After the clocks go back in the UK, ending British Summer Time, the country’s sunset is an hour earlier than we’ve been used to.
Sadly every year the stats show an increase in the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed or seriously injured while using the roads as it gets darker earlier.
Walking and cycling – or active travel as it’s becoming known – are key activities for making our communities healthier and less congested.
With this in mind, sharing road safety tips with friends and family for the autumn and winter months is essential.
Road safety tips for pedestrians and cyclists, especially school age children, include:
- Wear bright clothing, preferably something fluorescent and/or reflective, to help other road users to see you more easily
- While cycling, always use lights and reflectors in the dark and in poor weather which affects visibility
- If wearing headphones, ensure the volume is low enough for you to hear any potential hazards, including other road users
- If planning to walk or cycle a new route, make time to do a recce so you know how long it takes and what to expect along the way.
If you need help to increase your walking and cycling in Blackburn with Darwen, the re:fresh team are on hand with advice and resources.
Walking is ideal for all ages and abilities. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise like walking can benefit your health and you don’t need any expensive equipment, just sturdy footwear and appropriate dress for the British weather!
Health benefits to be gained from walking include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and Type 2 Diabetes
- Reduced risk of certain cancers, improved flexibility and strength of muscles, joints and bones
- Improved mental health and reduced risk of depression, anxiety and stress.
Cycling is fun and a great way for you and the kids to get fit too. As well as being able to increase your levels of physical activity, once you have your bike, choosing to cycle rather than drive or take public transport can save you money as well as help the environment.
It can also boost your mood, help you maintain a healthy weight, and because it’s a low-impact exercise, it’s easier on your joints compared to other activities.
It’s Road Safety Week November 15-21 and the theme this year is road safety heroes, celebrating our road safety professionals and explaining how can all play a part in making journeys safer for everyone.