Bike Safety Tips
Safety Tips for the safe-T-seat
- Always maintain control when loading and unloading your child. The easiest way to do this is to first straddle the bike and then put your child in the seat. Most accidents with bike-mounted (rear or mid) child carriers happen because the bike is left supported by only a kickstand or leaning against something.
- Children riding in the safe-T-seat should be able to sit up by themselves while wearing a helmet. If the baby’s neck is not strong enough to handle some jostling, your child shouldn’t be in the safe-T-seat or any other bicycle child carrier.
- Do not let your child hold on to anything while riding in the safe-T-seat. It is too easy for the child to drop things into your front wheel and cause an accident.
- Make sure all bolts, clips and pins are secured. A loose piece could cause trouble when riding.
Family Bicycling Safety Tips
- Make sure the whole family is wearing helmets that meet the national safety standards. The helmet should sit squarely on the head so it covers the forehead and the straps should fit snugly under the chin. Helmets can reduce injuries. Remember - never use a helmet that has been involved in an accident.
- Use common sense. Ride on smooth trails that will be fun for you and your child. If the weather is cold, wear warm clothes and put more layers on your child. Your child isn’t getting a workout like you and will get cold. If the weather is hot, make sure your child has on sunscreen.
- Make sure your bicycle is well-maintained and check that the brakes are fully functional.
- Ride defensively. When riding through neighborhoods, assume that the cars may not see you. 90% of bicycle-related deaths involve collisions with motor vehicles.
Riding Safely on Roads
- You are a vehicle, act like one. Stop at stop signs (failure to bike riders to do so is the #3 cause of urban car/bike accidents). Go with the flow of traffic (riding against traffic is the #4 cause of urban car/bike accidents). Do not ride on sidewalks. Do not pass cars on the right unless you have a free lane or wide shoulder.
- The closer your speed matches the speed of car traffic, the more you should take your place in traffic. If you are traveling slower, keep out of the traffic lane - as far right as practicable. If you are traveling almost as fast as the cars, position yourself on the edge of the traffic stream. If you are traveling as fast as the cars, take your place in the lane. Do not ride fast near a curb. Do not ride closer that 5 feet from parked cars that may open doors in front of you.
- Position yourself in an intersection so that it is obvious what your intentions are. If turning right, move toward the right edge of the road. If continuing ahead, stay as close to or in the traffic lane as your relative speed allows.
- Act like a car to merge safely with slow or moderately fast traffic. Learn to merge - look back, assess when it is clear and signal your intentions. Do not attempt to merge with high speed traffic.
- Ride a straight line. If you have to leave your path to avoid an obstacle, signal. Do not ride in the parking lane weaving in and out of parked cars.
- We don’t recommend riding at night but if you must, ride only with very good lights. You are 8 times more likely to have a fatal accident as riding in daylight. Make your bicycle glow using plenty of illumination lights, clearance lights, blinking tail lights, and reflective materials. Do not ride in the high speed traffic lane. Ride very defensively at dark intersections. Do not ride in the lane at night on roads without shoulders.