Keep your kids safe on a bike

Summer months mean youth will be out riding bikes. It is important to understand the rules regarding riding bikes on the road and how to keep your kids safe this summer.

One of the most important things for youth and adults to remember when riding a bike is to wear a helmet.  Helmets can help prevent injury to the head; they should be worn at all times and fit properly.  A properly fit helmet should come two inches above the eye brow, create a ‘v’ under the ears with the straps and fit two fingers under the chin between the skin and strap.

Youth should be supervised while riding a bike.  A bike is considered a vehicle and while riding on the road, the rider must obey the rules of the road including traffic signs, lane markings and signals. Hand signals can be used to indicate turns, slowing or stopping.

 Other important tips Michigan State University Extensions recommends to remember include:

  • Always ride with other traffic.
  • Obey the rules of the road as any other vehicle operator including all traffic signs, lane markings and signals, and use hand signals to indicate turns, slowing or stopping;
  • Wear bicycle helmets and reflective clothing;
  • Stay as far to the right as practical when riding in traffic lanes;
  • Avoid entering the roadway without stopping first to look for vehicles;
  • Always yield to pedestrians;
  • Have a white front headlight and a red rear reflector if riding after dark or in low light conditions.

These tips along with other information about pedestrian and bicycle safety can be found at the Michigan Secretary of State website.  The League of Michigan Bicyclist also has some great resources for adults and youth regarding bicycle safety and what every rider should know.

Riding bikes can be a fun and great way to be physically active in the summer. Let’s help keep our kids safe by making sure they understand the rules of the road and are equipped with the right helmet to protect themselves from injury.

To start a 4-H club around bicycling or to learn more about the 4-H bicycle curriculum visit your county MSU Extension office.

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