Cyclists and pedestrians could be at more risk now than in winter time

IRL/GB

Cyclists and pedestrians could be at more risk now than in winter time.

With the onset of the bright evenings and expectation of summertime just around the corner many pedestrians and cyclists could become complacent about their visibility.

Due to the continued risk, the Road Safety Authority is urging all cyclist and pedestrians to make sure that we can be seen while out on the road.

The clocks have gone forward so there is a good stretch in the evenings now which means more time for people to get out and enjoy the beautiful evenings and the fresh air.

Pedestrians and cyclists are highly vulnerable, so by just making small changes, such as wearing a high visibility vest, it can have a significant impact on their safety.

It is true that you cannot be responsible for how people drive in their cars but you can make your own circumstances a lot safer while out walking, jogging or cycling by just increasing your visibility to motorists.

Being a road-wise pedestrian or cyclist means always wearing a reflective armband, high-visibility belt or some other reflective or fluorescent clothing so you can be seen.

It is recommended that you also carry a torch while out on country roads or in badly-lit locations. Lights are not just for cyclists. Make yourself seen and don’t take anything for granted.

  • Never cycle in the dark without a white light in the front and red for the rear
  • Always wear bright clothing such as hi-vis vests, fluorescent armbands and reflective belts

Parents can educate their children on the utmost importance of road safety . Responsible parents and guardians are an integral part of road safety awareness in our society as they ensure our youngest road users are kept safe by encouraging them to wear high visibility material when walking or cycling to school.

It’s not just pedestrians and cyclists who need to be concerned about visibility. Drivers should always drive with dipped headlights no matter how sunny it is and even in the height of summer.

Using dipped headlights in our vehicles can also make us much more visible to oncoming vehicles in the distance and can prevent daytime head-on and front-corner collisions. Dipped headlights also make the vehicle a lot easier to see by pedestrians and other vulnerable road users..

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study in the US found that dipped headlights contributed to a 12 per cent decline in fatal collisions with pedestrians and cyclists in 2004.

Many vehicles now come with Daytime Running Lights or DRLs as standard and we can be thankful to Scandinavian countries such as Sweden who have for decades seen the importance of using dipped headlights at all times as a vital part of road safety and visibility.

Finally, remember that as a cyclist or pedestrian you are probably more at risk during the brighter, and drier days of summertime than at any time in winter and there can be no excuse about getting your hands on high visibility materials as you can order them for free from rsa.ie.

IRL/GB


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