There are many ways that you can keep safe when riding your bike, you can invest in reflective gear, additional lighting and increase your road visibility. You can buy protective clothing such as helmets and padding to cushion any falls or injury. These are all great tools to carry on any journey, but they won’t be able to get you the help you need if you end up in danger.
Throughout the past year, I have been visiting courier Hubs, to meet and talk with the courier departments about how Flare is protecting their companies’ global fleets and helping them avoid incidents! This Time I was invited to the Just Eat Hub in Birmingham to promote the benefits of Flare and increase the user awareness amongst the couriers. Ahead of the visit, I prepared a short survey for the couriers to participate in. It gives them a chance to voice any concerns over their safety with the opportunity to win a £25 Voucher.
I began the day with the Courier Captain, we went through some main concerns about privacy and battery life, and I was able to demo him through the app which he was looking forward to using now that he had his answers for concern! Throughout the afternoon I was able to speak with several of the JET couriers before they go out on their bikes to begin their shifts. We spoke about times they have felt unsafe when at work and on the roads. Usually when I ask this question, I hear a lot of the same troubling responses. Most of them have experienced targeted and intimidating abuse from gangs of youths, dangerous driving from other motorist, and harassment.
It's concerning to hear about some of the incidents that these genuine and hardworking riders have faced, but what's more eye-opening is many of these riders are female, yet feel they find it difficult to address these situations.I’ve come to learn in the past from attending similar events, that women are also less likely to speak up about any concerns. It’s bad enough these incidents are happening, which makes it even worse when it becomes a part of your daily routine and your job. By raising the rider’s awareness of Flare, there’s always a pleasantly engaging response received in knowing that we are offering solutions which are available now.
I got the chance to sit down and communicate with a female rider, Reemah, who was deaf. We spoke through typing to each other and with some assistance from some skilful signers within the JET team. I asked what safety measures she uses to keep safe when at work, “I'm deaf, I used to wear the cochlear implant to hear when I cycle on the road. When my cochlear battery is dead, I keep calming myself down because I only have my eyes to look back and front to check the cars or lorry.” She also says that “sometimes the drivers just don't care when they drive closely past me”.
Being a cyclist on any road, with vehicles passing you by that are much bigger and more powerful, plus the added misfortune of careless drivers will put you in an extremely vulnerable position. Its stories like Reemah’s that are driving Flare to be the ultimate personal safety platform. Reemah hadn’t used Flare yet but was excited to get started, so we created her an account straight away and we went over the key features. “This app is very useful for every courier. I think I would use this app for any time I have an incident, it would be easier to communicate with having Flare too!”. With the help of Flare, Reemah can now report incidents and request assistance in her community, and also have an SOS feature at hand in the event of a vulnerable situation.
Flare is constantly working towards creating a safer environment for couriers and all road users to travel comfortably within. I’m looking forward to attending more safety awareness events like this in the future and gaining a deeper insight into the complex struggles that come with everyday jobs such as a courier. Flare’s on a mission to protect the world one journey at a time. In fact, we have already saved 4 lives, that we know of, since last year one of them being a Just Eat courier! We’re proud to work alongside JustEat to protect their global fleet of riders.