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Bicycle Safety for Kids

National Bike to School Day

The sun is shining and more people are out biking to enjoy the nice weather. Kids should be aware of key safety practices while bicycling. Before riding a bike make sure it is in good working condition and all parts are secure. Below are some importantly safety tips to share with your kids while bicycling.

  • Wear a properly fitted helmet. Protect your brain from injuries or concussions if an accident occurs. Children under the age of 16 are required by law to wear a helmet while biking in Oregon.
  • Adjust your bicycle to fit your size. There should be about 1-2 inches between you and the top bar if you stand next to a road bike and 3-4 inches for a mountain bike. The seat should be adjusted so your legs are slightly bent at the knee when fully extended.
  • Check your tires and brakes. Make sure tires are properly inflated and brakes are in working condition.
  • Be seen by others. No matter what time of day it is make sure you are wearing bright or fluorescent clothing to be visible to other drivers. Always remember that just because you can see a driver, doesn’t mean they can see you.
  • Control your bicycle. Keep your hands on the handlebars and carry all distracting items in a backpack or bicycle carrier.
  • Watch out for road hazards. Hazards like potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles etc. can cause a crash. If riding with other people, let them know hazards are approaching if you see them first.
  • Avoid riding at night. It is much more dangerous to ride at night because visibility is significantly reduced in the dark. If you have to ride at night make sure to have lights and reflectors on your bike and tires so others can see you.

Always obey traffic laws when riding on the road. Children under 10 years old may be safer to ride on the sidewalk. Make sure to teach your children these safety rules before letting them ride a bicycle to avoid accidents, injuries or even death.