Tips for safe bike riding for kids

10 Tips for Cyclewise Kids

Artwork by Andrew Welborn, Mountain City Elementary School, Mountain City, Tennessee
1. Wear a helmet every time you ride
Even if you just ride on bike paths or around your neighborhood, make sure you put on your bike helmet before you go. You don’t have to be going fast to risk serious head injuries. (When you buy a helmet, make sure it is designed for bicycling and is approved by ANSI or Snell.)
2. Stop at the end of the driveway and at all stop signs and lights.
Most crashes between a car and bike happen when kids don’t stop at the end of their driveway to look for cars, or when they are crossing a driveway on a sidewalk and a car pulls out in front of them.
3. Always ride on the right side of the road and single file.
Even if you’re just going one block or to the end of the street, it is never safe to ride against traffic.
4. Obey traffic laws
Your bike is a vehicle, and just like a car, you must stop for stop signs and stop lights. Obey all traffic signs.
5. Be predictable
Don’t do anything that would surprise the driver of a car–don’t swerve, don’t clown around, and don’t run stop signs or stoplights.
6. Signal when making a turn
Let motorists know what you’re doing by using proper hand signals for turning and stopping. If you are changing lanes, look behind you first to make sure it’s clear.
7. Be seen
Wear light-colored clothes when you ride, and try to get a bright helmet. If you ride at night, you must have a white front light and a red rear reflector. If you are out after dark and don’t have a light on your bike, call someone to pick you up or walk your bike home.
8. Don’t ride too close to parked cars
Always be aware of parked cars. The driver may suddenly open the door in your path. Leave at least three feet of distance when passing parked cars, and be alert for cars that may be pulling out into the roadway.
9. Yield the right-of-way
Cars have to slow down for walkers, and so do you. When riding on a path, trail, or sidewalk, keep your speed down. Call out that you are approaching or passing.
10. Don’t Clown around
Never hitch a ride on a moving vehicle or do stunts or wheelies on a road with cars or trucks. Also, one person to a bike, unless it is a bike with two seats.
Tips courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists.
Contact (410) 539-3399

For more information on bicycle safety, visit theses sites:
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Kids Health’s Steering Your Way to Bicycle Safety

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About envirolibrarian

I am a librarian at Nashville State Community College, and the faculty advisor for the student environmental group. I use my bicycle and the train to get to work everyday. I really enjoy riding.
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