A great form of exercise, the ability to cover long distances in a short amount of time – is there a better way for a child to commute than on a bicycle? Despite these benefits, riding a bike comes with inherent dangers, and it is important that parents teach their kids how to avoid accidents and injuries.
In 2013, at least 900 bicyclists died in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What’s more, bicycle-related injuries accounted for 494,000 emergency department visits. At least one-third of those injuries affected children aged 5 to 14 years old and young adults aged 15 to 24 years old.
If you or your child was injured by a negligent driver in Louisiana, contact Morris Bart, LLC. An accident lawyer in Lake Charles will evaluate your case to determine if you may be entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Call 800-537-8185 today to schedule a free consultation.
Here are three tips to help your child avoid accidents and injuries while riding a bicycle:
- Wear an Appropriate Helmet
Pursuant to La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §32:199, any child aged 12 or younger who is riding a bicycle – either as a passenger or the operator – must wear a helmet. However, riders of all ages should don a protective helmet. According to Helmets.org, most bicyclist fatalities involve head injuries, and wearing a helmet reduces the risk of sustaining a head injury by 50 percent.
The Snell Memorial Foundation offers these four tips to help you find an appropriate helmet for your child:
- Examine the Chin Strap: The strap should hold the helmet firmly in place;
- Find an Appropriately Sized Helmet: It should fit your child’s head snugly and comfortably;
- Make Sure It Stays Straight: The helmet should stay straight – even when your child’s head moves abruptly; and
- Look for the Certification Sticker: You should only purchase a new helmet with a certification sticker from the Snell Memorial Foundation or the Department of Transportation.
Your child should also wear a reflective vest or bright clothing with reflective tape. You can also add reflective tape to his or her helmet.
- Ride an Appropriately Sized Bike
Children grow quickly, so many parents buy large bikes so their kids can ride them for several years. However, a bicycle that is too large can be difficult to control, and children can lose their balance when stationary if their feet cannot touch the ground.
- Practice Your Riding Technique
Find an empty parking lot where you can teach your children proper riding technique. Do not let your kids ride on the open road until they can maintain their balance and use their bikes’ full braking force.
If you or your child was injured while riding a bicycle in Louisiana, contact Morris Bart, LLC. An injury attorney in Lake Charles will evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a claim.
Our lawyers have a reputation for tough litigation and a strategy for winning substantial settlements and verdicts for our clients. Call 800-537-8185 to arrange a free consultation.