Cycling Safety

 

 

 

 

Be Safe, Be seen!

Safety Health and the Environment  (SHE)

 

The SHE Campaign is an advocacy campaign run by Pedalite International to raise awareness of the challenges and benefits of cycling, the importance of being seen from the side by other road users when you are cycling and the need to consider lighting on a bicycle during daylight hours.


 

 

Pedalite's product range is designed for Safety, Health and the Environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cycling is soaring in popularity; it is a green and cheap way of getting around, enjoyed by all the family. Walking and Jogging are two of the most popular ways of getting into shape and these days we all seem to want to exercise outside whenever we can. However, statistically, going out is getting more dangerous; 75% of cycling accidents happen at road junctions where cyclists need to be seen from the side (RoSPA) and an average of 40,000 accidents per year in the UK involve pedestrians (Office for National Statistics).

 

Applying simple safety rules when exercising such as wearing bright clothing and using lights that will make you be seen can help you feel and keep safe. Unfortunately, one problem is that lighting is often overlooked in daylight, particularly in the summer. Consider how a single cloud passing in front of the sun affects the light; how quickly the sky can darken with a change in weather or how shadows from large buildings or bridges can affect a motorist’s vision and render walkers, joggers and cyclists without lights much harder to see.

 

Pedalite’s award-winning, battery-free, lighting, including its 360° pedal lights for cyclists, solar powered Baglite, which fits any size or shape of backpack and the ultra lightweight Anklelite, which illuminates ankles or arms, all provide 360° lighting to protect all the family. The lighting ensures walkers, runners, horseriders and cyclists are seen from all directions, from up to 1km away.

 

Your family’s safety does not have to cost the earth - these innovative products use solar (ordinary house lights or sunshine to recharge) and kinetic energy; you don’t need expensive replacement batteries and your old batteries aren’t going into landfill - even the packaging is recycled cardboard!

 

 

 

Pedalite Also Supports

SHE Shines !

As the sun comes out around the world lights are taken off bikes!  In the Summer months it is a common misconception that lights on bikes are not needed as much and often cyclists go out without any artificial lighting at all.  Unfortunately, all too often, this is the time when lighting is most needed. Consider the difference a single cloud passing in front of the sun can make to the light! A bright sunny day turns into a half light in an instant and from the side, approaching an intersection, a cyclist becomes much harder to see.  Think about when you cycle from bright sunshine into a shadow or under a bridge, your eyes take a moment to adjust and you do not see as well, this is the same for all road users and you need to make sure you are lit up to be seen. In addition, do you know exactly when the light will fade naturally in the evening? As the Solstice approaches, daily variations in what time dusk arrives can be as much as 5 or 10 minutes, over the course of a week you can see variations of upto 1 hour, even though this happens every year and has happened for centuries it always seems to take cyclists by surprise.  During the Summer months lighting is as critical on your bike as during the Winter.  What is needed is a "Fit and Forget" solution, that is fitted once, is always on, never runs out of batteries or needs expensive/environmentally damaging replacements and looks like a pedal so that it does not get stolen when the bike is unattended. It is true that Pedalite 360 degree visibility pedal lights, Anklelites/Armlites and Baglites are not easily seen in bright sunshine from close up, however, that is when the cyclist usually can be seen clearly, but when a cloud comes over, the sun starts to fade or a large shadow from a building or bridge covers the cyclist, the pedal lights are there, always on, always ready, always ensuring the cyclist is seen. Tip: Try viewing the Anklelite or Baglite from 50 or 100 metres away in the light or shadow - the lens is designed to make them appear brighter the further away you get in both the daylight, shadow and darkness!

SHE is Inconsistent

In some countries it is the law that when a motorbike is moving it must have its lights on regardless of the time of day or if it is light or dark.  Most new motorbikes are configured to switch the lights on by default when the ignition is turned on. This is because the "active" safety of lights helps motorbikes be seen especially when they travel through shadows, clouds change the light or they go under bridges and through tunnels.  So... why is this not the law for cyclists?  A cyclist is the same shape as a motorcyclist, a cyclist travels through the same shadows, clouds change the same light and they go under the same bridges and through tunnels. It is just because the lights on bicycles are traditionally powered by batteries and it would cost a lot of money to run battery lights all the time.  Is that a good reason to compromise safety? Cyclists should use lights the same as motorcyclists and Pedalite's battery free lighting products eliminate the cost factor.  Don't cyclists deserve the same levels of safety as motorcyclists?

SHE is the One We Love the Most

Cycling has always been one of the most popular and enjoyable childhood activities and its popularity today continues to grow fast.  While the safety messages about wearing a helmet and using front and rear lights on a bicycle appear to now be understood and observed by the majority of cyclists, most fail to be aware that 3 out of every 4 cycling accidents on the roads happen at or near a road junction where bicycles need to be seen from the side!  These accidents do not discriminate between children, fathers or mothers, they are just accidents!  Just stop for one second and ask yourself what side lighting do you have on your bike?  Remember, a reflector requires someone else to shine a light onto it to work.

SHE is Unique

Lights are not just for the Winter! In the summer a dark rain cloud coming overhead can change the light to render a cyclist virtually invisible! Do you get off your bike to turn your lights on when this happens?

Pedalite 360 degree visibility pedal lights, Anklelites and Baglites are unique and patented they provide always on, side lighting that does not stop when you stop pedalling (as you do at road junctions) or when your batteries runs out (because there are not any batteries).

 

SHE is Irreplaceable

Once we have destroyed the environment it is gone.  Batteries in bicycle lights are not just expensive (Pedalite 360 degree visibility pedal lights can often pay for themselves in savings in batteries in one season) but they contribute to the 22,000+ Tonnes of batteries that are tipped into UK landfill sites every year

SHE is For Life

Research has shown that cycling for just 30 minutes 3-4 times a week can reduce your risk of heart disease and obesity by 50%.1 Giving you a level of fitness equivalent to someone ten years younger.2

Coronary heart disease is the biggest killer of adults in the UK3 and nearly one in four adults in the UK are now obese.4 If current obesity trends continue, the UK will catch up with the USA by 2010.5 Together, coronary heart disease and obesity cost the UK economy more than £12.5 billion a year in treatment and loss of productivity.6,7

 The national conscience is being awoken to the benefits of cycling on health and fitness (see table in notes to editors). A study of more than 30,000 people in Copenhagen showed that those who did not cycle to work experienced a 39% higher mortality rate than those who did.8 The whole spectrum of cyclists from the lycra wearing, shaven legged pro’s, through mountain bikers, bmx’ers, leisure riders and commuters will all see the health benefits of cycling. However, most benefit is seen in previously sedentary people who take up cycling or regular physical activity. These people will achieve the greatest proportional benefits to their health.

One barrier to taking up cycling is the perception that cycling on the roads is dangerous. Whilst 15,000 cyclists are still involved or killed in reported road accidents each year in the UK, the number of children involved in these accidents has halved in the last decade.9 A report from the British Medical Association found that when you consider the risks and benefits of cycling on health, the evidence favours the promotion of cycling, albeit with a considerable emphasis on improving safety.10 The author of this research Mayer Hillman, conducted further investigations himself and concluded that the benefits of cycling outweighed the risks by a factor of 20:1, implying that it is more risky to be inactive!11

 

References –

1.      British Heart Foundation, (Morris)

2.      National Forum for Coronary Heart Disease Foundation, (Sharp)

3.      Department of Environment Transport and the Regions (1998) Integrated Transport White Paper A New Deal for
        Transport. Better for Everyone, London. The Stationery Office

4.      Department of Health (2004). Health Survey for England, London. Department of Health

5.      Department of Health (2004). At least five a week. Evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to
         health. A report from the Chief Medical Officer, London. Department of Health

6.      National Audit Office (2001) Tackling obesity in England, London: Stationery Office

7.      Britton A, McPherson, K (2000) Monitoring the Progress of the 2010 Target for Coronary Heart Disease Mortality:
         Estimated Consequences on CHD Incidence and Mortality from Changing Prevalence of Risk Factors. London National
         Heart Forum

8.      Hendriksen, I. (1996). The effect of commuter cycling on physical performance and on Coronary Heart Disease Risk
         Factors, Amsterdam. Free University.

9.      RoSPA – Cycling Accidents – Facts & Figures – October 2007 www.RoSPA.com (Last accessed 13 January 2008)

10.    British Medical Association (1992), Cycling Towards Health and Safety, London, BMA

11.    Hillman, M, (1992) Cycling and the promotion of health, PTRC 20th Summer Annual Meeting, Proceedings of
        Seminar B. pp 25-36


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