Safety aspects of riding with children: Descriptive analysis of adult riders’ self-report
School of Engineering / Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention
ARC Number : LP100100597
Active transport, including cycling, is promoted as an effective way of increasing children’s physical activity and health. Parents can support children’s riding by riding with them and it is important to address relevant safety issues. Little is known about parents’ experience of safety-relevant aspects of riding with children. Participants in the Safer Cycling Study in New South Wales, Australia, who reported that they had ridden with children in the last 12 months were questioned about how they ride with children, and their experience of safety issues and crashes. Among the 187 respondents who had ridden with children on their bicycle, the most common form of carrier was a rear-mounted seat (48%) followed by a trailer (29%). Many respondents (79%) identified risks specific to riding carrying children, including those linked with specific carrier types and with use of footpaths. Most (92%) indicated that they change their behaviour when carrying a child on their bicycle; for example, riding more slowly, more carefully, and away from roads. Among crashes with a child on the bicycle, most were falls. Among the 345 participants who had ridden to accompany a child on a bicycle, approximately three quarters identified risks specific to accompanying children, such as managing the child’s limited skill, awareness and predictability. Ninety-seven percent reported behavioural changes including positioning themselves as a barrier for their child and caution crossing roads. Findings suggest strategies to support parents in riding safely with children.