Bike riding offers great family fun all summer long. But it's important to be safe! We all know to wear helmets of course, but are you and your kids practicing other safe biking habits?
Here are 17 tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure your family enjoys a great time on their bikes this summer:
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Be prepared before heading out
- Ride a bike that fits you—if it’s too big, it’s harder to control the bike.
- Ride a bike that works—it really doesn’t matter how well you ride if the brakes don’t work.
- Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others, like a bike helmet, bright clothing (during the day), reflective gear, and a white front light and red rear light and reflectors on your bike (at night, or when visibility is poor).
- Ride one per seat, with both hands on the handlebars, unless signaling a turn.
- Carry all items in a backpack or strapped to the back of the bike.
- Tuck and tie your shoe laces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in your bike chain.
- Plan your route—if driving as a vehicle on the road, choose routes with less traffic and slower speeds. Your safest route may be away from traffic altogether, in a bike lane or on a bike path.
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Ride defensively — stay focused and alert
- Drive with the flow, in the same direction as traffic.
- Obey street signs, signals, and road markings, just like a car.
- Assume the other person doesn’t see you; look ahead for hazards or situations to avoid that may cause you to fall like toys, pebbles, potholes, grates, or train tracks.
- No texting, listening to music, or using anything that distracts you by taking your eyes and ears or your mind off the road and traffic.
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- Check your local laws to make sure sidewalk riding is legal.
- Watch for pedestrians.
- Pass pedestrians with care by first announcing “on your left” or “passing on your left” or use a bell.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic so that if the sidewalk ends, you are already riding with the flow of traffic.
- Slow and look for traffic (left-right-left and behind) when crossing a street from a sidewalk; be prepared to stop and follow the pedestrian signals.
- Slow down and look for cars backing out of driveways or turning.