Now that school is out for summer, more kids than ever are grabbing their bikes and enjoying the outdoors. While bike riding is an important skill for children to have, an excellent form of exercise, and a fun way to socialize, it can also be dangerous. If you’re a parent, make sure you share these bike safety tips with your kids.
Learn—and Use—Bike Hand Signals
Using bike hand signals is an important part of letting other bikers and drivers know what you’re doing, and can help to prevent an accident. If you’re unsure of bike hand signals yourself, brush up on them at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
Wear a Helmet!
More important even than learning bike hand signals is purchasing a helmet. Not just any helmet either, look for a Department of Transportation (DOT) or Snell-certified helmet and make sure it’s the right fit. Learn more about the Snell Memorial Foundation helmets and why they are preferred. Additionally, if the helmet isn’t the proper size or the straps aren’t adjusted as they should be, they helmet won’t be as effective as it could be otherwise.
Stay Out of Traffic
While some municipalities have ordinances that prohibit bicycles on the sidewalk, sidewalks are often the much safer choice for child cyclists than are the roads. Talk to your kids about avoiding highly trafficked areas, and choosing bike trails or neighborhood streets when possible. As much as you can, teach your child the relevant traffic laws, like stopping at stop signs. Suggest waiting for eye contact from the driver as well.
Always See and Be Seen
Remind your children of the importance of always looking before making any movements on a bicycle—like crossing the street or taking a turn—and making sure that other motorists see them.
Safe cyclists do the following.
- Wear bright or reflective colors
- Look over their shoulders before changing lanes
- Look both ways when crossing a street
- Make eye contact or nod at drivers
To improve visibility, make sure your child’s bike is outfitted with both front and rear lights, the latter of which recently became law. Read more on our Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents Blog.
Bicycle Accidents in Iowa
If your child ever is involved in a bicycle accident, our team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair can help your family recover damages. There’s nothing more harrowing than a child being injured. Reach out to us today to learn more about your rights after an accident by calling 888-435-9886.