Safety Tips for Bicyclists & Parents
Cycling has become increasingly popular, especially in larger cities where commuting with vehicles is not deemed essential. As we approach the spring season, children and adults will be riding bicycles for fun, fitness, or transportation - many on sidewalks or even on the road.
- Be Seen - Use your horn, hand signals, and light to be seen by others on the road
- Be Wary - Pay close attention to vehicles, pedestrians, and others on the road
- Be Alert - Scan ahead, center, left and right
10 Pro-Tips for Safe Bicycle Riding
- Wear your helmet
- Keep your head up, look ahead
- One person per bicycle
- Ride in a single file with space between others
- Ride on the right side of the road, never against traffic
- Plan ahead if riding in a group
- Check local laws and rules before riding in unfamiliar areas
- Avoid busy roads and peak traffic times
- Ensure that you have proper reflective attire while riding at dusk
- Keep your bicycle up to date
Some Tips to Avoid Collisions
- Do not wear headphones while riding a bike
- Keep both hands on the handlebars, except while signaling traffic
- Keep both feet on pedals
- In a group, ride single-file with the flow of traffic
- Wear bright colored clothes, helmet, and material on you at all times
- Use correct hand signals
Quick Tips for Parents & Choosing the Right Bicycle for your Child
- The child’s bicycle should be based on their size, not their age group
- The child should be able to place both feet flat on the ground while sitting on a bicycle seat
- Bicycles for very young children should have training wheels
Proper Safety Equipment
- Helmets are the most important piece of equipment
- Ensure the helmet fits the child’s head correctly
- Ideally, the helmet should have ventilation to prevent overheating on the head
Riding Safety Tips
- Children should never ride on sidewalks, using bicycle lanes when they are provided
- Two children should never try to ride the same bike
- Young child should never ride alone at night
- Children should never take their hands off of the handlebars while riding
Bicycle Safety Laws
- Teach children to use proper hand signals
- Children must stop at any stop sign or red traffic light they encounter
- Walk their bicycles across intersections and crosswalks with heavy traffic
- Teach children to inspect their bicycles regularly
- Tire pressure level should be kept inflated to the maximum at all times
- Keep the bicycle chain properly tightened
It’s important to teach your child how to ride his/her bicycle safely and avoid crashes. Serious bicycle crashes are rare, and the “heart healthy” benefits of bicycling far outweigh the risks.
Drivers: Share the Road
People on bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as people behind the wheel of a vehicle. As a driver of a vehicle keep in mind:
- Yield to cyclists as you would motorists and do not underestimate their speed.
- Always search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles.
- Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions, and drive defensively to avoid a crash with a cyclist.
- Give cyclists room and do not pass too closely. Pass cyclists as you would any other vehicle—when it’s safe.
Accidents do happen, even if you are extra cautious. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a biking crash, contact our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski P.C. for a free consultation today.