The gift of safety can’t be purchased on Amazon, wrapped up in festive paper or placed under the tree ahead of Christmas Day. Still, it’s the most valuable gift you can give this year – and you don’t even have to spend a dime!
As many of us take to the roads over the Christmas holidays, we know we will experience our fair share of traffic. It’s one of the busiest – and most dangerous – times to be on the road.
And for some of us, being out on the road is more dangerous than others. We’re talking about vulnerable road users: cyclists, e-scooter drivers and pedestrians who have little protection in the event of an accident.
Whether you’re a car driver, pedestrian or cyclist, we can all do our part to protect each other this Christmas, so everyone safely makes it home to their loved ones.
With that in mind, here are some safety tips for every kind of road user.
Driving home for Christmas
Drive intentionally: When you hear your phone ping with a notification while in the car, it can be tempting to take a glance. However, a fatal accident can happen in milliseconds. In fact, a huge nine in ten road accidents are caused by minor errors. So, make sure to drive intentionally this festive season. Avoid distractions, pull over if you’re tired and keep an eye out for cyclists and pedestrians.
Follow the law: Driving laws are there for a reason. While it can be tempting to break the speed limit when you’re running late to a Christmas party, the risk isn’t worth it. You want your holiday season to be festive, not fatal. The same goes for drunk driving and failing to wear a seatbelt. Follow the law, and you can have a safe and merry Christmas.
Remain vigilant: Even well-intentioned drivers can find themselves in risky situations due to other people’s negligence. Because of this, it’s crucial to stay alert behind the wheel. Particularly look out for cyclists and e-scooter drivers when changing lanes or pulling out at a junction.
Cycling home for Christmas
Trade your Santa hat for a helmet: Helmets are one of the best ways to protect yourself on the road. Research shows that they provide up to an 88% reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injuries for cyclists, so it’s crucial to wear one. You could even buy a novelty helmet for the festive season!
Know the rules of the road: Even though you’re not in a car, the road rules still apply. If you’re a seasoned cyclist, you’ll be familiar with these rules and the principle of defensive cycling. Still, it always helps to refresh your mind before the busy holiday season.
Light yourself up like a Christmas tree: There’s plenty of research out there showing that drivers find it difficult to notice cyclists and e-scooters. You can help other road users keep you and themselves safe by being as visible as possible. Wear clothes with fluorescent fabrics and UV lights, and adorn your bike with active lighting.
Walking home for Christmas
Be in the moment: It can be tempting to multi-task while walking. You may like talking on the phone or catching up with a friend. But if you’re near a busy road, this can be very dangerous. When you’re distracted, you’re unable to clearly understand what’s happening around you, making you more vulnerable to accidents. With that in mind, stay aware of your surroundings when walking near the road.
Stay one step ahead: Pedestrians are the most vulnerable of road users. Be vigilant about motorcyclists and cars and learn how to be safe. For example, never cross roads on a bend, always use pedestrian crossings when you can and, if there’s no footpath, face traffic so you can see what’s coming your way.
Lights aren’t just for Christmas: Like cyclists, you can improve your personal safety and help others see you by wearing fluorescent, reflective clothes, along with LED lighting accessories.
All road users can do their part to keep themselves and others safe this Christmas. By undertaking a refresh of the road laws, remaining vigilant and wearing the right gear as a vulnerable road user, you’ll help everyone arrive home safely for the festive season.
If, however, you are involved in a cyclist or motor vehicle accident, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our expert team will listen to your experience and advise you on your case.