A family bike ride is a great way to bring parents and kids together. It helps everyone from the oldest to youngest family member get excited about exercise, family time, and the great outdoors.
But as a parent, you might feel worried about keeping every member of your family safe during the bike ride. Your youngest child might wobble back and forth on her training wheels, while your teenager plunges straight ahead without checking traffic signals.
If you want to enjoy your family’s quality time and stay safe, follow our five safety tips below.
1. Make Sure Everyone Wears a Helmet
Helmets protect you from traumatic head injuries in case of a car accident or fall. Set a good example for your kids by always wearing a helmet yourself.
Make sure that you and your kids all have helmets that fit your head sizes—when it comes to helmets, hand-me-downs between siblings won’t do the best job at protecting each unique child. You should also discard any helmets that have cracks or have been in accidents before.
When you’re helmet shopping, make sure that each child’s helmet fits snugly and sits low and level on his or her head. You should tighten the chin straps so the helmet won’t tilt forward or backward while your child moves.
2. Follow Traffic Laws
Cyclists must follow the same traffic rules as cars. This means stopping at red lights and using signals to indicate a turn or stop. Before you ride, teach your children hand signals that indicate left and right turns and stops.
If you don’t think your younger children are old enough to ride on the side of the road (children under 9 should stay off the road), stick to bike trails where they won’t come into contact with cars.
3. Ride Single File with Kids in Front
As you bike down the side of the road, have your kids ride in a straight line in front of you, with you at the back. Since you’re an adult, car and truck drivers will have an easier time spotting you. You can also notice when a semi-truck or large vehicle is approaching and call out a warning to your kids, who will know to pay extra attention to the road and not to swerve suddenly.
Again, if your kids aren’t old enough to safely ride on the road, stick to bike trails instead.
4. Know What to Do in an Accident
If a careless driver causes an accident, you need to know how to protect your family. Call 911 immediately if anyone was injured. Accidents between bikes and cars need to be reported just like collisions between two cars, so call the police and file a report. Take note of the circumstances of the accident, and contact attorney Jonathan Groth or a bike injury lawyer near you to protect your family’s rights and get compensation.
5. Have Fun
Your family bike ride is a great opportunity for family bonding. Wherever you plan to bike, you’re sure to have a fun time. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, wear sunscreen, and have a wonderful time with your family!
Bicycling is a terrific family activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle and strengthens family bonds. Just make sure you take the proper precautions to avoid any accidents or injuries.