Now that summer is in full swing and the kids are out enjoying the weather, many of them will be on their bikes. Bicycle safety is important factor to consider, especially when it comes to children. Tragically, in 2013 alone, nearly 2,000 children were injured or killed while riding their bikes.* It is important to always make safety your number one priority before you or your kids or get on a bike. Some important bicycle safety tips to follow:
- Wear the correct helmet: Wearing a helmet is perhaps the most crucial safety tip that we could give, but wearing one that doesn’t fit your head properly is almost as dangerous as riding without a helmet. If a helmet is too loose or too tight, it may not protect you. If you are unsure of whether your helmet fits your child correctly, getting a professional opinion at a bike shop is a great option.
- Make sure the bike fits: It is very easy to lose control of a bike that is too big for you. That’s why it is crucial to adjust the bike so it is personalized to your height. The seat should always be level, and its height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebars should then be the same height as the seat.
- Check your equipment: Before you ride off, make sure your brakes, tires, chain and any other loose ends on your bike are properly working. For example, improperly working brakes can lead to rider panic and possibly lead to a serious accident, especially when car traffic is involved.
- Be seen, be safe!: It generally is a bad idea to let your child ride his/her bike in the dark, but if its necessary, wear reflective articles of clothing (such as a vest), or reflective tape. Attach reflective lights to the bike as well. These reflective articles of clothing are also a good idea to incorporate during the daytime. You want a driver to clearly see you as soon as possible to avoid an accident. Reflective articles of clothing and tape are generally inexpensive and can be purchased at any local hardware/home improvement store.
- Follow road rules: Look for traffic before you pull out onto a street. Look both ways before you cross the street, and ride in the same direction as traffic. This way is an accident does occur, the bike is propelled forward instead of into a moving car. Most importantly, obey all traffic signs and laws as you would if you were in a car. From past personal injury case experience, one of the most common bike accidents occur when a bicyclist is hit by a car in a crosswalk or intersection.
If you have been injured in a biking accident, contact us immediately to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. We offer convenient meeting times at any of our four regional law offices in Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga Springs, NY.
The E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy legal team is also available 24/7 for emergency situations by calling (518) 274-5820. We are here to help you through this difficult time.
For more information on bike safety, take a moment to read the League of American Bicyclist’s guide.
*Information provided through the League of American Bicyclist’s