May Is a Good Time to Discuss Bicycle Safety With Your Children
With summer vacation almost here, many school-age children are looking forward to soaking up the sun, playing outside, and bicycling with their friends. Riding a bicycle can be a healthy daily activity that allows kids to stay active and off electronics. Unfortunately, allowing kids to ride bicycles will always expose them to the risk of serious bodily injury. The risk of bicycle accidents is higher when children share roads with motor vehicles such as trucks, cars, and motorcycles. As a parent, there are certain steps you can take to help your children stay safe this summer and avoid bicycle accidents.Keeping Your Child Safe
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following steps can prevent your child from being in a serious bicycle accident:
- Check the condition of your child's bicycle regularly, including the brakes and tires
- Make sure your child wears a properly fitted helmet
- Provide your child with a properly fitted bicycle; do not purchase a bicycle that your child will grow into
- Teach your child to always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars
- Make sure the clothing your child wears is visible to drivers
- Make sure your child understands how to recognize and avoid row dangers
- Avoid allowing your child to ride at night or during busy time periods, such as 7-9 am and 4-6 pm when drivers are commuting to and from work
- Make sure your child knows that they must always wear a helmet no matter where they are riding their bicycle
As a parent, you may be wondering whether you should tell your child to ride on the sidewalk or on the street in your neighborhood. According to the NHTSA, you should tell your child to ride on the street. However, if your child is younger than ten-years-old, they may want to stay on the sidewalk due to their inability to make the decisions necessary to safely ride on the street. If you have a younger child who needs to ride on the sidewalk, you can take the following steps to make the process safer:
- Ensure that writing on the sidewalk is legal in your town or city
- Teach your child how to stop at streets and corners
- Make sure your child looks out for vehicles that are turning into or leaving driveways
- Always enter the street at a corner, not from between two vehicles that are parked
- Let pedestrians know that you are nearby by using a bicycle bell or horn, or verbally
Implementing the safety practices mentioned above can help your child stay safe while riding a bicycle in the summer. Unfortunately, even when bicyclists use caution and are vigilant about their surroundings, motor vehicle drivers can still collide with them and cause serious or even fatal injuries. You may be wondering what steps you need to take after a bicycle accident that has resulted in an injury.
The first step you should take is to get your child medical attention as soon as possible. Even if it does not seem like your child is hurt, you should make an appointment as soon as possible with your child's primary physician or take your child to urgent care. Sometimes it can be hard to understand the full impact of an accident on a child because they have a difficult time describing their injuries. Keep all your child's medical records and make sure your child goes to all the follow-up appointments, takes all of his or her medication, and goes to receive any rehabilitative services that your doctor recommends.
Doing so will help you and your child significantly when filing a claim against the negligent driver who caused the accident. When you get to the scene of the accident, try to take photographs of the surrounding circumstances and write down anything out of the ordinary that you remember. Do not accept a settlement offer from the insurance company or defendant until you have discussed it with an attorney because the settlement amount will probably be too low to cover all your expenses.Have You or Your Child Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident? We Can Help
If you or your child have been injured in a bicycle accident that is not your fault, it is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.