Skateboarding is a popular activity in Vancouver, particularly for the younger populations. Many people also use skateboards and longboards in addition to bicycles and motorcycles to travel as well. Using a skateboard or longboard to move is a fun and healthy way to get around town. However, these methods of travel can be dangerous, even if they are used properly.
Unfortunately, hit and run accidents involving skateboarders do occasionally occur. Drivers often are not on the lookout for skateboarders, and accidents and injuries can result. However, you can take certain steps to avoid skateboarding accidents in Vancouver.
Use Skateboards Only on “Minor Streets”
Although non-motorized skateboards and longboards are not considered “vehicles” under British Columbia’s Motor Vehicle Act, they still may have some regulations depending on your location. In Vancouver, for example, non-motorized skateboards and longboards are only permitted on “minor streets,” which are streets that do not have lane lines or directional dividing lines. You are also not allowed to ride your skateboard on sidewalks in Vancouver either.
Avoiding use of skateboards and longboards on the main streets will also help you avoid accidents generally. There are far fewer cars on minor roads and drivers will be more likely to expect skateboarders and longboarders on these less populated streets.
Walk Unfamiliar Terrain Before You Ride
One of the reasons that many skateboarders crash is because they encounter rough or bumpy roads. Uneven terrain can result in a loss of control that can lead to a collision. If possible, walk areas where you intend to skateboard first to look for hazards like poorly maintained areas, bumps, and uneven spots.
If you cannot check out the area first, be sure to decrease your speed as you go over uneven surfaces to avoid losing control. When in doubt, pick up your board and play it safe.
Always Be on the Lookout for Those Around You
You should take extra care to lookout for cars, pedestrians, or skateboarders. They may not be looking for you, so extra caution can go a long way. In fact, skateboarders and longboarders have a duty to keep a lookout for their own safety as well as for the safety of others.
It is also important to maintain control of your skateboard orlongboard. Avoid dangerous stunts that require significant time to stop or slow down, such as sitting on your skateboard and riding it down a hill. You should always be able to quickly stop if necessary.
Wear Protective Gear and Clothing
Although wearing the right safety gear cannot completely prevent an accident, it can help to avoid serious injuries should a crash occur. Reflective clothing can also increase the likelihood that cars and others see you at twilight and in the evening.
All skateboarders and longboarders in Vancouver are required by law to wear wrist guards, elbow pads, helmets, kneepads, and have front and rear reflective gear. Wearing this gear not only helps keep you safe, but it can also help those around you see you as well.
Personal Injury Lawyers with the Experience You Need
If you have been involved in an accident as a skateboarder or longboarder, you may have legal options. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond provide the experience and knowledge you need to assert your claim. Call our 24/7 personal injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT for more information or to schedule a free case evaluation.