Riding a bike can be fun, good exercise, and a great family activity! If you plan to ride a bike, or let your child ride a bike, the resources below can help you educate them on how to be safe while riding.
First, check out these important safety tips from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Wear a bicycle helmet every ride. Properly fitted and buckled helmets save lives. Seventy-five percent of all serious bicycle injuries involve a head injury that might have been prevented, if the bicyclist was wearing a helmet. Many States or jurisdictions have bicycle helmet laws for children. It is highly recommended that bicyclists of all ages wear a helmet designed for bicycling that meets the safety standards set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Parents and other adults who wear helmets protect themselves from potential head injuries and al so set a proper example for others.
- Ride with traffic. The law requires all bicyclists to ride on the right-hand side of the road in the same direction as traffic. Riding against traffic has been shown to be a contributing factor in one out of every five bike/car crashes. This is because riding against traffic puts bicyclists where motorists least expect them. Motorists turning right normally only look for traffic coming from the left, not from the right.
- Stop and look before entering a street. Parents and guardians should explain and practice stopping and looking for traffic at the end of a driveway, parking lot, or alley. Practice by looking left, then right, then left again for traffic; proceed when clear. Riding into the street from a driveway without stopping is the cause of half the bike fatalities to kids 8 and under. It accounts for about one-third of serious crashes involving children 8 to 12.
- Obey signs and signals. Parents and guardians should reinforce that bicyclists must stop at stop signs and red lights and what it means to yield to traffic and pedestrians. Failure to obey signs and signals is another major cause of bicycle/car collisions involving children. Stopping for traffic control devices should be stressed so it becomes a habit.
- Make safe decisions. Your child must stop, look, and decide for him- or herself if the road is clear before exiting a driveway, crossing a street or making a turn. It is not safe to just follow a friend.
- Scan for traffic. Parents and guardians should emphasize looking behind (over his/her shoulder) for traffic before turning or changing positions on the roadway. If there are lots of cars behind, the rider should get off the bike and walk across the intersection using the crosswalks, if available.
Click each link below to download various resources that you can keep at home or give to your child to education them on bicycle safety.