Has your child asked for a new bicycle for Christmas? If so, it is important to teach your child how to ride his or her bicycle safely. Thousands of children are injured and killed in bicycle accidents each year. To prevent a wonderful surprise from turning into a tragic accident, our Erie bicycle accident attorneys urge you to review the state’s bicycle helmet laws and bicycle safety tips.
Pennsylvania Bicycle Helmet Laws
According to various sources, bicycle helmets are up to 88 percent effective in preventing head injuries. Sadly, roughly 400,000 children under the age of 14 years are treated for bike-related injuries each year in the United States. Because bicycle helmets provide significant protection from serious injuries and death in bicycle accidents, the state has a bicycle helmet law requiring all children under 12 years of age to wear a helmet while riding their bicycle.
In addition to a bicycle helmet that is the correct size for your child and properly fitted, elbow pads, knee pads, and other safety equipment can help your child avoid injuries in the event of a bicycle crash.
Bicycle Safety Tips for Children
One of the best ways you can ensure your child knows how to ride his or her bicycle safely is to ride bicycles with your child often. By riding safely and responsibly, your good example can go a long way in protecting your child from bicycle accidents. As you ride with your child, reinforce safe riding habits such as using hand signals, looking for cars before crossing the street, crossing at intersections, getting off the bicycle before crossing the street, and riding as close to the right side of the road with traffic as possible.
In addition to teaching safe riding habits, you need to teach your child to wear brightly colored closing to increase your child’s visibility to motorists. Equipping your child’s bicycle with reflectors and lights can also help reduce the risk of a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle.
For more information on bicycle safety, visit PennDOT’s bicycle safety website.
How Can I Avoid a Bicycle Accident?
As you are driving this holiday season, be aware that more children may be on their bicycles when school is not in session. Furthermore, more children who are not as experienced as other riders may be on new bicycles on Christmas Day and the weeks following Christmas. Therefore, you must remain alert while driving, especially in neighborhoods, near parks, in school zones, and in other areas where children may gather or ride their bicycles. Avoid distractions such as cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.
When approaching an intersection, slow down and look for pedestrians and bicyclists. If you see a child on a bicycle, slow down and expect the unexpected. A child could dart across the road or weave into traffic without notices. Furthermore, a child riding a bicycle can be easily startled if you approach too quickly or pass too closely. Give the child plenty of room and drive slowly when passing a child on a bicycle.
Call an Erie Bicycle Accident Attorney for Help
If your child is injured in a bicycle accident with a motorist, we can help. Your child deserves to be compensated for his or her pain and suffering, and you deserve to be compensated for your economic losses because of the accident.
For a free consultation with an Erie bicycle accident lawyer, call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066. Get advice and a free case evaluation with an experienced Erie personal injury attorney.