Did your little one get a new bicycle for the holidays? If so, it’s a good time to remind yourself, and your child, of bicycle safety rules. A great way to do that is to discuss the myths surrounding safe riding. See if your child believes any of these and dispel them if they do.
1. It’s Safer to Ride Facing Traffic
This is an old myth that people have stood by. The fact is that nearly one-fourth of bicycle collisions occur when a rider is facing against traffic. Your child should always ride with traffic and, where permitted, on the sidewalk.
2. Helmets Are Only Needed on Long Rides
Many parents believe that helmets aren’t necessary for short rides around the neighborhood. According to statistics, this simply isn’t true. Most bike crashes occur within a mile of the home. If your child is on a bike, they should be wearing a helmet.
3. A Football Helmet Will Work
A bicycle helmet is designed specifically to protect the head from a fall that occurs while riding a bicycle. A football helmet is designed to protect your child’s head while they are playing football. The two helmets are designed differently. Your child should wear protection that is designed for their activity.
4. Reflectors Make Night Riding Safe
Reflectors may make it easier for your child to be seen, but they don’t make it any safer for your child to ride at night. Your young child does not have the skills necessary to ride before dusk or after dawn.
5. Hand Signals Cause a Rider to Lose Control
Many parents hesitate to teach their children hand signals for bike riding because they are afraid of their children losing control of the bicycle. Yes, your child will have to remove a hand from the handlebar, but it’s more dangerous to not alert a vehicle or pedestrian to their intention. If your child cannot maintain control of their bike with one had briefly off of the handlebars, they should stick to practicing in the driveway.
Any child who is permitted to ride a bicycle should know how to do so safely. Use the talking points above to have a conversation with your child now that they have a shiny new bicycle. When your child knows how to ride a bike safely, you have peace of mind in letting them enjoy themselves.
No parent wants their child to be injured in a bicycle accident. If your little one is in an bicycle versus vehicle accident in Charlotte, you may have the right to compensation for any medical bills you incur. If the accident was the fault of the driver, you have legal rights you should be aware of. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your child’s accident and advise you of the appropriate next steps. Reach out to our team or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.