Holiday horror: when we think rules don’t apply

We’ve all felt free when in another country or city. Nobody knows you, so nobody’s opinion matters. It’s easy to let yourself do whatever you want, whenever you want.

A sense of safety isn’t something that can be created by force of will. Depending on what you’re used to, safety can be anything from the smell of your mom’s kitchen to the anonymity of a crowded bar. For some, it’s the fact that nobody knows your name.

This last one is the type of safety we feel when on holiday. Everybody there is just as unknown as you are – you’re unlikely to ever meet again, so you can let loose and ignore the little voice of conscience. Doesn’t matter that it’s before noon and you’re drinking alcohol. After all, isn’t a margarita in the morning a holiday thing? It surely can’t hurt.

But it can.

Broken bike - CLARA blog

A bike is a bike, no matter what zip code it's in.

More often than ever, holiday-makers are choosing bicycles as a method of transportation when abroad. Some bring their own, some rent or lease. In any case, the end result is still the same: a person unaware of local customs, rules and regulations that has the ability to go fast and create chaos.

To be fair, not all cyclists forget about danger just because they’re going around an unknown town. It’s not a witch hunt – it’s just a fact that towns with seasonal tourism see a lot more injuries during the times when the number of guests is highest. People falling off balconies, dangerous on-the-road stunts... They’re even a statement in films. The Hangover, as much as we laugh at it, is a clear example of tourist thinking that the dangers they create do not matter because they’ll be leaving that location in a few days. 

If you add a bicycle into this equation of recklessness, happiness and adrenaline, things can get EXTREMELY dangerous.

80% cycling accidents occur in broad daylight.

75% cycling accidents appear on or near a road junction.

Half of fatal accidents result in head injuries to the cyclist.

Even if you’re not convinced by these numbers, consider this: every time a cyclist stumbles, falls, or just makes a sudden turn, people stop to look. A second of their attention is lost, and that endangers them.

Injuries that result from cycling accidents are not always to the cyclist. Other traffic participants are vulnerable, mentally and physically. While a cyclist is definitely more likely to be hurt in a car collision than the driver of the car, you can never know what that impact might cause.

Warning sign for bikes - CLARA blog

CLARA is all about safety. We do our best to provide a means of letting cyclists communicate and be seen. However, everybody must know that lack of visibility is only one part (albeit a large one) of avoiding danger.

A bike is not a car but drinking and cycling is just as likely to lead to injury.

A bike is not a car but rules stilly apply when it’s out on the road.

A holiday is not the same as everyday life, but it doesn’t mean that what happens there won’t affect you after.

The least of your worries should be the opinions of "people back home" that might find out what you did while away. If you endanger yourself or others, you'll pay with a lot more than just your reputation. After all, there are plenty of professionals making sure to keep an eye out for all kinds of threats - motorized or not.

Fun and responsibility aren't mutually exclusive. A CLARA vest increases visibility, not maturity. There is no magic pill that will make a wrong right, and consequences do matter. 

Try to make your holiday fun, not fatal. 

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