Bike riding is a lot of fun, but accidents happen. Every year about 300,000 children go to the emergency room because of injuries, and at least 10,000 children have injuries that require a few days in the hospital. Most deaths from bike accidents are due to head trauma. Bicycle helmets are so important that the US Government has created safety standards for them. Your helmet should be certified by CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). Wear a bike helmet every time you ride, even short distances. Make sure the helmet fits properly and that the chin strap is securely fastened.
Making sure the bicycle you are riding is the proper size for you factors in to keeping you safe. A few bicycle safety tips:
- When you are on your bicycle stand straddling the top bar of your bike so that both feet are flat on the ground. There should be 1 to 3 inches of space between you and the bar.
- Make sure your seat, handlebars and wheels are secured tightly in place.
- Having your change properly oiled with make sure your bicycle is function properly.
- Depending on how often and far you ride know how to check the tire’s air pressure.
- Make sure loose pant legs, backpack straps and shoe laces are not in the way of your bicycles chain.
BE SAFE – BE SEEN
Wear bright clothing and put reflectors on your bicycle.
Daytime riding is the safest.
Avoid wearing headphones because the music can distract you from noises around you. If someone honks their horn you may not be able to hear it.
WHERE SHOULD YOU RIDE?
Children younger than 10 years should ride on a sidewalk and avoid the danger on the street. Most cities state adults should ride on the road. Check your local laws to know the rules.
A bicycle path is a great place to ride. Many cities across the country have realized the importance of a safe place to ride and have created beautiful bike paths for everyone to enjoy. Doing quick internet search of the area you will be in beforehand should give you all the information you need, or call the local chamber of commerce.
- Ride on the right side of the street, traveling in the same direction as the cars. Never ride against traffic.
- Stop at all Stop signs and obey traffic lights.
- Hand Signals – Learning the signals for Left and right turning as well as stop will let cars, trucks, and motorcycles know the direction you intend to go.