Stay Safe as You Pedal
Did you know that some bicycle accidents can result in fatal head and other serious injuries in children? Before you and your family wheel your bikes out of the garage, remember these safety tips to remain safe and injury-free.
Bicycle Safety Recommendations
A helmet is the most important piece of equipment you can use when riding a bike. In fact, it is so important that Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a division of the federal government, devised safety standards for helmets. When purchasing headgear, always make sure that your helmet contains a sticker stating that it meets the requirements of the CPSC.
Other important reminders about helmets:
- Always wear a helmet even if you are just going for a quick ride down the driveway or around the block.
- Helmets should be worn so that they cover your forehead with the straps fastened. Adjust the straps so that they are snug enough that you cannot pull or twist the helmet around your head.
- Take care of a helmet by placing it in its proper storage place and not throwing it around when you are not wearing it. Also, if you fall down, get a new helmet, as it may not be as effective after a crash.
- Place reflective stickers on helmets, especially for kids, so that motorists can see them on the road.
- Keep an eye out for motorists, even if you are on a sidewalk or trail. A car may pull out from a driveway and not be able to see you coming.
- When crossing a busy road, walk your bike through the intersection instead of riding it.
- Watch out for common fall spots such as wet leaf piles, puddles, storm gates, gravel, curbs and potholes.
- Always keep your hands on the handlebars.
- Stop and look both ways before leaving a driveway or sidewalk.
- Ride on the right side of the street so you are moving in the same direction as motorists.
- Obey traffic laws just like motorists. That means stopping at stop signs and obeying streetlights.
- When riding in a group, do so in a single-file line.
Wearing the right gear is important for staying safe.
- Wear brightly colored clothing and place reflective material on your bike so motorists can see you.
- Do not wear loose pants or have long backpack straps or loose shoelaces. These items can get caught in your bike spokes and can cause you to lose control.
- Always wear sneakers when biking.
- Wear riding gloves to get a better grip on the handlebars. Kids may want to wear them too since they look “professional.”