Millions of American kids go back to school each year, and a substantial
portion of them will be hitting the road on bicycles. Riding a bike to
and from school each day is fun, and it’s good for your
child’s health, but it’s important to review the ins and outs of bicycling safety
before turning the kids loose on the roads by themselves.
The basics of bicycling safety fall into three main categories:
• Bike safety equipment
• Proper bicycle adjustments
• Safe bike riding techniques
Bicycle safety equipment begins at the head.
tens of thousands of children are hospitalized for head injuries incurred while riding. Many, perhaps
most, of these injuries would not have happened if the kids had been wearing
properly adjusted headgear. Bring your child with you to test the fit
when you’re picking up a helmet. Invest around five minutes in making
sure the straps are adjusted right, and the helmet doesn’t wobble
or shift when your child’s head moves.
Adjust the dimensions of the bicycle as well.
The seat should be just high enough to give the child leverage on the pedals,
but not so high that it’s difficult to control the bike. As a rule,
the top bar of the frame should be about 2 inches under the child’s
inseam when he stands over it. If your child’s bike has handbrakes,
make sure he doesn’t have to strain to operate them.
Go over the rules of the road with your child.
Children under age 10 are safer on the sidewalk, while older children need
to know to ride with the flow of traffic and obey all posted rules. Perhaps
the best protection is to be predictable; teach your kids hand signals
and encourage them to be aware of drivers all around them.
Please get in touch with our experienced
Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys to discuss what potential strategies might be available to you to obtain
compensation for your damages.
For more bike safety strategies, explore this post, which summarizes the
opinions of several consumer protection agencies:
May Is National Bike Safety Month.