As more people try to find alternatives to public transportation, and as families stay home and are finding ways to get more exercise on their own, bikes have been selling out across the country. If you’re lucky enough to have snagged a new bike or if you’re dusting off an old one from the garage, be sure to know the rules of the road and follow these safety tips:
Use your head, wear a helmet
A helmet is the most effective safety device to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes. Make sure a helmet is worn when riding a bike or scooter and when skating or skateboarding.
More children ages 5 to 14 are seen in the emergency room for biking-related injuries. Helmets reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent.
For tips on finding the right helmet, visit safekids.org.
Keep an eye out
Supervise children until they are responsible to ride on their own.
It can be hard for children 10 and under to judge speed and distance of cars, so limit riding to sidewalks, parks and bike paths, but watch out for cars pulling out of driveways. Teach your children to watch for and yield to other vehicles.
Teach good riding behavior
- Stay on the right side of the road, as far to the right as possible.
- Use hand signals and respect traffic signals and signs.
- Stop. Look left, right and left again when crossing an intersection. At busy intersections, it’s safer to walk your bike across the street.
Wear bright colors, even in the daytime. Attach reflectors, reflective tape or flashing lights to the front and back of your bike.
Don’t ride at dusk or in the dark. If it’s too late, call for a ride home.
At the end of the day, put it away
When your child is done riding, make sure they put it in a safe place to prevent theft and possible injuries. A garage or covered-area is best to prevent wear and tear. Purchase a bike lock to prevent theft if the bike must stay outside or if riding to a public place.