Riding a bicycle is a fun, healthy way for young kids to commute. It opens the door to new freedoms, but with that independence come certain responsibilities.
You should never let your children ride alone until they understand safe riding etiquette. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 900 bicycle riders died in accidents across the United States in 2013. That same year, 494,000 bikers required emergency care for injuries. A disproportionate number of these victims were young kids.
If your child rides a bicycle, these three safety tips can reduce his or her risk of crashing and sustaining injuries:
- Wear a helmet and other safety equipment;
- Practice riding skills;
- And use an appropriately sized bicycle.
If you or your child suffered injuries in a bicycle crash, contact the Truman Law Firm P.C. Ronald W. Truman is a personal-injury lawyer in Utah who will guide you through the claims process.
Mr. Truman can help you avoid mistakes such as accepting a low settlement, signing a general release, or unknowingly admitting fault to insurance adjusters. Call 435-986-2222 to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also visit USAttorneys.com to learn more about injury claims in Utah.
Here are three tips to keep your kids safe in the saddle:
- Wear a Helmet and Other Safety Equipment
No child – or adult for that matter – should ride a bicycle without a helmet. This is the single most effective piece of safety equipment available. Wearing a helmet can be the difference between minor bumps and bruises, and a traumatic brain injury.
The Snell Memorial Foundation recommends that you follow the four S’s when choosing a new helmet. These are:
- Size: The helmet should fit snugly on the child’s head and be comfortable to wear.
- Strap: The chin strap should keep the helmet firmly in place.
- Straight: The helmet should sit low on your child’s forehead and stay straight, even when he or she moves around.
- Sticker: Look for a helmet that has a Snell certification sticker.
In addition to a helmet, your child should wear brightly colored clothing with reflective strips. The bicycle should also have reflectors and lights if your child intends to ride in the dark.
- Practice Riding Skills
Parents Central recommends that you teach your children to ride in a safe and controlled environment. Do not allow them to ride on sidewalks or open roads until they can maintain their balance and have full control over the bicycle.
Children should know how to start, stop and ride in a straight line with ease. They should also be able to check over their shoulders while riding without losing their line.
- Use an Appropriately Sized Bicycle
Many parents buy large bikes to accommodate their rapidly growing children. This can be dangerous because young kids will have difficulty controlling bicycles that are too large. They may not be able to reach the ground when stationary.
If you were injured in a pedestrian or cycling crash, contact the Truman Law Firm P.C. Ronald W. Truman is a Utah accident attorney who can protect your interests.
Mr. Truman has the highest legal rating offered by Martindale-Hubbell, and he graduated top 10 percent of his class from Brigham Young University. Call 435-986-2222 to schedule a free initial consultation.