Biking for Health and Safety
The bicycle is a source of pride and a symbol of freedom for adults and children. It is
also a great resource for exercising. All too often, people are hurt, or even killed, when
they fail to follow basic bicycle safety rules. The following information is essential to
make every ride safe.
Choose the Right Bike
While sitting on the seat with hands on the handlebar, you should
be able to place the balls of both feet on the ground.
While straddling the center bar, you should be able to stand with both feet flat on
the ground with about a one-inch clearance between the crotch and the bar.
When buying a bike with hand brakes, make sure that you or your child can comfortably grasp the brakes and supply enough pressure to stop the bike.
If shopping for a bike for your child, take them with you. That way you can make
sure it’s the right fit.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Ride with the flow of traffic, not against. Stay as far to the right as possible.
Respect traffic signals. Stop at all stop signs and stop lights.
Stop and look left, right, and then left again before entering a street or crossing an
intersection. Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left.
Always put your bike away when the sun goes down. Never ride at night.
Know your hand signals!
What to Wear When Riding
Know and Use Cycling
Hand Signals
Bicyclists are expected to show
where they are going by using
hand signals. Hand signals are an
easy way to keep you safer when
Wear a helmet that meets safety standards developed by the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission. Look for their sticker on the helmet or package.
Wear bright clothing and reflective materials, especially on cloudy days, to help motorists see you.
Wear snug fitting clothes. Loose fitting clothes, drawstrings and backpacks with straps can get caught in the
Make sure you can hear what is going on around you. Wearing headphones can be dangerous.
Know Your ABCs
Three things to check before every ride:
Air – Are the tires
properly inflated?
Brakes and Bars
– Are the brakes
working and are the
handlebars tightened
at the right height?
Chain – Is the
chain tight and
oily looking?
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration