Kids & Bicycle Safety
(This information is from the National Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) website. To view the flyer, visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/kidsandbikesafetyweb/.)
Bicycle riding is fun, healthy, and a great way to be independent. But it is important to remember that a bicycle is not a toy; it’s a vehicle! Be cool – follow some basic safety tips when you ride.
Safe Riding Tips
Before you use your bicycle, make sure it is ready to ride. You should always inspect your bike to make sure all parts are secure and working properly. Remember to:
- Wear a properly fitting bicycle helmet
- Adjust your bicycle to fit
- Check your equipment
- See and be seen
- Control your bicycle
- Watch for and avoid road hazards
- Avoid riding at night
Many bicycle-related crashes resulting in injury or death are associated with the bicyclist’s behavior, including such things as not wearing a bicycle helmet, riding into a street without stopping, turning left or swerving into traffic that is coming from behind, running a stop sign, and riding the wrong way in traffic. To maximize your safety, always wear a helmet AND follow the rules of the road.
Rules of the Road – Bicycling on the Road
Bicycles in many States are considered vehicles, and cyclists have the same rights and the same responsibilities to follow the rules of the road as motorists. When riding, always:
- Go with the traffic flow
- Obey all traffic laws
- Yield to traffic when appropriate
- Be predictable
- Stay alert at all times
- Look before turning
- Watch for parked cars
Sidewalk Versus Street Riding
The safest place for bicycle riding is on the street, where bicycles are expected to follow the same rules of the road as motorists and ride in the same direction. Children less than 10 years old, however, are not mature enough to make the decisions necessary to safely ride in the street and are better off riding on the sidewalk. For anyone riding on the sidewalk:
- Check the law in Missouri and the City of Parkville to make sure riding on the sidewalk is allowed.
- Watch for vehicles coming out of or turning into driveways.
- Stop at corners of sidewalks and streets to look for cars and to make sure the drivers see you before crossing.
- Enter a street at a corner and not between parked cars. Alert pedestrians that you are near by saying, “Excuse me,” or, “Passing on your left,” or use a bell or horn.
For more information on bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) web site at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.