Cycling is a fun activity for children and the young at heart, but keep in mind these 6 Bicycle Safety Tips You (and Your Kids) Should Know.
Bicycling helps keep fit and get around without worrying about the cost of gas for adults. To the kids, it is their first vehicle, a source of pride and freedom.
6 Bicycle Safety Tips You (and Your Kids) Should Know
But they can also be dangerous. According to the CDC, over 1,000 cyclists die in accidents yearly, with 130,000 more suffering injuries requiring medical intervention.
If you are considering biking as one of the activities you want to engage in with your summer, this post has some tips you may want to know to ensure you stay safe.
1. Follow Traffic Rules
Cycling on the road is not for kids under ten because they may not be mature to make informed decisions necessary for safe riding on the road.
Therefore, before your kid can ride on the road, ensure that they understand all traffic rules, such as proper signaling, riding on the right side of the street, stopping at red lights and intersections, etc.
Being on the road means that you or your child will be at risk of an accident should you make an error or encounter a reckless driver. Cyclists hit by negligent drivers may need to work with a bicycle accident lawyer to hold the at-fault parties accountable for damages suffered.
2. Wear a Helmet
There is no protective barrier between cyclists and outside elements, meaning that their bodies will absorb all the impact in an accident.
With the brain being one of the most sensitive parts of the human body, it makes sense to have it covered in a helmet. Helmets come in different sizes, so ensure that you get the right fit for yourself or your child for maximum protection.
3. Ensure That the Bike Is the Best Fit for the Rider
Most parents think it is a wise financial decision to buy a child a bike they can grow into. The problem with having children ride a bicycle that is too big for their size is that they cannot react quickly in an emergency if their feet can’t touch the ground when they are on a bike.
It is therefore essential to ensure that your bike of choice is the right fit.
A properly fitting bike should allow the child’s feet to touch the ground when seated or leave at least one to three inches between them and the bike rails when they have both feet flat on the ground.
4. Wear Brightly Colored Clothes
The small bicycle size makes it almost impossible to see amid other vehicles on the road. So when you are on the road, it is essential to wear brightly colored clothes to increase visibility.
The problem with visibility gets worse when driving in the dark. While you could improve your visibility by wearing reflective clothes at night or installing lights on your bike, it is always best to avoid riding at night.
5. Avoid Distractions
Like motorists, bikers can also get distracted while biking. Therefore, teach yourself and your child to avoid using your phone, eating or drinking, and listening to music while cycling. Instead, focus on your surroundings and ride in a straight line.
Unless you are signaling when making a turn or changing lanes, have your hands on the bars at all times. Having your hands on the bars ensures that you react faster in the face of an emergency to avoid an accident.
6. Beware of Parked Cars
Parked cars constitute a significant hazard for cyclists. A parked car accident occurs when a person in a parked car opens the door when a cyclist approaches, causing the cyclist to ride into the door.
As a precautionary measure, always give parked cats a sizable berth. A good rule of thumb is estimating a car door’s length.