Parents, What Should You Teach Your Children About Bicycle Safety?
I have written about bicycle safety, in general. I have written about the dangers of being doored on a bicycle. I have not written about how parents can keep their kids safe on their bikes. Parents, the more you are educated on the subject and the more you teach your children about bicycle safety, the more likely your children are to remain safe on their bikes. Every year several hundred thousand children will require an emergency room visit to treat bicycle-related injuries. Every parent’s goal is to avoid having their child be a part of that statistic.
Children are Required to Wear Bike Helmets
There is an outgoing and raging debate in the bicycling community regarding whether helmets prevent head injuries and traumatic brain injuries. I am not going to even attempt to take sides in this argument because it does not matter. As an adult, you are allowed to make that decision. However, in Florida, all bike riders under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet. Make sure your child wears a helmet at all times. As a parent myself, I know that kids do not care for bicycle helmets, but requiring your child to always wear a helmet at an early age will help form lifelong habits. Children also seem to like personalizing their helmets. Skateboard and surf shops are great places to find stickers to personalize a bike helmet.
It is important to remember that all new bicycle helmets sold in the United States must meet certain standards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) provides standards that approved bicycle helmets will meet. Helmets meeting these standards will have a sticker indicating as much. It is important for children not to throw their helmets around, as this can damage the structural integrity of the helmet. Helmets should always be replaced after a crash in which the helmet is cracked or even scuffed.
Wear Bright Colors while Riding
Children wearing bright clothes are less likely to get hit by a car. This is especially important at night. Inexperienced riders can wear knee and elbow pads to prevent getting cuts and scrapes when they fall off their bicycles. It is also extremely important to teach your children to always make sure their shoes are tied and that loose clothing is secure. Shoelaces and loose pants can easily cause an accident if they get caught in the chain.
Safety Tips for Children Riding Bikes
Now that you have the basic equipment out of the way, it is important to teach your children how to ride safely and protect themselves from injuries. Kids under 10 should ride exclusively on the sidewalk and avoid the streets, but it is important for your child to be aware that even when using the sidewalk there are a host of issues that can cause an accident.
Children should watch out for:
- Every car they see
- Cracks in the sidewalk
- Puddles seem like fun but are hazardous for young bicyclists
- Wet leaves
- Storm grates
- Loose gravel
All of the above issues are hazardous for inexperienced bicycle riders and children must be taught to maintain their line of vision down the sidewalk. Young riders are especially prone to staring at the pedals as they ride which is very dangerous.
Rules of the Road for Bicycles
It is also important to continually educate your children as they age. When they begin riding in the street, they need to learn the rules of the road. Children should always follow these rules:
- Stop at all stop signs and red lights;
- Use crosswalks wherever available;
- Walk the bike across busy intersections;
- Always check traffic in both directions before entering a street;
- Ride on the right-hand side of the road;
- Use bike lanes, whenever available;
- Watch for doors opening on parked cars;
- Do not cross streets between parked cars; and
- Never wear headphones.
Contact Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorneys at Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured in a bicycle accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you. We understand traumatic brain injuries and the issues that they can cause in your daily life and our law firm will always work to make sure you are compensated fairly.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of a car, motorcycle, or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St Petersburg, FL 33707