Recently, we have received a number of calls from prospective clients whose children were injured in bicycle accidents. As an example, Fisher Injury Lawyers currently represents a family whose young child was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in front of his home. The incident happened during the day on an open neighborhood street. There was nothing obstructing the view of the driver of the car, he simply failed to see the young boy. There was nothing the boy could do to prevent the collision. Fortunately, he was wearing a protective helmet.
The increasing use of helmets by children is having a positive impact on the number of injuries sustained while bike riding. Cyclists under age 16 accounted for 13 percent of all cyclists killed and 25 percent of those injured in traffic crashes in 2008. By comparison, cyclists under age 16 accounted for 30 percent of all those killed and 44 percent of those injured 10 years before that, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Safe Kids USA says 75 percent of fatal head injuries among kids on bicycles could be prevented by wearing a helmet and wearing it properly. Helmet use can reduce head injury risk by 85 percent and severe brain injury by 85 percent, Safe Kids says.
- Stop before riding into traffic from a driveway, sidewalk, parking lot or other street.
- Look left, right and left again to check for cars.
- If the road is clear, enter.
- Ride on the far right of the road, with traffic.
- Ride so cars can see you, wearing brightly colored clothes, especially at night.
- Obey all traffic signals and stop signs.
- Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left.
- Ride bicycles in single file.
- Look for uneven pavement or other surface problems.
We parents can not protect our kids from every risk. t some point, they must move out in to the world on their own. For many children, their bicycle provides the first opportunity for independent exploration of their world. Send your children off with the proper safety equipment and fully schooled in bicycle safety.
Source: The Advocate, SafeKids USA