Spring Safety In Cochrane & Langdon
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Spring Safety in Cochrane & Langdon

April 4, 2016

Spring Safety


Now that the weather is getting warmer, start heading outside to enjoy the sun! However, remember to be careful when participating in everyday activities such as walking, running, biking, and rollerblading.

Walking and Running

-           Be aware: Always be aware of your surroundings. Although many people like to listen to music or go on their cellphone while they are walking or running, you can easily get distracted, and not pay attention to other pedestrians, cyclists, or vehicles on the path or road you are on. Remember to also walk defensively because pedestrians do have the right away. However, it is still important to be careful when around vehicles who may not have noticed you.

-           On the path: Avoid going for long walks/runs alone, and always carry ID with you in the case of an emergency. If there is no path or walkway, and you must share the road, be sure to walk facing oncoming traffic.

-           Clothing: Always dress for the weather, and here in Alberta, dressing in layers may be the best way to go because the weather can be unpredictable. If you’re out at night or in bad weather with rain, snow, or fog, be sure to make yourself visible with light coloured or reflective clothing. Attaching reflective strips or wearing a reflective belt is a good idea, especially late at night or early in the morning.

-           Pets: If you take your dog out for a walk or run, be sure to keep them on a shorter leash to prevent them from wandering into traffic or other pedestrians or cyclists on the path. Keep them close to you, because they may not be as visible to others.

-           Know when to quit: Make sure to stay hydrated, especially if you are out for a long time or the weather is really warm. If you’re feeling dizzy, tired, or wheezy, take a break or slow your pace down.



-           Get prepared: Before you head out with your bike, double check to make sure your bike and equipment are in good condition. Make sure the bike tires are filled, the brakes are working, and the chain fits on the bike properly. Also, make sure equipment like helmets, bells, and lights are in good working order.

-           Visibility: Make sure that other vehicles and pedestrians can see you when you’re on the road or a pathway. Attach lights to the front and back of your bike, and consider adding lights or reflective strips to your clothing and helmet, especially if riding in the dark.

-           Riding: Keep a safe distance from the curb and other vehicles when cycling on the road, and always ride predictably, in a straight line. When riding through intersections, use the proper hand signals for right and left turns. Do not ride on the sidewalk, and follow traffic signals like stop signs and red lights. When passing others on a pathway, ring your bell or call out to warn them.

-           Helmets: By law, everyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. Even though it isn’t required for people over 18, it is still a good idea to protect yourself with a helmet that fits right in the event of a fall or collision.

-           Pathways: Always be aware for pedestrians, other cyclists, and skaters when riding on a pathway. Be careful when using crosswalks – if you’re on your bike, you are not a pedestrian and don’t have the right of way. However, if you get on your bike and walk it, you are considered a passenger and will have the right of way when crossing the street or path. Ensure that your speed stays under 20 km/h.



-           Know how to stop: This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it is important to know how to make a full, proper stop to avoid collisions with other skaters, pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles.

-           Equipment: Rollerblading can be dangerous, and beginners may be prone to falling, so always wear a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist pads.

-           Inspect before you skate: Check the wheels on your skates before heading out, and make sure they don’t need tightening or replacing. The rubber brakes on the skates can grind on the road and pathways, and can wear easily. Be sure that they aren’t too worn down and work properly before heading out.

-           Skating: Try and skate on pathways or walkways, the smoother the better. The small wheels on the skates won’t do well on uneven roads. If you have to ride on the road, try and stay to the right, where there is as little traffic as possible.

-           Be aware: Always watch out for others that you are sharing the road or the pathway with, and make yourself visible. It’s easy to get overlooked, especially by vehicles or others on the pathway that may not be paying attention. If passing others, call out to warn them, and wear bright/reflective clothing in the dark or bad weather.