Summer is a great time to go biking with your children around the neighborhood. However, it can also be a dangerous activity if you aren’t smart about how you’re biking. Here are some tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on how to stay safe while biking with your family.
It’s important to make sure that all of your bike equipment is in working order before you go for a ride. Check to see if your bike tires are filled with air and there aren’t any issues with your tire chain. Also, test your brakes while riding at a slow speed before you ride at high speeds or on hills to ensure that they work. Most importantly, make sure that everyone in your family is wearing a helmet so there’s no risk for brain injuries.
Depending on what you’re wearing, you may not be visible to drivers when you’re biking near a road. Cyclists should wear vests with reflective tape on it so that they’re more noticeable to drivers if you’re biking when there isn’t a lot of sunlight.
If you decide to ride your bike on the road, you must be very aware of your surroundings. You need to look around for broken glass, potholes, and vehicles that are driving too close. If you’re turning while riding in the road, put out either your left arm or your right arm to signal to the vehicles behind you that you’re turning. Make sure that you don’t make any sudden movements, and that drivers will be able to anticipate your next move.
If you’re with your kids, it’s best to make sure that they can always see and be seen while they’re riding their bikes. Parents should avoid biking with their kids at night, and they should also set a curfew for their children if they go out with friends around sunset.
Some experienced adult bicyclists are fine riding bikes on the road. However, kids should stay away from riding on the road. Children are more likely to fall or not pay attention to what’s going on around them while they’re riding bikes. It’s best if they stay on the sidewalks where they can fall and not be at risk for being hit by a vehicle.