If you rollerblade on the streets often, you might be confused about the directions you are supposed to rollerblade. In most cases, there will be traffic on the streets, especially if you are in the cities.
So, should you rollerblade with or against traffic? To ensure safety along with practicing aerobic fitness, you must know the answer to this question.
It is safer to rollerblade with traffic, especially on a busy road. There will be a chance of coordination between the traffic and the person with rollerblades.
The person should stick to the right of the road and stay within three feet of parked cars so the drivers can see them. However, it requires their ears to be open as they may not notice the cars at the back.
Rollerblading with traffic on your left may already sound safe, yes? But there is more you should know about rollerblading on the streets.
It is because it is not entirely safe to do that. Thus, to ensure further safety, learn how to skate safely on the roads. Along with that, be aware of the potential dangers of street rollerblading. Let’s start now.
How Dangerous Is Rollerblading On The Streets?
Covering short distances with rollerblading sounds like a quick and enjoyable experience. But there is a lot of trouble that comes with that.
It is especially true when you’re on the streets with a lot of cars driving beside or against you. Rollerblading against the cars may not alarm the other drivers.
As they may not notice you, you might bump into a car and end up hurting yourself.
Even if the streets are not busy or have less traffic, rollerblading on the streets is dangerous. It is because streets usually have a lot of pebbles, stones, bumps, and pits.
The wheels of the rollerblades will experience friction frequently. Eventually, it might ruin the wheels, or the skater may trip over. There’s a high possibility of hitting your face against the pitched streets.
Almost all the time, the skaters lose balance. It usually happens because of uneven road surfaces. Some skaters may notice the uneven streets, but they fail to stop skating on time.
They may be unable to stop, especially when they are novice skaters. In other cases, the speed of the rollerblades may go out of control.
Many injuries take place when rollerblades go out of control. The skaters may hit a wall and hurt their noses, which eventually causes nose bleeding.
In worse cases, the skaters may hit a vehicle. This time they will hurt more than just their noses; they may break a leg or tear their ligaments.
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), 3.4% of all severe sports injuries result from rollerblading.
The most common injury occurs on the wrists, resulting in fractures. Thus, it covers almost thirty-seven percent of the injuries. Some other severe injuries include fractures and back sprains.
The most severe injuries are head injuries. Fortunately, it only covers about 5% of rollerblade injuries.
These results come from skating on the streets; hence, skaters should avoid it. If they must skate on it, it is better to know how to skate safely on roads.
How To Skate Safely On Roads?
To skate safely on the road, it is necessary to follow the road rules. Along with the road rules, the skills of the skaters should be well-sharpened.
The skaters should use all their senses to respond to all the movements on the roads.
Firstly, before skating on the roads, you should wear bright-color clothes; for example, a neon jacket. It will make you more visible to the drivers, which will prevent them from hitting you.
However, it may not be enough to protect you if you’re taking turns. In such a case, signal the drivers on the road. You may use your hands to point in the direction of your turn.
It is equally necessary to use all your senses while skating. Skaters should be aware of every vehicle behind them or on their sides.
They also need to listen and respond to their surroundings accordingly. This way, they might not even have to look back to notice other cars approaching you on the roads.
To ensure high levels of safety, avoid listening to music. It reduces the ability to listen to the vehicles and their horns.
There’s a high possibility of misunderstanding the signals as well. Now, if the road has less traffic, you may lower the volume. You should be able to hear the vehicles and their signals.
Next, try not to use roads with high traffic. In this case, the time of the day matters. There’s more traffic in the morning due to schools and churches.
The risks are usually high as they are larger vehicles like school buses. Thus, it is better to rollerblade around three o’clock on the roads.
In addition, choose a road with a lower speed limit. Higher speed limits may allow other vehicles to drive roughly.
Eventually, they may hurt the skaters, even if they are maintaining all the road rules. On the other hand, there should be more road signs like stops.
The traffic lights should work as well; without them, some drivers may hit skaters.
Safety Tips To Rollerblade On The Streets
To rollerblade on the streets, it is necessary to wear helmets and other protective gear. It is because streets are dangerous for skating, especially when there is high traffic.
Moreover, the surfaces of the roads are not always plain for the blades to move smoothly. Hence, the skaters should be prepared for any dangerous incidents.
Although it is always better to wear helmets while rollerblading on the streets, you may not decide to wear them on routes with no congestion.
If you use routes that have no traffic or use the roads only when there are no cars, you may not need helmets. Only a pair of knee pads and wrist guards should be able to protect you from minor injuries.
However, you should always wear helmets when there’s traffic. It does not matter if there’s low or high traffic. It is because even one vehicle on the roads may threaten your existence.
There are many cases where skaters escaped brain damage with the help of helmets. So, it makes wearing helmets mandatory.
Furthermore, novice or amateur skaters should always wear helmets. Wearing helmets should be mandatory for at least the first few months, even if there’s no vehicle on the streets
. It will keep them safe when they make mistakes in the beginning.
Note that all the helmets should be verified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
The verified helmets will meet the safety standards, and they will not break if they hit the pitched roads.
Lastly, the helmet should fit your head. Make sure the straps are tightly fastened, tight enough to survive a road accident.
Now that you made it to the end of the article, I hope now you know the answer of should you rollerblade with or against traffic?
If you are against traffic, you should now know why it needs to change. Rollerblading is fun, but without maintaining simple rules, it can prove to be disastrous, especially when there’s traffic.
Thus, make sure to skate with the traffic while wearing helmets and other protective gear. Thank you for sticking around. I wish you a lovely and safe day rollerblading on the streets!