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Stead Cycles Safety Tips: Bicycle safety measures for the family

Riding a bike is a great way to exercise and spend time as a family. But before you and your child start pedaling, make sure you are up to date on how to stay safe on the bike.

What should I know about cycling helmets?

Wearing a bicycle helmet when cycling should be mandatory for the whole family, regardless of where they go and how short the route they want to do is going to be. In many states it is an obligation dictated by law.

bicycle safety

Many bicycle accidents bring head injuries; therefore, a fall or collision can lead to brain injury or even death for those who do not wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bike. In Australia, approximately half a million children are seriously injured each year in bicycle-related accidents, and most of these injuries could have been prevented if the children had worn a bicycle helmet. To protect your child from possible brain injury, make sure the helmet is worn correctly every time he or she rides.

Here are some things to keep in mind when buying a bike helmet for your child:

  • Choose bold or fluorescent colors that are clearly visible to drivers and other cyclists.
  • Look for a well-ventilated helmet.
  • Make sure the helmet passed the safety equipment approval by your road and safety commissions. Both indicate that the helmet meets the safety requirements established by trust groups specialized in safety.
  • Make sure that the helmet fits your child and that it fits snugly enough. Bicycle shops can help you do this.
  • When your child wears the helmet, make sure the tether strap is fastened. Also make sure your child is not wearing a cap under the helmet.
  • Be sure to exchange any helmet made before 1999.
  • If your child has a hard fall and his helmet hits a hard surface, buy him a new helmet. After a strong blow, the helmets lose their cushioning capacity.

What clothing is safe to wear while riding a bike?

The clothing children wear when riding a bicycle is also very important for safety:

  • Fluorescent or brightly colored clothing helps children to be clearly visible on the road, clothing in these colors is even more visible than white clothing. (Avoid dark clothing, especially when it is getting dark and during twilight.)
  • Have your child wear something that helps to reflect light, like reflective tape.
  • Light clothing, especially in the summer months, will help keep your child from getting too hot.
  • Pants must not be wide-legged or flared. These types of leg loops could get caught in the bicycle chain while riding.
  • If your child wears a backpack while riding a bike, make sure the backpack straps are securely tied so they cannot get caught in the spokes of the wheels. Have your child carry a backpack as light as possible?
  • Choose shoes that adhere well to the pedals of the bicycle. Spiked athletic shoes, heels, and flip-flops can create problems when riding a bike. Children should never ride a bike barefoot!

Rules of the road for riding a bicycle

Here are some must-know safety tips to teach any child riding a bicycle:

  • Stop at all “STOP” signs and obey the signals of the traffic lights (stop at a red light), just as cars do. Yield to pedestrians, stop for red lights, and use extra caution at crossings.
  • Always ride on the right side of the road, in the same direction as the cars. Never drive in the opposite direction.
  • Older children should try to use the bike lane or follow routes specifically designed for bicycles, not the sidewalk! Children under the age of 10 must always ride on the sidewalk.
  • Never ride a bicycle at dusk or when it is dark.
  • When exiting a garage, driveway, or alley, or stepping off a curb or sidewalk, always stop and pay attention to traffic in both directions.
  • Be very attentive to traffic, in case a vehicle turns or joins traffic from a garage or other road.
  • Do not drive too close to parked cars, their doors could open suddenly.
  • At crossings with a lot of traffic, always cross on foot, dragging your bicycle across the pedestrian crossing and respecting the traffic lights.
  • When cycling in a group, always ride on the road in single file.
  • When you are going to overtake another cyclist or a pedestrian, always do it on the left and warn saying: "On the left!" so you recognize you're planning to get earlier than you.
  • Never share the saddle with a friend or allow him to sit on the handlebar; You can only ride one bike at a time. When riding a bicycle with a passenger, it is easy to lose balance, make sharp turns, and suddenly stumble in traffic.
  • Never wear headphones while riding a bike; it is very important to be able to constantly hear surrounding noises while driving.
  • Never stand up while riding a bike.
  • Never hold onto a moving vehicle.

Mark the turns!

It is important for children to know how to signal with their hands to turn or change direction. Make sure your child knows never to change direction or lane without first looking back in the rear view mirror and always using the correct signals.

Instruct him to use his left hand at all signals:

  • Turn left: After looking back, extend your left arm outward and move forward slowly.
  • Stopping: After looking back, bend your left arm at the elbow pointing the hand toward the ground, slow down and stop.
  • Turn Right: After looking back, bend your left arm at the elbow pointing your hand toward the sky and move forward slowly. (Or, have her use her right arm and extend it outward.)

One of the simplest ways to assist your child learn to ride a bicycle safely is to line a decent example by always following the principles of the road yourself. And the most important thing is that you always wear a cycling helmet when riding a bicycle.

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