Cycling is a healthy way for children to commute to school and friend’s houses. Unfortunately, it comes with inherent dangers.
Cyclists are less visible than vehicles and can easily disappear in drivers’ blind spots. Also, a crash with a negligent motorist is likely to cause injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 900 cyclists in the United States died in 2013, and 494,000 required emergency department treatment for injuries. Fortunately, there are steps that children can take to minimize their risk of getting in accidents. These include:
- Practicing their riding skills;
- Wearing the appropriate safety equipment;
- Riding the correct size bicycle;
- And learning traffic laws.
If you or your child sustained injuries in a bicycle crash, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC. A Cedar Rapids injury attorney can assess your case, gather evidence, talk to witnesses and structure your claim.
Call 319-393-1020 to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also visit the USAttorneys website to learn more about injury claims in Iowa.
Here are four bicycle safety tips that could save your child’s life:
1. Practice Riding Skills
As Parents Central explains, children should practice their riding skills in a safe location before they venture onto the sidewalks and roads. They should know how to start, stop, ride in a straight line, and look over their shoulders while moving. They should also know how to signal their intentions to other drivers.
2. Wear the Appropriate Safety Equipment
When choosing a helmet, the Snell Memorial Foundation recommends that you consider the “four S’s:”
- Strap: The chin strap should fit snugly under the chin and around the ear.
- Size: Try several helmets to find one that fits comfortably and snugly.
- Straight: When trying on a helmet, make sure it fits straight. It should be low on your forehead.
- Sticker: Try to find a helmet with a Snell certification sticker. This means that the helmet has passed strict safety evaluations.
Your children should also wear brightly colored clothing or reflective vests. Install lights and reflectors on the bicycle to improve visibility at night, and during dusk and dawn.
3. Ride the Correct Size Bicycle
Your child may be growing, but purchasing a bicycle that is too large can be dangerous. Your child might have difficulty controlling the bike, and he or she may not be able to reach the ground when stationary.
4. Learn Traffic Laws
Teach your child that a bicycle is not a toy. He or she should know traffic laws and how to avoid precarious situations.
Accompany your child on rides until you are confident that he or she knows how to handle busy intersections, crowded sidewalks, and dangerous streets. Use these rides as opportunities to teach your child about important safety tips and riding habits.
If you or your child sustained injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC. A Cedar Rapids injury lawyer can guide you through the claims process. Call 319-393-1020 to schedule a free initial consultation.