Cycling offers a multitude of benefits for young kids. Riding is a healthy activity that opens the door to more freedom and independence.
However, cycling comes with inherent dangers. All it takes is one distracted, drunk or otherwise negligent driver to cause a tragedy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children, adolescents and young adults have the highest rates of non-fatal cycling injuries. In fact, these demographics account for more than 33 percent of all visits to emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries.
It is critical that parents are proactive about teaching their kids how to ride safely. Unfortunately, no cyclist is immune to accidents.
If the worst happens and your child gets hit by a negligent motorist in Alabama, contact Morris Bart & Associates, LLC. A Birmingham accident lawyer will evaluate the collision to determine if you have grounds for a personal injury claim. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Read on to learn 10 rules every child should know before cycling:
- Act Like a Car
Just like a passenger-vehicle driver, your child should stop at all traffic lights and stop signs. Cyclists should also yield to pedestrians and exercise caution at intersections.
- Ride in the Same Direction as Motor Vehicles
According to KidsHealth.org, your child should always ride in the same direction as cars.
- Avoid the Sidewalk
Riding on the sidewalk actually increases your child’s risk of crashing. They are vulnerable to collisions with pedestrians and cars pulling out of parking lots and driveways. Teach your child to use cycle lanes when they are available and to ride safely on the road when there are no cycle lanes.
- Avoid Riding at Night
Never ride a bicycle at night, or during dusk or dawn. Drivers have reduced visibility at these times, which increases the risk of getting in a bicycle accident.
- Look Both Ways before Entering a Road
Cyclists should always look for traffic in both directions before entering a road from an alley, curb or driveway.
- Exercise Caution near Driveways
According to BicycleSafe.com, cyclists are particularly vulnerable to cars pulling into or out of side streets and driveways. Your child should always exercise caution in these areas.
- Keep Your Distance from Parked Cars
Parked cars may seem benign, but a significant number of cycling accidents happen because people open their doors in front of bikers. Teach your child to ride a safe distance from parked vehicles.
- Use Crosswalks at Busy Intersections
Teach your child to walk his or her bicycle across busy intersections.
- One Bicycle, One Rider
Never share the saddle with another person or allow a passenger to ride on the handlebars. This makes bikes difficult to handle and increases the risk of crashing.
- Do Not Wear Headphones
Although sight is the most important sense when riding a bike, it is critical that your child can hear approaching vehicles. As such, teach him or her never to wear headphones while cycling.
Unfortunately, even the safest cyclists are not immune to collisions. If the worst happens and your child suffers an injury due to a negligent driver, contact Morris Bart & Associates, LLC.
An accident attorney in Birmingham will help you pursue the maximum compensation. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.