Bicycle Safety

General Overview:

Bike riding is a great way for families to get some outdoor exercise; however, it’s also a leading cause of injuries in children.  Following bike and helmet safety rules helps significantly reduce bike related accidents and injuries.

Facts/Statistics:

  • Bike accidents account for approximately 500,000 emergency room visits per year and up to 1000 fatalities per year
  • Accidents occur most frequently in children age 5-14 years
  • 40% of bike riders are under age 15
  • Head injuries are the most common injury from bike accidents
  • Proper helmet use reduces head injuries by 45%
  • Less than half of children under age 14 consistently wear a helmet

Helmet Safety:

  • All bike helmets made in or imported to the U.S. must meet the safety standard set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Look for the label that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety standard
  • Your child’s helmet should be specifically designed for bike riding
  • Helmets must be worn properly to protect your child’s head. They should fit squarely on top of his or her head and have a snug fitting chin strap to prevent the helmet for slipping or moving.
  • If you hit your head in a bike crash, you should throw away the helmet worn during the crash and purchase a new one. While the outer shell of the helmet may still be intact, the inside cushion may be damaged and will not provide enough protection.
  • Children (and their parents!) should wear bike helmets each and every time they get on a bicycle!!

Safe Riding Tips:

  • Children under age 10 should ride on the sidewalk when possible according to the AAP
  • Older children and teenagers riding on the road should ride with traffic
  • Always wear bright colors when biking to be easily visible to cars, other bikers and pedestrians
  • Use hand signals consistently and appropriately
  • Obey all traffic laws
  • Avoid riding at night
  • Additional safety tips are available from the the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration and Safe Kids Worldwide

Takeaway Message:

Wearing a helmet is one of the most important ways to stay safe on a bike.  Please call our office with any questions or concerns about the above information.

Additional Information:

More information on safe bike riding and the importance of helmet use is available from the American Academy of Pediatrics.