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There are so many great reasons to ride your bike: It offers fun, freedom and exercise, and it's good for the environment. We want kids and families to ride their bikes as much as possible. Here are a few tips so that you'll be safe while you do so.
The Hard Facts
More children ages 5 to 14 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries related to biking than any other sport. Helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent – yet only 45 percent of children 14 and under usually wear a bike helmet.
- We have a simple saying: "Use your head, wear a helmet." It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes.
- Tell your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights.
- Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers. Bikers should make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop before they cross the street.
- When riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening, be bright and use lights – and make sure your bike has reflectors as well. It's also smart to wear clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve biker visibility to motorists.
- Actively supervise children until you're comfortable that they are responsible to ride on their own.
The ride is just beginning. Check out more bike safety tips.