Walking, Cycling and Safety in Winter I've thought a lot about my son's road safety this week. We generally have a very long ro...

Bicycle Accidents, Awareness and Safety


Walking, Cycling and Safety in Winter

I've thought a lot about my son's road safety this week. We generally have a very long road to walk down to his preschool and with Theo being Theo, he likes to let go of the pushchair a bit too much.

With the weather in England being as poor as it is and the fact its either foggy or never stops raining if he was to stumble or wander into the road or past a driveway, the chances of him being seen by your average driver is pretty slim.

Especially this time of year where mornings look like nights and the journey home being equally as dark, I worry how such a small boy must seem to other drivers, especially in the busy school run hour! The particular road we walk along also has lots of dropped curbs, where the cars like to run along and drop their passengers off, so it's a must he's able to be seen. 

At some point in the half term we'd like to teach him to ride his trike but that scares me even more if he's faster than me and even harder for busy motorists to see as he's going faster than normal, what's going to happen then?

Some Facts and Figures

According to ROSPA, every year in the UK, approximately 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured in reported road accidents – scarily, this includes Children, and excludes those that go unreported.

The 2013 figures from the Think! Campaign are really scary too. The number of cyclists killed has increased by 10% from 2011 to 2012, with most (a staggering 92%) of these accidents involving another vehicle!

Still Worrying!

So you see there's me worrying about his safety just walking to school with the busy, highly frustrated motorists in the poor weather conditions we have in England imagine how I'll feel with him cycling to school!?

Here are however, some good safety tips if you're having to walk or cycle near a busy road (maybe not so much in area if you have great cycle paths!) although still a great thing to teach children at a young age – these tips come courtesy of Eversure Cycling Insurance:

- Don't cycle on the pavement unless it is marked for cyclists, point out the picture of the man on the bike to your child, and explain that this path is JUST for cyclists.

- Always have front (white) and rear (red) lights fitted to your bikes. You should make sure these work before setting off, and show your child the difference they make.

- Consider fitting a bike horn or bell to alert road users to your presence- kids love the traditional bells and hooters for their bikes! Show them how it helps everyone around them hear that they’re coming.

- Wear a properly fitting crash helmet. You might let your child decorate theirs to make it more fun.

Even young children can be trained on courses like http://bikeability.dft.gov.uk

Also, don't forget safety isn't just for riding your bikes if your children are playing out in the street and walking to and from school:

- Be aware of traffic that might be pulling into, or out of driveways
- Keep children seen with light coloured clothing. Ideally, you should get them a hi vis vest.
Mr Theo walking home.

Mr Theo showing off his hi vis

- Teach your child how to cross the road safely, remember the green cross code!

- Set your child boundaries (they can go as far as that lamp post, that tree or no further than where the line of sight disappears) so they know not to run off ahead too far.

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  1. Some really useful tips there, my son is learning to ride a bike so it's a learning curve for us too.

  2. I think it's sad that so many children are driven everywhere and people are in such a rush that they forget the basics like 'how to cross the road'. Risks exist and children need to be taught how to do things safely - not just expected to be able to do it when they get to 14 or 16!

  3. This all looks like very sensible advice, Grace. It's a worry being a mother isn't it? You wait til Theo is asking to cycle to Secondary School like my eldest! Just confirms how important it is to get this stuff right now :)

  4. I really need to take note of these - the roads are very busy round by us, and I'm sure in a year or so Austin will be raring to be given a bit more freedom. Like you, the thought of that terrifies me!

  5. Some great tips here...I think that we do need to be a little more willing to teach our kids to do things that "might" be dangerous. It is a question of working out each individual child's ability to understand the safety issues, and at what age, and teaching them about these things. These courses sound like a step in the right direction.

  6. We have just got back from Center parcs and I was amazed by the amount of people who did not have helmets on

  7. We have to drive to school but we do walk a lot too. Some great tips here

  8. We walk 4/5 days & when we reach the roads, Charlie knows that he has to stop & hold hands with me, he's also been doing road safety at school so does know to stop, look & listen but he's so easily distracted!

  9. What some great advice. I remember a boy at school having a bike accident - he brought his smashed helmet into show us all - I never complained about wearing a helmet again after that. x

  10. Great advice, awareness is so important and as we walk to school every morning I am drumming it into my boys - now that the weather is better the scooters have come back out and they are so fast! #BlogClub

  11. Road safety is very important, and I make sure to tell my boys to be careful, even my 14 year old.

  12. Some really great advice here, I love the high vis jacket! #blogclub

  13. Thanks for the tips. These things will come in handy in providing comfort for the biker. It should be carefully considered to prevent risks of bike accidents. Russell

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