Skateboarders can reach speeds up to 12 mph. While it’s undoubtedly an exhilarating feeling, it’s also pretty dangerous, considering they’re traveling with cars, pedestrians, and many kinds of obstacles that could send them flying off their boards. Yet this is a popular way to get around town, especially for young males. Stereotypically skateboarders aren’t known for reading up on ways to stay safe while skateboarding, but it’s not a bad idea. Read this list of skateboarding fatalities to see that nearly every person died in a collision with a vehicle.
Here are some ways to skateboard smart and reduce your risk of death in an accident with a car or other vehicle:
- Wearing a helmet reduced fatalities by 85% for skateboarders, bicyclists, and inline skaters. However, it’s important to wear the right kind of helmet. A bike helmet isn’t enough; the proper helmet protects the back of the head.
- Wrist pads, elbow pads and proper footware can help prevent broken bones and should be worn.
- You don’t have to be hit by a car to die on a skateboard. If you’re moving at 12 mph, a speed which skateboarders can easily reach, and you hit the ground, there’s a good chance it will kill you, or cause catastrophic brain damage.
- Over half of inline skaters are hurt because they lose control and fall.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 5 years of age or younger never ride a skateboard. They simply have a higher center of gravity, less coordination and balance, which makes them more likely to fall on their heads. Kids between 6-10 years old should only ride when supervised by an adult or a responsible teen.
- Know what skitching it? Michael J. Fox did it in Back to the Future. It’s when a skateboarder holds onto the bumper or fender of a moving vehicle. It’s no surprise that this is not recommended for safety reasons. If the car were to suddenly slow, stop, or turn, a skateboard could be thrown into oncoming traffic.
- Don’t use your skateboard in wet weather.
- Don’t skate in crowded walkways, on the street, or in the dark.
- Be careful with tricks and jumps at all times.
For more information, visit these sites:
Skateboarding and In-Line Skating Safety
For a list of rules and laws affecting skateboarding in Bellingham and Washington State, click here. (Link to the post Skateboarding Safety Part I)