1. Make sure your child knows the proper turn signals when cycling. Being able to communicate non-verbally is critical when sharing the road with motorists and other bikers.
2. Make sure you child is riding on the correct side of the road. A cyclist rides with the traffic while a pedestrian walks against it. Riding with the traffic reduces risk of injury in the event of a collision and also allows bikers to see all relevant traffic signals like stop signs.
3. Avoid riding late at night as the sun is setting. Dark conditions make it harder for drivers to see bicyclists which increases risk for injury, especially on narrow roadways. If the kids insist on riding their bikes at night, avoid areas of heavy traffic and ensure that they’re wearing brightly colored clothing and reflectors.
4. Always be sure to follow the rules of the road. It’s critical to stay aware of your surroundings and be conscious of road hazards and high speeds. Try to avoid wearing headphones or earbuds while biking to stay the most alert. Remember, as a cyclist you are entitled to the same rights and restrictions as a motorist.
5. Set an example by wearing a helmet and always encouraging your child to wear one too. Not only is it safer and can help avoid traumatic brain injury, it’s required by law for anyone under age 15 in the state of New York. In addition, children under the age of four should ride strictly on the sidewalk or driveway as they lack the skills necessary to navigate other traffic.
Source: National Highway Transportation Security Administration, New York State Department of Health