215-627-2493 | center@oldpine.org

BIKE SAFETY

Consumers Corner # 17

 

HOW TO BE FAR MORE
VISIBLE TO DRIVERS

 By Jim Murphy

If you’re a cyclist, chances are you think you’re much more conspicuous to motorists than you really are.

 One 2013 study says bicyclists significantly overestimated their nighttime visibility to drivers … and underestimated the benefits of reflective markings on their knees and ankles.

They also mistakenly thought a fluorescent vest without reflective markings would make them more noticeable. It didn’t, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Two recent experiments by psychology professor Rick Tyrrell at Clemson University offer simple ways for cyclists to be more visible to drivers:

  • Use fluorescent leg coverings. They help make you recognizable as a rider three times further away on average – than when you wear black leggings and a fluorescent jersey. Why? The up-and down-motion of your fluorescent leg coverings makes you far more conspicuous as a cyclist.

 

  • Use taillights even during the day, preferably a flashing taillight. From about a block away, a flashing taillight is “significantly more conspicuous than an always-on taillight.” Both are better than a turned-off taillight. Best of all: taillights with ankle straps.

 

  • Keep your options open. Citi Bike, New York’s bike-sharing system, is testing Laserlight on 250 bikes. Made by a London-based company called Blaze, Laserlight projects a green image of a bicycle on the ground about 20 feet in front of the cyclist. It alerts both drivers and pedestrians that a bicycle is approaching.

 

Bottom line: Make every effort to be visible to drivers and pedestrians ­– even in daytime. The life you save could be your own.

Source: Wall Street Journal

 

WATER DANGERS

3 ways to protect
your children

Eternal vigilance is a key to keeping children safe at a pool. No one knows this better than Karen Cohn, a co-founder of The Zac Foundation.

She and her husband started this organization in 2008 to promote water safety, after their 6-year-old son Zachary drowned when his arm became entrapped by the suction of their backyard pool drain.

Some key safety
recommendations:

  • Remind all swimmers 14 and under to keep away from drains, and not to swim with loose clothing or jewelry. It’s too easy for long hair, limbs or clothing to become entrapped in drains with suction equal to hundreds of pounds of force.

 

  • Be sure all swimmers know where the emergency shutoff for the pool is, and how to dial 911.

 

  • Designate parent Water Watchers who do nothing for 15 to 20 minutes but watch the water. Drownings can happen in seconds.

 

Source: Philly.com

Check out the A-Z List
on Old Pine’s website

The Old Pine Community Center provides a wide variety of services to its many audiences … all without public funding.

These services range from Adult Education to Gifts for Veterans at Christmas, and Homeless Assistance to Youth Works.

To see all that Old Pine offers the community, take a look at the easy-to-read alphabetical list. Go to: oldpinecommunitycenter.org/a-to-z-list.

Bet you didn’t know Old Pine CC does all this. Earlier, I didn’t either.

 

NOTABLE NUMBERS

12 million

Nearly one-third of Medicare patients — or some 12 million people – received prescriptions from their doctors for opioid painkillers in 2015.

 

2.7 million

The same year, 2.7 million Americans over 50 years of age abused painkillers in some way … such as taking them for reasons or in amounts not prescribed by their doctors.

 

5-fold increase

In the past two decades, the hospitalization rate for opioid abuse has quintupled for those 65 years and older. So the opioid epidemic is hitting more than just young people. It’s hitting many different ages.

 

Source: AARP.ORG/BULLETIN

 

PHILLY FUN FACT

After a 196-ft. steeple was added to Christ Church in the 1750s, the church became the tallest structure in the colonies for almost 50 years. It was also the tallest in Philadelphia for about 100 years. The steeple was paid for by several lotteries organized by Ben Franklin.

 

Photo Credit

“Lightspeed (seattle)” flickr photo by mitchell haindfield; https://flickr.com/photos/40441865@N08/32860864266 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

 

Jim Murphy is a direct marketing copywriter who has run his own consulting business since 2004. For nine years, he wrote and edited “Choices,” an award-winning credit union magazine with a circulation of 80,000. He also is a certified member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides.

Any comments made are Jim’s opinion, and not necessarily those of the Old Pine Community Center.

 

 

 

 

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