An colleague pointed out an article in the HS today about safety of children travelling in Box bikes and trailers. I don't usually read Herald -Sun, I just look at the football pictures in the back half (and often on the front cover as well) The "highlights' of the article were this;

  • An expert in transport safety believes that children in box bikes and bike trailers are more at risk. He hasn't done any research to support his, and didn't state what they are more at risk of.
  • Children could be harder to see in such vehicles because they are obscured by traffic.
  • Then they stated that accident data available did not support any of the concerns raised.

Pretty much this was an circular article expressing one "expert's" opinion, with no supporting evidence. I don't have any problems with people expressing opinions, and don't entirely disagree with this one, but feel like adding my 2 cents worth.

As discussed on here previously, anecdotally drivers give trailers, bike seats and tag-a-long's more room. Many parents, who are confident and prepared to take risks with traffic on a daily basis, add the safety features on with the kids. My big one is flags, this addresses the concerns of the HS article, and I usually attach them whenever we take the trailer or tag-a-long out, even on the path. Flags serve two purposes, the make is possible to see the trailer in traffic (including other bikes) and they usually indicate there's a child attached (apologies to recumbent riders) which often gains a little more tolerance. Subconsciously I think we all ride a bit slower and more cautiously with the kids in tow (at least my wife tells me I have to tow the kids to slow me down). 

So while I agree we can be concerned about visibility of trailers etcetera, this does not necessarly translate to risk. I will continue to take the kids out, make them seen, worry about them and have a great time all at once.

 

This is my opinion based entirely on my experiences, discussions with others and thoughts. I have not done any quantitative research.

 

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