By Christensen and Hymas Utah Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Teaching your child how to ride a bike is one of the traditional joys of parenting. Family bike rides are a great way to bond and spend time with each other. However, there are also many risks involved when kids ride bikes. Children and young adults are involved in over half of the most serious bike accidents across the country. Child bike safety is extremely important.
What are the most important and effective parts of child bike safety? As Utah’s Bicycle Accident Lawyers, we understand what kinds of mistakes lead to the most accidents. Here are some of our tips on keeping your kids safe while riding:
· Always wear a helmet!
It is impossible to overstate the importance of wearing a helmet. Children and adults should wear a Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved helmet every time they ride a bike. You can know if your child is wearing an approved helmet by checking for a sticker on the inside of the helmet.
In addition, make sure that your child’s helmet fits and is fastened properly before they take off.
· Wear the right clothes
Ill-fitting clothing can result in bike accidents. A key aspect of child bike safety is ensuring that no loose pants or untied shoelaces will be tangled up in the bike chain while they ride.
Proper shoes are also very important. Closed-toe shoes like sneakers with gripping soles will help your child’s feet stay on the pedals.
· Ride a bike that fits
Making sure that your child’s bike is not too small or too big can play a big role in their safety. Experts suggest testing their bike’s size by comparing it to their height. Your child should stand straddling their bike’s top bar. There should be about 1 to 3 inches of open space between your child and the bar.
· No flat tires or sticky brakes
Flat tires and faulty brakes can make it difficult and even impossible for your child to steer and control their bike. Fortunately, these are both fixable problems. You should consistently keep up with the brakes and tires on your child’s bike. You can do this yourself or take it into a local bike shop.
· Obey the rules of the road
Your neighborhood roads may seem quiet and safe, but it only takes one careless driver or one mistake by your child to cause an accident. Following road rules is crucial to child bike safety. You should teach them the basics of road safety, such as:
o Obeying stop signs
o How to act at intersections
o Looking both ways out of the driveway
o Using both hands to control their bike
o Exercising extreme caution around cars, whether parked or moving
These tips are only some of the many ways that you can help your kids stay safe while riding their bikes. Always remind them to use caution and keep these things in mind.
We are experienced bike accident attorneys, who are dedicated to helping injured cyclists. If you have any questions about bicycle safety or laws, do not hesitate to contact us.