Bicycle Safety

Each year approximately 250 children ages 14 and under are killed in bicycle-related incidents. 90% of bicycle related deaths (all ages) are the result of collisions with motor vehicles. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 have a death rate more than two times the death rate of all other bicycle riders. The fatality rate rises rapidly beginning at about age 4 and is the highest among 12 to 14-year olds. In 1994, almost 400,000 children ages 14 and under were treated in emergency rooms for bicycle related injuries. Approximately 10 percent of these injuries were related to collisions with motor vehicles. Children ages 14 and under are approximately six times more likely to be injured than children ages 15 and older from bicycle-related crashes. Children ages 4 and under are also at risk from bicycle related deaths and injuries. In 1993, six children were killed, more than 10,000 suffered from head injuries and more than 22,000 suffered from face injuries.

  • Protect your head and wear a good helmet. One that is approved by ANSI, ASTM or SNELL.
  • Wear your helmet properly over the forehead. Straps should be tight and helmet should be down over forehead.
  • Look cool, dress properly. Wear bright colored or fluorescent clothing to be seen by motorists.
  • Ride safely at night. Ride only with adult supervision.
  • Be alert and careful where you ride. Watch for objects where you are riding.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it. Ride on the right side of the street near the edge or curb…single file.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and watch traffic around you. Most car/bicycle crashes happen at driveways or intersections. Always obey traffic laws and LOOK LEFT, LOOK RIGHT and then LOOK LEFT again when crossing intersections.
  • Use arm signals and obey the traffic signs and lights. Be courteous to people walking, other drivers, and bike riders.
  • Adjust your bike to fit you. Make sure you can stand over the bar with both feet flat on the ground. The seat should allow your feet to just rest on the pedal in the down position.
  • Check your brakes often. Allow additional stopping distance when it is wet outside.

Source: Kansas Department of Transportation

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