Observe Common Traffic Rules For Safety
One of the fastest-growing and most popular outdoor activities is inline skating, with more than 20 million people taking advantage of the low-impact exercise it provides. However, nearly two-thirds of inline skaters do not wear safety gear.
"Every year, about 100,000 people visit the emergency department for inline skating-related injuries, particularly for injuries to the wrist," said Gloria Kuhn, DO, of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). "Since most injuries are caused when people lose control while skating, many injuries can be prevented if safety measures are followed."
ACEP suggests these guidelines for preventing unwanted-and possibly fatal-injuries:
- Choose the proper skates to match your needs. Choose skates for their durability, proper ankle support and comfort.
- Always wear the recommended safety gear. Wear wrist guards, knee and elbow pads and a helmet that covers the base of your skull. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to protect from cuts and scrapes.
- Practice on a smooth, level surface. Parking lots, playgrounds and parks are ideal.
- Practice braking. Know proper techniques for stopping, particularly when traveling down a hill or at high speeds.
- Learn to keep your balance and stay in control. Practice falling on a soft lawn or a gym mat.
- Use caution when skating around others. Be conscious of other skaters, pedestrians, joggers and cyclists.
Simple safety measures can prevent injuries while inline skating.
- Skate on the right side of sidewalks, bike paths and trails.
- Don't pass without warning. Pass on the left as cars do, after yelling, "passing on the left."
- Take extra caution in densely populated areas. Watch for cars and other traffic when crossing streets.
- Remember to obey all traffic regulations.
- Check skates regularly to make sure they're in good condition. Change wheels and brake pads when they become worn.