Bike Safety for the Whole Family

When warm weather hits, a bicycle ride can be a great way to exercise with your family. Proper bike safety is important for everyone—even if you’re only going for a quick ride. Whether you’re cycling on a trail or just in front of the house, follow these six bike safety tips:

  1. Protect your head. The majority of bicycle accidents happen close to home, such as on neighborhood sidewalks or driveways. Wear a helmet on every ride, no matter how experienced you are or how short the trip.

  2. Wear the correct size.  Don’t purchase helmets that your child has to grow into—make sure the helmet fits now. It should fit snugly atop the head and not slide from side to side, from front to back, or around the head. If any part of the chin strap breaks, replace it immediately.

  3. Pick the right bike. A bike that is too big can be dangerous and difficult for youngsters to control. Both hands should reach the handlebars, and the balls of both feet should touch the ground when your child sits on the seat.

  4. Wait to ride with little ones. Hold off on riding with babies in a bike seat until he or she is 12 months old. Younger babies’ neck muscles cannot support the weight of a helmet. Never carry an infant in a front pack or backpack.

  5. Stay to the right. Always ride to the right, with traffic. If you’re in a group, stay in a single file line. 

  6. Ride with the sun. Do not ride after dark or at dusk with young children. Whatever the time of day, wear brightly colored clothing so drivers will notice you.

Cyclists should always follow the rules of the road. Stop at stop signs, and do not talk on the phone or text while riding a bike. Take special care when crossing the road: Get off the bike and walk across. Just like driving a car, you should also signal on a bike and teach your children to do the same.

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