Long bike rides are a summer highlight year after year. With much more limited options for socializing in 2020, our kids need those two-wheel escapes more than ever. As a Memphis bike accident lawyer, I know how dangerous a bike ride can be without the proper safety precautions. I hope that my tips below will keep your child safe while they enjoy their bike this summer—because fun and safety should always go hand in hand.
Just how dangerous can a bike ride be?
A 2018 study led by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that more than 2.2 million children ages 5-17 were treated in the ER over a ten-year period. Here are key takeaways from the study:
- 2.2 million injuries over that time period averages out to 608 cases per day—or 25 every hour.
- The majority of injuries were in boys between the ages of 10 and 14.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) represented 11% of the total injuries.
What are the most common biking-related injuries in kids?
- Traumatic head injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries, including cuts, scapes, and bruises
How to avoid a bike accident
Learning how to ride a bike is a rite of passage while growing up, but biking safety is bigger than simply keeping your balance. As kids get older, we can’t be with them all the time—nor do they want us to. However, by stressing the importance of biking safety, we can rest easy while they’re out on a ride.
Wear a helmet, and make sure it fits.
Most biking-related fatalities involve factors within the cyclist’s control—like the decision to forgo a helmet. If it doesn’t fit properly, though, it won’t do you much good. Here’s a quick tip from the website helmetcheck.org:
With the helmet still on and the straps securely fastened, move it from side to side and up and down with your hands. If it fits right, your skin should move as the helmet is moved. You should feel as if a slight, even pressure is being exerted all over your head. Remember, too, that a helmet loosens up a bit as the comfort liner compresses through use. A new helmet should be as tight as you can comfortably wear it.
- Adjust your bicycle to fit.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated and that your brakes work before taking off.
- Wear clothes that make it easy for other bikers and drivers to see you. Neon, fluorescent, and other bright colors are your best bet, whether it’s day or night.
- Keep an eye out for road hazards like potholes and broken glass. (The NHTSA’s recommendation is that children under 10 ride on the sidewalk and all others ride in the street.)
- Avoid riding in the dark, but if you have to, make sure you’re wearing visible clothing and have front and rear reflectors.
Talk to a Memphis bike accident lawyer today.
We hope these tips will keep your child safe, but if anyone in the family has a bike-related injury, we’re here to help. Our award-winning personal injury lawyers can help you identify your best options moving forward in a free consultation with a Memphis bike accident lawyer.
Call us at (901) 327-2100 or contact us here.