Last Friday a West Vancouver teenager was critically injured in a longboarding accident when he collided with a vehicle. The teen sustained severe head injuries and remains in intensive care.
This is the fifth longboarding accident to occur in West Vancouver in the past few weeks. These collisions have resulted in serious injuries, including head injury. Some of these accidents appear to be connected to riders losing control of their boards under high speed conditions. Others appear to be connected to a number of factors, including vehicle drivers who are not always paying sufficient attention to the people and circumstances around them. However it appears that at least some of these accidents and injuries might have been prevented.
Even if the collision is someone else’s fault, if you are struck and seriously injured as a boarder, you are the one who will have to deal with the pain and disability associated with the accident, not a vehicle driver.
Here are some tips for avoiding longboard accidents and injuries.
If you are a boarder, check the bylaws at your city or municipal hall to see whether skateboarding is legal on your local roads. In many jurisdictions, like Vancouver, skateboarding is legal- at least on minor roads.
Follow traffic signs and rules.
Always wear a helmet. It won’t prevent every injury, but it may prevent or reduce the one that you receive.
Always exercise caution especially when crossing the road (whether at intersections or not). Most boarders travel faster that walkers and even a minor increase in speed gives a motorist less time to see you and to respond to your presence.
Never ride with ear buds. You need to be aware of the traffic around you. You can’t avoid an accident you can’t see or hear coming.
Read more about this issue:
“More teens on longboards put focus on safety education” – Vancouver Sun
“Longboarder critically injured in West Vancouver collision” – CBC
Longboarding – Wikipedia
Photo by: Trevorhall89