May is National Bike Month: Six Ways to Protect Your Kids From Bicycle Accidents
There are plenty of reasons why people decide to ride bikes. Some do so for health benefits. Others cycle competitively in races. Some ride their bike as a hobby. Still, others use a bicycle as a main method of transportation. Some bike on pavement while others go dirt or mountain biking. Whatever your preference, it is apparent that biking is growing in popularity across the United States.
Floridians are Choosing Bikes Over Cars
The League of American Bicyclists (The League) notes that more than half of America’s population lives within a mere five miles of their workplace yet, many do not choose to commute by bike. May is a great opportunity to get out of your car with family and friends and jump on two wheels because it is National Bike Month. In addition to the entire month being dedicated to biking, there is an official Bike to Work Week as well as a National Bike to Work Day. People across the country will choose to bike to work in an effort to avoid commuter traffic, help the environment by reducing pollution, and get in some exercise.
In 2012, the League entered into partnership with the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the groups have organized National Bike to School Day. Thousands of local events across the country occur to encourage children to safely bike (or walk) to school. Whether your child or children participate in National Bike to School Day or they just like to ride their bicycles, it is important to keep several tips in mind to help keep them safe from accidents.
Keeping Your Kids Safe
There are some important and simple things a parent or guardian can do to try to protect their child from bicycle accidents. The most basic safety tip is to ensure the child is wearing a properly fitted bike helmet. This is the best way to prevent a head injury while the child is riding a bicycle. The use of a properly fitted bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries of a cyclist by as much as 45%, yet fewer than 50% of children ages 14 and under wear a bike helmet while riding. Other safety tips to help prevent child bicycle accidents include:
- Have your child ride the bike on the sidewalk, if possible
- If the sidewalk is not an option, make sure the child rides in the same direction as traffic and does so as far as possible on the right-hand side of the road
- Teach and ensure that your child uses hand signals and follows the rules of the road while biking
- Educate your children on riding bikes in a manner that is expected by drivers (i.e., no swerving between cars, riding in a straight line, not entering the road from an unpredictable area like a crosswalk, sidewalk, or alleyway)
- Insist that your child use lights, reflectors, and wear bright colors when riding in dim light or darkness; and
- Make sure to ride alongside your child until you are confident he or she can handle the responsibility of doing so alone
”The most basic safety tip is to ensure the child is wearing a properly fitted bike helmet. This is the best way to prevent a head injury while the child is riding a bicycle.
Child Injured in a Bicycle Accident? We Can Help You
If your child or a loved one’s child has suffered injuries from a bicycle accident through no fault of his or her own, let the bicycle accident attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns help you through this difficult time. Our skilled personal injury attorneys will fight for the monetary compensation to which you and/or your loved one is entitled. Click here today to schedule your free bike accident consultation.
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