3 Cycling Safety Tips for Parents
It is never too early to teach your children how to ride bicycles safely, to get them familiar with various parts of the bike, and show them how the brakes work. Additionally, it is wise for parents to teach their young children never to ride in the street in order to avoid a bicycle accident. When small children ride their bikes in the streets, it is difficult for drivers to see them. As bicycle accident lawyers, we have seen too many cycling accidents involving children.
Due to this, we encourage parents to review 3 cycling safety tips with their children:
- Basic safety concepts
- Visibility issues
- Helmet safety
Safety issues that children will need to learn about can include the proper way to handle a bike. Children need to learn how to handle their bikes to avoid obstacles and become familiar with braking and balancing on a bike. Safety can also include informing children it is safer to ride their bicycles with adult supervision or in groups. Once a child gets older and begins riding in the street, parents need to instruct their children to ride only on low-traffic streets (i.e., residential neighborhoods). When children become teenagers and start riding further distances, parents need to remind their children always to ride with the flow of traffic instead of against it, and that they should ride as close to the right side of the road as possible.
Because many motorists have a hard time seeing bicyclists, especially children on bicycles, parents need to review visibility concerns with their children. When riding a bicycle, all cyclists should wear bright clothing and make sure they make eye contact with others on the road to verify that a driver noticed them. It is also a good idea for parents to teach their children always to be scanning the road for traffic and for road hazards. Every bicyclist, no matter the age, should get used to checking to the rear before making a sudden move or changing lanes.
Parents need to teach their children from a very early age always to wear a bicycle helmet, even when riding in their own neighborhoods. Children should learn how to put on a helmet and how to tell if a helmet fits properly and snugly.