Everyone should be safe to run whenever they please. Whether they like to run first thing in the morning, or late in the evening, or any other time of day, nobody should have to worry about their safety. Unfortunately, reality proves otherwise. So, what can we do about it?
There are a number of mobile apps which have been designed to help keep us safe when running. None of these are perfect, and we don't claim they will keep you 100% safe. However, we have looked at what's available, and have listed 4 that we think are worth consideration.
This app allows designated friends to track your runs and offers you an SOS option for added safety.
Using this app, you can set up a list of 'guardians' (trusted friends and family). When selected, your guardian will be able to track you runs by GPS, which as well as a safety feature, is ideal for timing meet-ups with friends and other runners.
The SOS option allows added safety. Selected by touch or voice command, 10 seconds of live video will record your surroundings and be streamed direct to your chosen guardian.
Other features include a siren and fake call, to help get you out of dangerous and awkward situations.
2. One Scream
This voice-activated safety app is triggered by a woman's panic scream. When activated, a selected contact are immediately sent a text message letting them know that their friend is in trouble, and where to find her. A call will also be made to the designated contact so that they can hear what is happening.
Designed specifically for women, makers of One Scream say that it responds to a female panic scream from women aged 14 to 60. Normal conversation will be ignored.
NOTE : Men, and women outside this age range, sound different when they scream, so this app is unlikely to help them.
3. My Safetipin
Using safety scores calculated using research and user feedback, safetipin gives users ans indication of how safe it is to run their chosen route.
Users are asked to provide feedback on their routes. This includes the option to disclose hazards and harassment that they may have encountered. As well informing decision to run a certain route, the information is also useful for runners looking for housing or a hotel close to a safe running route.
4. Strava (Beacon feature)
Strava is a popular running app, used by many runners. It includes a 'Beacon' feature that can be used to allow safety contacts to track your runs on a map in real time. If you fail to return at a promised time your contact can find your location, and see if you are still moving, or have stopped. If you need help they will know where you are, and can easily find you or send assistance.