Riding a bicycle to school can be fun for your child, but can also create concern and stress as a parent. The best way to prepare your child to ride their bike to school is to practice together. Ride bikes together using the safest route. Show your child the safety rules by slowing down at stop signs, signaling when necessary and abiding by the bicycle rules of the road. And of course, always wear a helmet.
Before your child begins riding to school, take time to practice riding skills in a safe place with no traffic, like an empty parking lot.
In New York State, all bicyclists under the age of 14 years old are required to wear safety certified bicycle helmets when they are operators or passengers on bicycles. Children aged 1 to 4 must wear certified bicycle helmet and ride in specially designed child safety seats. Children under 1 are prohibited from being transported on a bicycle. Any parent or guardian who permits his or her child to violate the helmet law is subject to a fine of up to $50.
Certain communities in New York have passed local ordinances regarding helmet use for bicyclists. For example, Rockland and Erie counties require everyone riding bicycles on county property, regardless of age, to wear approved bicycle helmets.
There are strict laws for bicyclists in New York. Bicyclists who violate the law are subject to traffic tickets. Parents can be held responsible for any violations by their minor children, so work closely with your children to teach them the rules of the road when biking.
Which Side of the Road.
The law requires that bicyclists ride with traffic. Bicycling against traffic is a leading cause of bicycle crashes. Riding with traffic makes bicyclists more visible and their movements more predictable to motorists.
Children should work on important skills such as starting and stopping, riding in a straight line, looking over their shoulders, and signaling to vehicles. The better children are at riding, the less likely they are to crash.
Use The Right Gear.
Your child should only use a bicycle that is the right size, not one that is too big or too small. One of the smartest things your child can do to stay safe on a bicycle is wear a helmet. If your child falls or crashes, a helmet is the best protection against head and brain injury.
A helmet that fits properly is very important; it should fit low on your child’s forehead, just two fingers above the eyebrow. Your child should be able to look up and see the helmet; otherwise it’s too far back. Your child should dress to be visible to motorists at all times of the day. Just like pedestrians, bicyclists are most easily seen when they wear bright-colored clothing.
Riding at night can be dangerous. If your child has to ride at night, you or a responsible adult should ride along. Put a white light on the front of the bicycle and a red reflector on the back. This will make it much easier for drivers to see your child’s bicycle at night.
Bicycle Safety Check
Your children should always make sure their bicycles are ready to go. Before every ride, they should check the:
Tire Air Pressure – Always make sure there is proper air in the tires
Brake Test – Make sure the brakes work properly and are tight
Chain Maintenance – Make sure the chain is tight and working properly
Be Street Smart.
Remind your child that a bicycle is a vehicle, not a toy. Your child should ride with both hands on the handlebars at all times, and with only one rider per seat. Kids need to use their eyes and ears to stay alert, so they should never use headphones or cell phones while riding. Your child should ride on a sidewalk when one is available, or ride in the same direction of traffic if there is no sidewalk.
Ride with young children who aren’t familiar with the rules of the road and remind them to be careful around driveways and parked cars. Just like with walking, the safest place for young bicyclists to cross the street is a corner or intersection. Your child should get off the bicycle, look left right left, and walk the bicycle across the street when no traffic is coming.
If you follow these safety tips, it can reduce a chance of an accident.
If you or your child needs a helmet, stop by the Graves McLain law office and pick up a free bicycle helmet. You can also stop by and pick up a Free “Safe Biking T-Shirt.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident or a pedestrian accident call Fellows Hymowitz, the Rockland County Personal Injury Law Firm. They’re experienced lawyers and you can call them for a free confidential consultation at 845-639-9300. An experienced attorney will review your situation at no cost to you. We represent victims and their families in serious injury and wrongful death cases.
The attorneys at Fellows Hymowitz P.C. have a record of success in handling a wide range of cases including car accidents, serious injury & wrongful death claims. We bring the same individual commitment and dedication to each case, big or small. If you have been injured or sustained loss in any type of accident as a result of someone else’s fault call us for a free confidential consultation at 845-639-9300.
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