Hundreds and thousands of Americans are treated for bicycle-related injuries annually and most of them are children. It is our duty as parents to teach our children the proper safety techniques in order for them to avoid accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, there are plenty of bicycle safety myths that are often regarded as truth.
The following is a list of common bicycle safety myths, coupled with the correct information necessary to teach your kids about safe biking:
- Myth: My kid does not to need to wear a helmet on short rides around the neighborhood. Fact: Your child needs to wear a helmet every time he or she bikes, no matter how near or far away from home. Most bicycle accidents and deaths occur in urban areas. A helmet always protects children from serious injuries.
- Myth: Using hand signals when biking may cause me to lose control. Fact: Hand signals are just as important to bicycling as turn signals and brake lights are to operating a motor vehicle. If your child is not able to use hand signals while safely riding a bike, he or she should have training wheels added or shouldn’t be riding at all.
- Myth: Riding on the street facing traffic is much safer than riding with it. Fact: Almost 25% of all bicycle accidents occur when cyclists rid against traffic. Riding against traffic often confuses and surprises motorists. Vehicles merging into traffic and pulling out of driveways do not always look both ways before making a right turn. So stay on the side of your street and obey all traffic laws.
- Myth: Riding on the sidewalk is safer than riding in the street. Fact: Sidewalks typically pose more risks to riders compared to the street. Many bicycle accidents involve cyclists and pedestrians on sidewalks. Furthermore, motor vehicles are not looking for cyclists on sidewalks when they come to intersections or turn into driveways and parking lots. In Lynchburg, it is illegal to ride your bike on public sidewalks except for designated areas.