There are so many great reasons to ride your bicycle. It offers fun, freedom and great exercise, and it’s good for the environment. Kids and families should ride their bikes as much as possible, but should always practice safety measures to ensure the safest ride as possible.
More than 60 percent of cyclist fatalities are due to head injuries, most of which could have been prevented by wearing helmets. About one-third of emergency room visits for bicycle-related injuries involve head injuries, most of which could have been prevented by wearing helmets.
WEARING A HELMET THE RIGHT WAY
WILL HELP PREVENT SERIOUS
INJURIES IN CRASHES.
Properly fitted helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45 percent, yet less than half of children 14 and under usually wear a bike helmet. Children should always wear a helmet for all wheeled sports activities. A properly fitted bike helmet is just as effective when riding a scooter, roller skating or in line skating.
It is extremely important to make sure your child has the right size helmet and wears it every time when riding, skating or scooting. A child’s helmet should meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s standards.
WHEN IT’S TIME TO BUY A NEW HELMET,
LET YOUR CHILDREN PICK OUT THEIR OWN,
THEY’LL BE MORE LIKELY TO WEAR THEM FOR EVERY RIDE.
It’s also very important the helmets fit properly and that your child knows how to put it on correctly:
- A helmet should sit on the top in a level position and should not rock forward or backward or side to side.
- The helmet straps must always be buckled, but not too tightly.
- Eye check: Position the helmet on your head. Look up and you should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
- Ear check: Make sure the straps of the helmet form a “V” under your ears when buckled. The straps should be snug but comfortable.
In Florida, a bicycle is a “vehicle” (like cars, trucks, and motorcycles). All bike riders must follow and obey the same rules as the drivers of other vehicles.
BIKE RULES all bike riders must follow the following basic rules:
- Obey all traffic lights, signals, and signs
- Have a seat on the bike
- Have only one person on a bike (unless you have two seats)
- Have at least one hand on the handlebars while riding
- Have brakes that make your bike stop (not your feet skidding on the ground)
Before riding your bicycle, you should always do a safety check for:
- Horn or Bell
- Lights or Reflectors
When riding on the sidewalk…
There can be hazards when riding on the sidewalks, when a vehicle is coming out of the driveway the driver maybe not see you. Be sure to always look for vehicles coming out. Ride on the sidewalk when you can and remember to Slow down and warn pedestrians that you want to pass them (say “excuse me”)
When riding on the road…
- Always ride on the right by the curb or edge of the road
- Ride in the same direction as all vehicles in your lane
- Ride in a single file line (one behind the other)
Lights on your bike…
- When you ride your bike before the sun comes up and when the sun is going down you must have lights on your bike
- The light and reflector on the front of your bike (by the handlebars) must be white (like vehicle headlights)
- The light and reflector on the back of your bike must be red (like vehicle taillights)
Nearly half of all bicycles crashes happen when riding at night because it’s harder to see at night. You should make sure you have lights and reflectors on your bike and always wear white and reflective material when riding at night (reflective material glow’s in the dark when a light shine on it).
Riding your bike on the wrong side of the street is the 2nd biggest cause of crashes.
MAKE SURE YOU RIDE ON THE RIGHT
IN THE SAME DIRECTION AS OTHER VEHICLES.
Always look over your left shoulder behind you to make sure it is clear before you turn or go around a hazard (like a parked car, rock, or broken glass).
YOUR MOST IMPORTANT SAFETY EQUIPMENT IS
YOUR HELMET AND PROPER SHOES.
Wearing a helmet the right way will help prevent serious head injuries in crashes. When riding your bike, you should wear tennis shoes or bicycle riding shoes and make sure the shoe laces are tied, so they don’t get caught in the chain. You should not wear sandals, flip flops or go bare foot, because you could scrape your toes or get your toes caught in the chain. If you are wearing long pants they could get caught in the chain, as a precaution they should be tucked in your socks.
REMEMBER TO EXERCISE CAUTION AND ALWAYS WEAR YOUR HELMET WHEN RIDING YOUR BICYCLE… BIKE SAFE, BIKE SMART!