Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



January 2010

Important bike safety measures

by Staff, on bike, bike safety measures, helmet, highways, important, injuries, motorists, riding, safety, sidewalk, speed, traffic, wear

Many people, especially kids, lose their lives as a result of bike related injuries every year. Other suffer career ending and others devastating injuries. Most of these deaths and injuries are preventable with the correct bike safety measures. You will only be safe riding a bike if you have mastered bike riding. This is because you will be confident even when there is a car behind or in front of you, meaning you are less likely to fall off.

The most important bike safety measure is that you should always wear helmets and safety gear. Helmets are particularly important because head injuries are usually fatal. You should wear a helmet even on a short commute. Just as important as wearing a helmet is wearing the right helmet – it should be of the right size and designed for your specific use. The helmet should fit well and it should be fastened to the chin using a chin strap.

You should always obey traffic rules. You should only ride the bike on authorized streets or highways because bikes are not allowed on interstate highways and high-speed freeways. There are usually paths that are provided for bikes. You should always stop at the stop sign and you should always make sure the way is clear whenever you are entering a roadway from a driveway. You should obey all traffic signals and signs and you should always look at pavement markings. Go through the Uniform Guidelines for State Highway Safety Programs.

You should ride with traffic when riding through crosswalks and sidewalks. This is because drivers do not see cyclists on the near right sidewalk when they are concentrating on the far right lane.

Most bikes are designed for one person. If you carry a passenger, the bike will be unstable. If you will be carrying luggage, you should have a luggage carrier so that your hands will always be on the handlebars. Do not carry heavy luggage as this will affect the balance.

Whenever you are riding at night, you should have a red rear reflector and side reflectors. This will enable motorists to see you clearly. You should have a proper headlight so that you can see where you are going. Consider wearing bright, reflective clothing, even during the day.

A common cause of bicycle accidents is car doors being opened. You should therefore lookout for drivers who are about to get out of their cars. To be safe, you should be a safe distance away from the vehicles. You should note that motorists are sometimes absent minded and so even when you are following the rules, be aware that motorists might not be.

Always keep your bike in a good condition. All the mechanical parts of the bike should be working well and the tires should be inflated to the right pressure. You should consider having a horn or a bell on the handlebar to warn the pedestrians.

Finally, always be on the lookout for potholes, oil slicks, bumps, mud, loose gravel, and anything else that may cause the bike to lose balance. You should ride at a comfortable speed that will allow you to break suddenly. Staff