8 Pennsylvania Bike Safety Tips

Keep Your Child Safe This Summer

bike safetyDo you remember your first bike? What about the day your training wheels came off? Or, your first long ride? Riding a bike is an important part of an American childhood. You want your child to have those memories, but you know that bikes can also be dangerous.

Each day, more than 600 children are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to bicycle-related crashes. In fact, emergency rooms treat more children for bicycling injuries than for injuries caused by any other sport.

Half of children who are hospitalized after a bicycle crash are treated for head and brain injuries. But, this doesn’t have to be the case. Many bicycle-related head injuries can be prevented with a properly-fitted bicycle helmet.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) , estimate that a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury and brain injury by as much as 85 percent and that bicycle helmets could prevent more than half of bike-related head injury deaths. The best way to prevent bicycle accident injury is to insist your child ALWAYS wear a helmet.

Yes, bicycling can be dangerous, but bikes are a good form of exercise and a fun part of childhood. These safety tips can help keep your child safe while bicycling.

8 Bike Safety Tips for Pennsylvania Children

  1. Make sure that your child ALWAYS wears a helmet, even if she is just riding in the backyard. If every child wore a helmet, more than 45,000 brain injuries a year could be prevented.
  2. Make sure your child’s bike fits. It is difficult to control a bike that is too small or too big. Kids grow fast. Check the bikes fit every month and adjust the seat if needed.
  3. Keep your child’s bike in safe operating condition. When you check the fit of your child’s bike, you should also test the brakes, check that the wheels are aligned, inflate the tires, and inspect the chain.
  4. Make sure your child can be seen. Make sure your child’s bike has lights and reflectors. In order to maximize visibility, your child should wear bright colors during the day and light-colored or reflective clothing at dusk or after dark.
  5. Don’t allow your child to ride alone. If you can’t ride with your child, ask a friend or older sibling go with him. Insist that children ride single file. Don’t allow your child to carry passengers.
  6. Teach your child to watch for cars. Insist that your child stop and look both ways before crossing a driveway or entering a street.
  7. Don’t allow children under 10 to ride in traffic. Young children aren’t able to accurately judge speed and distance.
  8. Children who ride in traffic should know the rules of the road. Bicyclists should ride in the same direction as traffic and obey stop signs, yield signs, and other traffic signals. Teach your child the appropriate hand signals to indicate turns and stops.

These safety tips will help keep your child safe, but they can’t prevent every bike accident. Many Pennsylvania bicycle-car accidents occur because drivers are speeding, distracted, or under the influence. Petrelli Law helps families get compensation and accountability when a child is injured. Call us at (215) 309-4034 for information or to schedule a free consultation. We are a uniquely affordable law firm—because until you win money from your judgment or settlement, our fee is $0. You will never pay court filing fees, expert fees, or billable hours with us. We get paid only when you do.