Bicycle Safety

Although bicycling is fun and teaches children self confidence, they must be taught to cycle safely.

Approximately 250 children in the United States die each year from bicycle-related accidents.  Another half a million are injured. The best way to teach a child to cycle safely is by example.

Bike safety begins with teaching your child how to ride a bike safely.

  • Teach them to balance, steer, and pedal the bike in an open area such as a parking lot or driveway – not in the road
  • Next let them ride on sidewalks – show them that there are cracks, rocks, holes, etc. that they will need to maneuver around
  • Teach them to always stop at the corner and look both ways before preceding across the street
  • Next they will begin riding in the street – ALWAYS ride with the traffic, not against the traffic
  • Stop at all stop signs and obey all traffic signals
  • As their skills advance, they should be taught to use hand signals to indicate a turn

Buying the right bike for your child is essential for bike safety.  Most children can balance a bicycle by four to five years of age.  Make sure the bike is the right size for the rider.  The child should be able to sit on the seat with her feet flat on the ground and the handlebars should be no higher than her shoulders.

Bicycle helmets should be worn at all times while riding a bike.  Three out of four bicycle accidents involve a head injury.  Wearing a helmet could prevent brain damage or even death.

A Bicycle Helmet Should:

  • Be a bright color that is easy for car drivers to see
  • Be lightweight
  • Have wide straps that fit snugly beneath the chin
  • Always have the straps fastened while riding
  • Sit level on the child’s head – do not tilt it forward or backward

Basic safety rules

  • No riding on busy streets
  • Keep at least one hand (preferably two) on the handlebars at all times
  • Ride with the traffic
  • Stop at all stop signs and obey all traffic signals
  • Do not ride too close to parked cars – doors may open suddenly
  • Never wear headphones while riding
  • Only one person on the bike at one time
  • ALWAYS wear a helmet

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