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Safety Tips for Child Bicycle Riders

Safety Tips for Child Bicycle Riders

Bicycle riding is a fun activity for both adults and children alike. It is an enjoyable thing to do that is healthy and a great way to spend time outdoors. But it is important for riders to exercise extra caution while riding because of the risks there are for serious injuries if hit by a car. Children are particularly vulnerable to bicycle accidents. This is true especially for younger ones who are not mature enough to monitor their surroundings and identify danger effectively.

If your child was riding their bike and they were hit and injured by an automobile, the likelihood that they were seriously injured is high. Even adults that are hit by a car when riding their bike can have devastating injuries because there is not much surrounding protection from impact. When a car hits a pedestrian, it can send the rider flying off of their bike until they slam onto the ground. This can result in catastrophic consequences. Children, though, with much smaller bodies can suffer even greater harm if hit while they are on a bike.

The Jacksonville child injury attorneys at Sheftall Law are dedicated to serving victims of injury incidents in and around the greater Jackson, FL area. Heartache and stress can come with any injury incident, but when children are the victims, that sorrow can be even harder to bear. Consider connecting with Sheftall Law if your child was the victim of an injury accident by a negligent party. You may have a case for compensation and the attorneys at Sheftall Law can assist you.

General Bicycle Safety Tips

There are several safety tips that all bicycle riders should partake in to stay safer on the road. The following tips can help you and your children minimize the risk of a bicycle accident happening:

  • Always check your bicycle before you take it out for a leisurely ride. Ensuring that the tires are properly inflated and that all the components of the bike are working the way they should can improve performance, handling, and reliability.
  • Never ride without your helmet. And it is not just important to have any helmet, only one that fits properly should be used. For more information on how to size a bicycle helmet, there are several resources including information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 
  • Your bicycle should be the right size for your body. Bikes can be adjusted to fit appropriately. There are different requirements for mountain bicycles and road bicycles, but a local bike shop can help you choose just the right model and size.
  • Bicyclists can often be overlooked because of diminished visibility. To improve the chances you will be seen while riding, wearing bright colors and having reflective material will do the trick. Bright clothing and reflective gear should be utilized during the day and at night.
  • It may be tempting to ride with no hands on the handlebars, but if an unexpected hazard or situation arises, this makes it much harder to react quickly enough to avoid a crash. Two hands are best, but at least one hand should be holding the handlebars at all times.
  • Be alert to any perils like potholes or uneven surfaces that may be on the road while you ride. If you ride in a group and you notice that there is peril, point it out to the other riders.
  • Riding during the day makes you more noticeable than doing so at night. So if you can avoid driving when it is dark, that is recommended. Should you have to ride at night adding a blinking light or other reflectors on your bike and your person may help.
  • Adhere to the rules of the road.
  • Ride with traffic, not against it.
  • Be sure to signal when you make turns.
  • Be aware of parked cars that could have occupants inside that may not see you and could open their door causing you to crash into it.

Where Should Children Ride Their Bike?

Safety Tips for Child Bicycle RidersThere is much to think about before hitting the road, potentially too much for a younger child who is still not as responsible as an older child or adult. This is why children that are aged 10 and younger, should stay away from riding on the road. Even though adults are often instructed to ride on the road, it is much too dangerous for children. Still, even if children are riding on the street, accompanying a young child while they ride may be a good choice. This is so they can be observed and instructed about how to watch out for cars pulling out of driveways and for crossing over a street.

In addition to understanding how to look out for potential dangers on the sidewalk, instructing children to use their bell or to call out to pedestrians to let them know they are nearby can keep the child and other pedestrians on a sidewalk safer. 

Tips for children riding on the sidewalk include:

  • Different local municipalities may have laws regarding whether riding on the sidewalk is lawful. So before riding on the sidewalk, it is good to check into this where you are located. The city of Jacksonville permits riding on the sidewalk but does not allow bicycles to be parked on a sidewalk in business districts.
  • Be aware of driveways where cars may be turning in or pulling out.
  • When crossing a street, stop completely at the corner and look in all directions to see if other cars are coming before crossing into the street. If there are moving cars, then watch the driver to ensure they notice you.
  • Never go into the street between parked cars or other objects that can block you from being seen by drivers.
  • Always make use of bells, horns, and even your voice, to alert others that you are riding your bike near them.

Speak to a Jacksonville Child Injury Attorney Today

A child riding their bicycle is a big responsibility and one that parent’s should not take lightly. Being assured that your child is responsible and aware while they ride can keep them safe. Though life has no assurances on safety. If your child is injured by a negligent party, please call the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Sheftall Law to schedule a free consultation at (904) 638-7712 to learn more about your rights and what you can do.