Protect Your Kids with This Advice from Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Many children grow up learning how to ride a bicycle. There’s nothing quite like experiencing the thrill of cycling early on. It is a great exercise as well as a fun skill that is hard to forget. Parents, however, sometimes forget to accompany their riding lessons with safety lessons. Our bicycle accident lawyers highly advise that adults teach their children security measures as early as possible to avoid accidents. If you are unsure where to start, here are some tips.
Bikes, like cars, are machines. Your child should check his bike before riding and make sure it is in good condition.
Tires and Wheels
– Ask your child to test the tire and make sure it has enough inflation. Too much inflation and the bike will be difficult to handle. The wheels should be in perfect round shape without any dent. Your child must also check the nuts and bolts and see that they are tight.
– The chain must be oiled. A dry chain can cause it to grind and break, which can lead to an accident.
– Check the brakes, both front and back, and make sure they have adequate grip. Brakes in bicycles have the same importance as brakes in cars. The brake pads must not touch the tire, but they should only touch the rim. Brake pads that clamp on tires can cause a sudden stop and cause the child to be launched over the handle bars.
– These should be tight and properly aligned. Loose handle bars do not provide proper handling and can separate from the fork, which can cause a serious crash.
Knowing Road Safety Rules
No matter where you live, your child will bike on the road and may venture farther from home, even if you told them not to do so. Before your child starts riding on their own, it is imperative that you instruct them early on about road safety rules.
- No Horsing Around – Children must know that a road is a dangerous place. Messing around means they lose focus on riding. Just like car drivers, a few seconds of distraction can be costly.
- Stop, Look, and Listen – Teach your children to do this at every intersection, especially in places where they have to cross railroads. Tell your kids that even if they do not have blind spots, car drivers do.
- Obey the Lights – Teach your children how traffic lights work. Help them understand how it manages the traffic in a busy intersection and how an accident can happen if they beat the red light. You should also teach them the meaning of all the different kinds of road signs.
- Ride with the Traffic – makes sure the child knows that he should ride the bike on the same side of the traffic flow, not against it. If he is moving forward, the cars behind him and in front of him should be moving forward, too, not against him. He should also ride on the shoulder of the road, not in the middle of it.
Practicing Riding Techniques
Cyclists, like drivers, can be clumsy sometimes. There are techniques that a person can apply to reduce the chances of falling.
- Use both hands – You can’t completely stop children from practicing risky maneuvers like wheelies and spinout stops, but they should learn to do this only in secluded areas where there are no cars. In city rides, they should always keep both hands on the handlebar.
- Dress brightly – Your children must understand that drivers will easily see them if they dress brightly. If they do not want to, an alternative is to wear something that has a reflector on it, most especially so when biking at night.
- Always use eye contact – Teach your child not to take unnecessary and dangerous risks. If he is going to turn in an intersection and a car is passing through, he must make sure he saw the driver eye to eye. Many car drivers cannot see cyclists because of blind spots. By making sustained eye contact, your child knows for sure that the car driver can see him.
- Drive like you are in a car – Teach your child to treat his bicycle like a car. Teach him not to weave in and out of traffic. Many car drivers can open their doors while your child is passing through, without seeing him, and this can cause serious injury.
Tell you your kids that they can reduce biking accidents if they will only follow the rules. These rules go beyond wearing a helmet. Most important of all, you should be a role model. Your children will not wear helmets if you don’t. Once you set a good example, they will follow your teachings by heart, and you will never have to call upon bicycle accident lawyers.
Last Updated: 03-24-2017