alone) at Night
Key dangers of walking home alone at night is that you are an easier target for criminals, while it is more difficult for a lone night-walker to find help should the need arise when there is an air of quietude and loneliness in some locations at night.
Besides the highly recommended safety gear mentioned above, here are additional tips on how to walk / jog safely at night and keep out of dangers in darkness:
• Be mindful of traffic and vehicles
If your walk route is in proximity to automobile traffic, then ensure you strictly observe every necessary precaution to avoid unnecessary mishaps. Do not assume that everyone riding a vehicle is a good driver or that there are no drunk or mentally challenged drivers in your route.
Use pedestrian sidewalks, walkways, and bridges where available and necessary, and always try to walk facing on-coming automobiles so that you can easily observe them in case you need to take a split-second safety decision.
• Avoid earphones and headphones
The ears are very important sensory receptors that can help you detect danger signals or sounds as you walk. Therefore, it is not a great idea to deafen your ears with sound from earphones or headphones while walking. For you to be on top of the situation at all times, you need your ears free of noise and very alert.
• Be familiar with the environment
If you go for a night walk alone, it is better to walk around your immediate or surrounding neighborhood or in areas that you have substantial knowledge of in terms of geography, residents, and other stats such as nightlife, crime rate, automobile accidents, policing, etc. As human beings, we usually feel more at home or comfortable in areas we are familiar with both the terrain and neighborhood folks than otherwise.
• Inform others of your routes – and Make use of Mobile Apps
This can be seen as another useful security measure, especially for lone walkers.
If you are alone, it is an excellent idea to notify at least one close acquaintance of your movement itinerary. This will help provide some certainty to those you left behind as well as enable any search parties to know where to start in case.
With the advent of digital, IoT, and GPS technologies – you may make use of suitable apps that can help others keep track of your route.
In the brief video below, Kim Komando shares excellent mobile apps and phone settings that can be very helpful when you walk by yourself, including features that call 911 for you:
• Walk with a mobile phone
Your phone not only allows you to easily reach close acquaintances like family, friends, colleagues, etc but is also an important security gadget that can help you alert these acquaintances or law enforcement should any safety concerns arise. Moreover, the afore-mentioned digital, IoT, and GPS technologies rely heavily on mobile phones.
• Learn martial arts
This is yet another way of enhancing your security. While you may not want to go as far as becoming another Bruce Lee, Van Damme, or Chuck Norris – learning martial arts fundamentals, apart from its other benefits, may help you fight your way out of trouble and return home in one piece.
• Find company
Still, one of the best security measure for a night walk is to be accompanied by at least one person or more. Criminals and other troublemakers are more likely to be discouraged by a pair or group of nightwalkers than by a lone vulnerable walker. It is therefore a very good idea to have a team or network of close acquaintances with whom you can schedule night walks.
However, if it is not possible to walk with some company or if you insist on a solo walk, then be sure to be very vigilant and prepared for all scenarios.
Benefits of Taking a Walk at Night After Dinner
Walking in the dark at night sometimes is inevitable, such as when you go to carpark after working late at night or after a late dinner with friend at restaurant.
But there are also many people who enjoy taking a walk at night, with various research show moving a little after eating can have many benefits like:
• Faster Digestion
According to research, walking accelerates gastric emptying (the time it takes for food to leave the stomach and make it to the small intestine). This can help avoid unpleasant conditions like constipation, heartburn, and other reflux problems that can lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
• Control of blood sugar levels
Light exercise (such as taking a night walk) after eating can significantly lower after-meal blood sugar levels. One particular study found night walks to be more effective in reducing post-meal blood sugar levels than morning and afternoon walks.
• Improved circulatory system
Apart from checking high glucose levels, a post-dinner walk can also help blood circulation in the body thus ensuring that essential body nutrients are dispersed effectively. This can yield health benefits such as improved brain and heart conditions, among others.
• Checks sedentary lifestyles
Studies indicate that sedentary lifestyles such as sitting for long hours significantly increase the risks of death than otherwise. There’s also a causal relationship between sedentariness and depression, heart problems, and diabetes.
• Creative spark
A brisk night walk can help eliminate writers’ block and other physical cum mental obstacles. A Stanford University study found that “creativity levels were consistently and significantly higher” when you are walking rather than sitting and remain so for a while after your walk.