Top 5 Bicycle Safety Tips For Children
(also applicable for adults!)
- Learn the rules of the road and follow them.
This includes the meaning of signs, hand signals, who has
the right of way, road etiquette, and other important rules of the road.
- Be Visible
Children should wear brightly colored or reflective clothing and
helmets. Bikes should be outfitted with lights and reflectors.
Riding at dusk or after dark should be discouraged if at all possible.
Don’t assume that motorists can see you nor can they always stop
- Be Predictable
When you ride in a consistent manner, motorists and cyclists will be
able to steer clear of you more easily. When riding in traffic, don’t
make sudden turns or veer in traffic. Normally, try to ride in a straight
line and at a steady pace.
- Anticipate Conflicts
When riding, pay attention to the road ahead. Check your path ahead
for debris in the road or potholes. Try to watch cars out of the corner
of your eye and anticipate their movements, especially if they have
turn signals flashing.
- Wear a Helmet (see tips on fitting a helmet)
Make sure it fits your head and is adjusted properly. If it’s too worn or
banged up, get a new one.
How to adjust your
bicycle helmet to give you
the best fit and maximize protection.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, here are some tips for fitting your bicycle helmet properly:
- Get the right size helmet
Helmets are like hats. Make sure yours fits properly. Your helmet
should not rock from side to side. Use the extra pads or adjust the
fitting ring to make sure that the helmet has a snug fit.
- Position your helmet properly
Your helmet should be level on your head. It should come down your
forehead a bit so you can put one or two fingers between the rim of
the helmet and your eyebrows.
- Adjust your helmet buckle properly
The left buckle should fit just under your chin. On most helmets, the
straps can then be pulled from the back to lenghthen or shorten them
to fit snugly. Often it is easiest to remove the helmet while you’re
making the adjustments.
- Adjust your helmet straps properly
The side straps should form a “V” and be located under and slightly
in front of your ears. Lock the slider if you can.
- Fasten the buckle
You should be able to fit no more than 2 fingers between the strap
and your chin. If you can fit more, tighten the straps.
- Final check - yawn!
Open your mouth and pretend to yawn. You should feel your helmet
pull down on your head.
For kids - buy a helmet that fits, not one that they’ll grow into.
Replace any helmet that was in a crash or is worn or dented.
MORE HELMET SAFETY TIPS & FACTS:
A bicycle helmet can protect your head and brain ONLY if you wear it each time you ride!
Be a good example. Everyone—adult and child—should wear bicycle helmets each time they ride. Helmets are the single most effective way to prevent head injuries resulting from bicycle crashes. Wearing a helmet each ride can encourage the same smart behavior in others, including your children.
A bicycle crash can happen at any time. A properly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent.
More children age 5 to 14 go to hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with bicycles than with any other sport. Many of these injuries involve the head. Helmet laws ensure the safety of our children.
For more information on bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Web site at:www.nhtsa.dot.gov