Bicycling isn’t just fun, it is great exercise and it makes kids feel independent. But, bicycles used near streets are vehicles, not toys. Bicycle-car crashes can lead to serious injury and even death. Many of these injuries are associated with the bicyclist’s behavior. Kids should learn safety rules to stay safe.
Safe Riding Tips
- Always wear a helmet. Head injuries cause 75% of bicycle accident deaths.
- Make sure the bicycle is properly adjusted for the rider. The handlebars should be at the same level as the seat. The seat should be level from front to back and adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. If the seat is too high, the child may have difficulty controlling the bicycle.
- Make sure the bicycle is in good working order. Make sure that the tires are inflated and the brakes work. If the brakes don’t work, then don’t allow the child to ride on the street.
- Dress to be seen. Bicyclists should wear bright colors and have reflectors or flashers on their bikes. Bicyclists riding after dark should wear clothing with reflective tape and have a bicycle light.
- Control the bike. Teach your child to always keep at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Children under 10 should not ride in the street. Children under ten are safest on the sidewalk, but make sure that they follow safety rules and that sidewalk riding is allowed in your neighborhood.
- Watch for vehicles coming out of driveways.
- Warn pedestrians by honking, ringing a bell, or saying excuse me.
- Stop at corners to look for cars. Always cross at a marked crosswalk.
- Children over age 10 should ride on the road, but they should follow ALL safety rules.
- Go with the traffic flow.
- Obey all traffic laws.
- Yield to pedestrians and other vehicles.
- Ride in a straight line. Do not weave through traffic.
- Stay alert. Don’t wear headphones while riding a bicycle.
- Look at intersections before turning.
- Watch for parked cars that may be pulling out or doors that may suddenly open.
Shane Smith Law represents victims of car crashes and pedestrian accidents in the metro Atlanta area. We care about the safety of your children. Accidents involving children can result in serious injuries including broken bones, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord injuries. This can lead to huge medical bills at a time when the parent must miss work to care for the child. If your child has been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, contact our office for a free consultation. Our attorneys may be able to help.