Most children’s bicycle accidents aren’t fatal, but they can cause lasting damage. Learning about bicycling safety from parents and other caring adults helps kids stay out of emergency rooms and avoid problems, such as brain injuries, which can result in litigation.

In its report Bicycle Education Safety for Children from a Developmental and Learning Perspective, the National Safety Council of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says parents “play a crucial role” in child bicycling safety.

Being a ‘Roll’ Model

Teaching children to ride bicycles involves more than helping them master balance and braking. It’s a repetitive, loving process not only of discussing bicycling rules but also of modeling safe practices as you roll along together.

In fact, the NHTSA report states, ” Parents who… model safe [bicycling] behavior have children who not only engage in safe behavior but intend to continue safe behavior in adulthood.”

Explaining Rules

Following is a top ten list of bicycling safety rules that adults should explain and model for young cyclists.

  • Wear a Bicycle Helmet Whether a biking trip is short or long, put on your helmets. Many childhood biking accidents occur on sidewalks and in driveways.
  • Check Brakes and Tires Demonstrate how to check brakes and tires before going for a ride.
  • Be Careful Entering and Exiting Driveways Parked vehicles and landscaping can obstruct a child’s view of cars pulling in or out.Family mountain biking on forest trail, front view, close-up
  • Look All Around Show how to look right-left-right and all around before crossing a street or turning.
  • Ride on the Right It’s safer riding with the traffic flow instead of against it. Teach young bicyclists to keep to the right in a straight line and far enough away from the curb to avoid parked cars.
  • Obey Signs and Signals If you cross on green, halt at stop signs and pause at yield signs to check for traffic, your children will learn to do the same. Teach very young c
    hildren about the meanings of different signage shapes and colors.
  • Maintain Attention & Control Show that at least one hand should always be on the handlebars to control a bicycle. Avoid distractions, such as cell phone calls. You wouldn’t want your children playing Pokémon Go while pedaling.
  • Navigate Road Hazards Children need to learn how to get around potholes, road construction and other hazards.
  • Dress for Safety Success Motorists are more likely to notice bicyclists who wear bright or reflective clothing.
  • Don’t Bicycle after Dark Don’t let young children bicycle after dark. Also, discourage the practice among teens.

Seeking Legal Help

Teaching children to be careful when bicycling helps avoid accidents. Seeking knowledgeable legal support following a biking accident can aid recovery. Don’t hesitate to contact us for help.