Top 10 Bike Safety Tips to Keep You and Your Kids Safe this Summer

The weather is warm, the sun is out and it’s a great time for you and your family to get out and about on your bicycles. While riding a bike is a safe, healthy, and environmentally friendly way of getting around, there are some potential safety risks. By following these bike safety tips, you can help ensure a summer of fun, healthy exercise for yourself and your kids.

Boy riding bike

1. Always wear a helmet: And always wear it when you ride and strictly reinforce this rule with your kids. If you get into an accident, replace your helmet immediately. The protective foam becomes less effective after an impact.

2. Get a light and a bell: Invest in a bicycle light and a bell, horn or other noisemaker so that you can see where you’re going, and attract the attention of pedestrians and drivers.

3. Ride defensively: If you get into an accident with a car, you are always far more vulnerable than a vehicle driver. Learn to ride defensively so that you can anticipate, and prevent, possible mishaps.

4. Learn and use hand signals: There are few things more annoying than a driver who doesn’t use his or her turn signals. The same holds true for bike riders. The consistent use of hand signals indicates to drivers where you will be moving next so that they can avoid getting too close to you as you make a turn.

5. Stay off most sidewalks: Many areas have rules against cyclists riding on pedestrian sidewalks, although they may make exceptions for young children. In addition to the possibility of running into a pedestrian, drivers sometimes don’t expect a cyclist to come off a sidewalk into a crosswalk, creating a dangerous situation.

6. Stay out of driver’s blind spots: Make yourself as visible as possible to drivers and avoid stopping to the right of an automobile while waiting at a traffic signal. Stop directly behind the car so you can more easily be seen.

7. Be aware of stopped and parked cars: When cars are stopped or parked, there is the chance that somebody will be getting out of it. To avoid riding into a door, or getting hit by one as you drive past, slow down, stay left, and be prepared to stop suddenly.

8. Ride with the flow of traffic: It is always safer to ride with the flow of traffic rather than against it. Make sure that you, and your kids, are fully aware of all the rules of the road.

9. Inspect your bicycle regularly: You are responsible for making sure that your family’s bicycles are in good working order: Inspect the tires, check the brakes and make repairs as needed.

10. Keep the earbuds out and your phone off: Your eyes and ears need to be paying attention to what is going on around you while you ride. Leave your earbuds and your phone in your backpack or purse.

If your children are new to riding a bike, contact your local police department or child’s school to ask about bicycle safety classes and resources in your area. Teaching children how to ride safely at a young age is an important skill that will help them ride safely into adulthood.

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