Safety On Wheels Essay, Research Paper
CHEO’s Health beat
Topic: Safety on Wheels
Feeling Wheely Wonderful!
Bicycles, scooters and inline skates have many things in common but perhaps the most prominent shared features are wheels. Sure, they look different but they work to achieve the same effect. They move someone from place A to place B then to C and sometimes they do it at high speeds.
Although operated differently, the one thing they have in common is that they are all powered by human energy. That makes them fantastic for fun, fitness and family togetherness, and results in the need for the most important similarity of all. That’s the need for a defensive, safety first approach to cycling, scootering and inline skating.
The wearing of safety gear begins with an appropriate certified, correctly fitted helmet. It is the law for all cyclists under the age of 18 to wear a helmet. For scootering and inline skating it simply makes sense. Let’s not forget elbow and knee pads worn underneath long pants and long sleeves shirts. This will go along way toward limiting/preventing scrapes and bruises especially for beginners. Wrist and palm protection is important because many injuries are the result of outstretched hands and arms attempting to break a fall. Inline skates should always fit properly and likewise bicycles and scooters should be properly adjusted to the height of the rider Ensure that brakes are in working order, and for all activities, be sure that wheels are free of dirt and debris and all mechanical parts are properly adjusted. Worn parts, wheels and tires should be replaced immediately.
Inline skaters should get trained. By taking the time to learn how to skate and fall properly, one may avoid injury. Contact the City of Ottawa at 244-5300 ext. 3589 and inquire about lessons that teach skills and proper stopping technique. Scooter and bicycle riders should also seek out courses, rodeos and events where the entire family can participate and learn the essential aspects of safety.
Knowledge and adherence to the rules of the road, sidewalk or pathways is a necessity to anyone who rides, scoots or skates. Consideration of others is a prime directive. Alert pedestrians on pathways and trails of your intention to pass saying, “Passing on the left.” Then do so. Always
+ Keep to the right
+ Use correct hand signals
+ Remember to shoulder check.
+ Stay single file
+ Watch for vehicles and unexpected obstacles
+ Keep to familiar, properly maintained routes
+ Don’t attempt tricks or stunts in areas that are not designed for that purpose
+ Maintain speed levels that permit safe stopping and turning
Night Riding: Do’s and Don’ts
Some specific safety elements don’t apply from scooter to skate to cycle. For example, skating or scootering in the street is not without risk while cycling need not be if the rules of the road are followed. You should never use your scooter at night but a bicycle can be fitted with a light (legally you must use a light beginning a half hour before sunset until a half hour after sunrise. Being caught without a light results in a fine of up to $20). Cyclists must be sure that tires are inflated properly and that they have a horn or bell as well as a reflector (it’s the law as well). Just like any other vehicle on the road you must adhere to the highway traffic act la
All of these activities can provide hours of fun and exercise, so no matter whether you’re a scooter fan, an avid cyclist or an inline skating aficionado the safety first approach will help prevent injuries and keep you feeling wheely wonderful.
Follow the Rules of the Road…
+ stop at all stop signs and red lights
+ cycle on the right side of the road
+ ride on the road, not the sidewalk
+ Always shoulder check when turning
+ Ride defensively
+ use proper lighting when riding at night
+ use proper hand signaling when turning and stopping
+ Be predictable in traffic – always ride in a straight line
+ wear a helmet (it’s the law for cyclists under the age of 18)
+ ride at least 1 meter from the curb