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7 road safety tips

08/07/2015 12:00:00 AM | 1 comments |
Originally published in the summer issue of Fraser Health's Healthier You magazine.

Your kids will have endless fun on their bikes while staying safe this summer if you follow these simple steps from Parachute, a national charitable organization dedicated to the prevention of injuries and saving lives.

 

  • Protect their heads with a helmet. A properly fitted and correctly worn bike helmet can make a dramatic difference, cutting the risk of serious head injury by up to 80 per cent.
  • Fit the helmet properly. Follow the 2V1 rule: two fingers above your eyebrow, straps form a ‘v’ under your ears, one finger space between strap and chin.
  • Check their ride. Ensure your kids’ bikes are adjusted correctly for their height. Also, have them get in the habit of doing a bike check before getting on, checking that the tires are inflated and the brakes are working properly.
  • Teach them the rules of the road. Getting trained in bicycle safety and rules of the road is important for the safety of riders. Be sure to use appropriate hand signals and obey all traffic signs. Ask your kids to show you the signals for stop, right-, and left-hand turns before getting on their bikes. This can be a fun quiz. Also, remind your kids to dismount when crossing the street.
  • Suggest family-friendly routes. Designated riding areas are in place for everyone’s safety. Using these routes is a great option for less experienced riders so they can build confidence and skills in a safe environment. Great paths can be found online.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic. Teach them to always ride on the right side of the road, going in the same direction as traffic. They’ll be more visible to drivers who will be able to see their hand signals. If you are riding with your kids, have them follow your lead by biking single file and repeating all the hand signals you make.
  • Make sure they’re seen and heard. Another important part of riding is making sure drivers can see you when it is not very light outside. Wearing bright, reflective clothing and equipping a bike with flashing lights and reflectors helps increase visibility. A working bell is always a great idea to gain the attention of other riders and pedestrians to let them know you are close by or passing them. Using your voice works, too.
To find out more about Parachute, visit parachutecanada.org/.   
 
This story is just one of many in the summer issue of Fraser Health's Healthier You magazine


Comments
James
To help travelers safely navigate the world’s roads, Sobel offers these tips:
1.Know before you go. Sobel advises travelers to conduct research before heading out of the country to get a better idea of a country’s road safety record. The ASIRT website is a good resource for this.Avoid night travel and travel in mountainous regions in countries with poor safety records. This is especially true if you don’t know the area. Finding your way on strange roads with different laws and customs can be very hazardous for your health.
2.When renting a car, insist on the best safety features. A lot of familiar car models will have different safety features in developing countries; if the car companies are not required by law to include them, they’ll often skimp on them. Also, check the tires to make sure they’re in good shape and ask about brake inspections.
3.Start your road trip during the day. Sobel advises that it’s much easier to get to know a rental vehicle when the sun is up and you can see where everything is in the car.
4.Just because you aren’t in a vehicle doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Sobel calls pedestrians “vulnerable road users” – more than half of traffic fatalities involve pedestrians and bicyclists. She advises pedestrians to watch the locals as they walk along the streets to determine when it’s safe to cross, etc.
5.If you’re in a bus or a van and it’s overcrowded, get out at the first opportunity.
6.Never assume you have the right of way. “I was just in Africa, and they said the pedestrian never has the right of way,” said Sobel.
21/07/2015 6:06:45 AM

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