Child Bicycle Safety

Child Bicycle Safety
Most accidents involving bicycles also involve children. More than 60 percent of cycling accidents happen to people younger than 15. Safety officials believe helmets would go a long way to protect children from serious injury in bicycle accidents.
 

Significance

Neuroscience for Kids says that up to 88 percent of head injuries could be prevented by wearing bicycle helmets. More than 30 percent of injuries to children are head injuries. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there are as many as 500,000 bicycle-related injuries each year in the United States.

 
 

Youngest children

Some states or cities allow children younger than 12 to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk. When this is the case, they are considered pedestrians and follow the sames rules as pedestrians.

Other equipment

In addition to helmets, mirrors on handlebars are also recommended, as well as front and back lights if riding in low-light conditions. Bright clothing is also recommended to make children more visible to motorists.

Helmets

Twenty-two states require children to wear helmets when cycling. Cities in some states that have no helmet law have their own rules about helmets. The federal government does not make rules for bicycle transportation.

Helmet opponents

Opponents of helmet laws say the helmets give a false sense of security and are not all that effective in bad accidents. They advocate more education programs and safe-riding classes instead.

Prevention/Solution

When cyclists are on a roadway, they are considered a vehicle and have the same rights and responsibilities that automobiles have. Bicycles are to ride as far to the right as practical, but in most states they legally can occupy an entire lane of traffic when needed.

 

Article Written By James Jordan

James Jordan has been a writer and photographer since 1980. He has worked for newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kansas, winning state press association awards for writing, photography and page design. In 1995 he received his master's in Christian education and completed two years of Ancient Greek at the graduate level. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.

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