Safety on Road, the most important lesson that every child must learn at the earliest. As they start exploring things, most times, children learn safety by themselves, but not always and every parent’s top most responsibility becomes the safety of their children.
Whether you walk with your children or bike or you are commuting by any other means, it is important for the children to teach how to keep themselves safe. However, it is not as easy as we say. Now a days, Children are too smart to ask so many questions that are difficult to answer. But they need to be answered so they can understand why safety is important and how they can keep themselves safe.
It becomes especially hard when they start cycling. Though it involves lots of rod sense to learn and being more alert, it is good to teach the children cycling and how to be safe while cycling.
Here are some tips to be safe while you are cycling with your children from Eversure Insurance
If you’re having to cycle on the road (but still good to teach kids at a young age):
- You should never ride more than two abreast – the safest way to ride as a family is with your children IN FRONT, and you behind. Let your children cycle about a meter out from the curb, and with you following behind, slightly further out. This way, you can give instructions, and create space between traffic and your children. If mum and dad are both out, have one parent head up the front too.
- Always cycle with traffic, on the correct side of the road, never cycle into traffic, even if the roads are quiet. (I did see just 3 days before a child, must be around 12 or 13 years old, doing all his cycle tricks on the road. I consider that itself as a high risk and adding to it, he was cycling opposite to the traffic. As a parent, it panicked me a lot)
- Always have the front (white) and rear (red) lights fitted to your bike, and check that these work before setting off. It is very important while you are out and about on your cycle during night times and winter.
- Consider fitting a bike horn or bell to alert road users to your presence – you can get specialist electronic horns that can cut through most background noise (most kids prefer a bell though, Miss S did for sure!) – While it has the risk of distracting the small children who are learning to cycle, It is still a good practise to learn how to use the bell while cycling without getting distracted.
- You should wear light coloured clothes / hi vis / reflective clothing always when cycling in low visibility, not just at night
If you’re playing out in the street / close / garages / park / woods / to and from school:
- Be aware of traffic that might be pulling into, or out of driveways
- Teach your child how to cross the road safely (or forbid them from crossing the road without you)
- Keep children seen with light coloured clothing, and hi vis in low light conditions
- Make sure your children have a set time to report in, if you can’t stand and watch them play (great for learning to tell the time too!)
- Set your child boundaries or milestones (they can go as far as that lamp post, that tree, etc or no further than where the line of sight disappears) so they know not to run off ahead too far
And as a responsible parent and a model to your children, While you cycle
- Don’t overload a rucksack or backpack, you could reduce your ability to maintain your balance.
- Ride predictably, decisively, in a straight line, and well clear of the kerb
- Always look and signal clearly – you can get electronic signals reasonably cheaply
- Don’t use a mobile phone or earphones
- Wear a properly fitting crash helmet.
- Make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you
There are some scary figures revealed about cyclists in danger,
The stats from Rospa (The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents) revealed a very scary factor “Every year in the UK, approximately 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured in reported road accidents”
Complete study available here: http://www.rospa.com/roadsafety/advice/cycling/info/cycling_accidents_factsheet.pdf
The 2013 figures from the Think! Campaign run by .gov aren’t in yet (at least not to my knowledge), but 2012 is pretty frightening too:
- The number of cyclists killed increased by 10% from 107 in 2011 to 118 in 2012
- The number of cyclists reported to have been seriously injured increased by 4% from 3,085 in 2011 to 3,222 in 2012
- Pedal cyclist traffic levels are estimated to have risen by 1.2% over the same period
- Most (92%) of these accidents involve another vehicle
It is better to be safe than sorry. So, lets all act now and take the precautionary measures to keep us and our family safe.
Disclaimer: I have received a Hi-vis vest and cycle light as a thank you for posting this but it is completely out of my interest to raise the awareness with my followers about road safety.