03/03/2014

Cycle Safety

Now that Mr Monkey and I have new bikes we plan to take big monkey out more often (and little one too when he has mastered the balance bike). So cycle safety is very important to us.
Eversure have a fab list of tips for all cyclists, even those of us just embarking on family cycle rides during the day, in good weather.
Accidents can happen at anytime, not just at night, in the dark or in poor visability. We have hi vis vests and lights, which should be used anytime for extra safety. Big monkey has recently got a new cycle helmet and hubby and I wear them too!
 
·    If you’re having to cycle on the road:
·    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.
·    Don't cycle on the pavement (unless marked for cyclists)
·    Always have front (white) and rear (red) lights fitted to your bike, and check that these work before setting off.
·    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!)
·    You should wear light coloured clothes/hi vis/reflective clothing always when cycling in low visibility, not just at night
·    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 cycle helmet.
·    Make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you
·    Riding on the road is scary, consider getting your kids confident and trained young.
·    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 

I'm pleased to say we do most of the above. Most of it is common sense really! Sadly lots don't.
The Royal Society For The Prevention of Accidents report that every year in the UK 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured in road accidents. That's a startling statistic and one we hope can be lowered. 
We will be enrolling the monkeys into a cycling safety and awareness course as they get older and won't be put off going out as a family on bike rides. Outdoor fun is high on our agenda.
This is our entry into the Eversure Insurance campaign to get kids playing outside again.
Written in collaboration with Eversure.





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