May is National Bike Safety Month and as summer approaches, millions of children and adults will climb onto their bikes to enjoy a favorite warm weather pastime. To help curb bike injuries and fatalities, TLC for Kids is sharing this information from AAA, NHTSA, and Safe Kids USA.
Consider this: each year about 100 children are killed while riding and more than 250,000 kids are injured. We know that our strongest line of defense is safe, knowledgeable riding and consistent use of helmets, which can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent.
“When it comes to bicycling, safety is always the top priority. Because parents and caregivers are role models for children, it is especially critical they teach by example. That means wearing proper helmets and observing all the rules of the road,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
AAA and NHTSA recommend these four easy steps to help keep bicyclists of all ages safe:
- Wear a Properly-Fitted Bicycle Helmet.
~Wear your helmet properly, level on your head and low on your forehead, no more than two finger widths above your eyebrow.
~Develop a family rule for helmet use and enforce it for every ride.
~Allow your child pick out his or her own helmet—they’re more likely to wear it.
- Always Follow the Rules of the Road.
~Bicycles are considered vehicles and must abide by the same traffic laws as motorists.
~Obey all traffic signs and signal your intentions when turning or passing.
~Always ride in the same direction as traffic, keeping to the right.
- Make Yourself Visible.
~Wear bright colors during daylight hours.
~Wear reflective materials on clothing and/or equipment in low-light conditions.
~Use white front lights, red rear reflectors and reflective material on clothing and/or equipment when riding at night. Parents should discourage children from riding at night.
- Drive Respectfully and Share the Road
~Focus exclusively on the road while driving. Distracted drivers can be deadly for bicyclists.
~Be patient and pass bicyclists only when safe to do so, leaving a 3 to 5 foot clearance between your vehicle and the bicyclist.