Know the Road Rules and Practice Vigilance

The following rules apply to mostly living in the city, however, you can apply these rules anywhere your youth rides.

Zena McCommon-Lukatos

7/2/20231 min read

Always sticking to bike lanes or sidewalks (if available) or remaining well to the side of the road.

Crossing only at intersections after looking both ways, and never pulling out between parked cars.

Obeying stop signs, traffic lights, and other signals.

Avoiding riding too close to parked cars whose doors might open suddenly.

Riding single file with other bikers.

Using hand signals when turning or stopping.

However, in addition to knowing the rules of the road, a big part of bike safety is staying alert and aware of the actions of others. Teach your child to scan the environment around them constantly, and coach them on how to react in the event that an unexpected hazard appears.

Many urban areas don’t have the right kind of infrastructure to support safe biking, and rural or poorly lit areas come with their own set of hazards. Warn your child to stay away from areas that are particularly unfriendly to bicycles. Make sure that look out for holes on sidewalks or roads, also watch out for uneven pavement and debris in their way, such as branches, plastics bags, rocks etc.… Additionally, if the places that they like to ride aren’t well-lit at night, consider imposing a cycling curfew to ensure children aren’t riding after dark.

The “safety in numbers” rule holds true for bicycling as well as other things. If you’re not able to accompany or supervise your child when they ride their bike, encourage them to go with friends. Kids who ride together are better able to look out for one another and, in the event of an accident, can get help for each other.

According to statistics published by Stanford Medicine, around 254,000 children are injured and 100 are killed each year in bicycle-related accidents.