Riding a bike is an excellent way to get fit and can be fun for children and adults. But accidents do happen. Each year, more than a half-million people in the U.S. are treated in emergency rooms for bike-related injuries. So before taking that two-wheeler out for a spin, take a few minutes to brush up on some tips to help you enjoy a safe, healthy ride.
- Wear a bike helmet.
- Make sure bikes are the right size. A child should be able to straddle a bike with both feet on the ground.
- Young children should use bikes with coaster brakes -- the kind that brake when you pedal backwards. With hand brakes, a child's hands should be large enough and strong enough to use the levers.
- Avoid riding at night if at all possible. Make sure your bike has reflectors.
- Stop at stop signs, check for traffic before turning, and never ride out into a street without stopping first.
- Ride on the same side of the road as the cars.
- Be predictable and ride defensively. Ride where drivers of cars can see you. Bicycles are frequently hit by cars because the driver did not even know the bike was there. Many accidents have been avoided because the biker was watching out for cars.
- Wear brightly colored clothing so that motorists can easily see you.
For more health and safety tips, visit our online Health Library at FranciscanStMargaret.org.