School is out – summer is in! With more pedestrians and cyclists on our streets, it’s important that we all share the road.
Read on for some quick tips to keep in mind so we can all have a safe, enjoyable summer.
- Wear a properly fitted helmet to help protect your brain in a crash or fall. Head injuries are a leading cause of serious injury and death to kids on bicycles
- Wear reflective materials such as fluorescent-coloured clothing and accessories, as well as lights, to improve your visibility to drivers
- Younger children should be accompanied by adults or older children whenever they ride their bikes, especially in traffic
- To help decide if your child is ready to ride on the road, parents need to think about the roads around them (e.g. do streets have a lot of traffic or many intersections to cross), the amount of practice your child has riding on streets, and their knowledge of the rules of the road
When drivers slow down to speeds between 30 and 40 km/h, injuries to children on bicycles are reduced by 48 per cent - Parachute Canada.
- Distractions put pedestrians at a much higher risk of being struck by a vehicle. Make it a rule not to use cell phone, or other hand-held electronics while walking, and especially not while crossing streets
- Walk with your children, and talk to them about pedestrian safety:
- Many young children are fascinated by cars and trucks: use that fascination to talk about how vehicles must share the roads and how they can harm people who walk or cycle because vehicles are so big, heavy, and travel fast
- Teach them to stop at the curb, look left, right and left again, and to listen for oncoming traffic. Explain they should only cross when the way is clear, or all the cars have come to a full stop. Children should also be told not to cross between parked cars, or in the middle of a street, but at a corner
- If there are no sidewalks, children should walk in a single file, away from the road, facing traffic
- Slow down. When drivers slow down to speeds between 30 and 40 km/h, injuries to children on bicycles are reduced by 48 per cent (Parachute)
- Be alert and manage distractions before getting on the road. Try these tips:
- Mute or turn off cell phones before leaving, storing them away to avoid usage
- Use car controls responsibly and maintain awareness of the roadways
- Don’t eat, drink or groom yourself while driving
- Follow laws and regulations where you are driving
- Ensure you’re aware of your surroundings
- Become a role model for passengers in your vehicle