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Bicycle Accidents, Risks and Tips for Parents — When Can Kids Ride Solo?

There’s always going to be a risk of injury to a child or adolescent who rides a bicycle, but did you know it’s the leading cause of visits to the emergency room by these young people?

Additionally, children ages 7 to 12 years old make up the majority of all young people who are killed in bicycle accidents and two-thirds of these children killed died as a result of a Traumatic Brain Injury, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This is the age where children are most at risk of being injured or killed in a bicycle accident and this is why it is so important to make sure they are ready and capable of riding on or near the roadway.

In California, the number of people of all ages who were injured or killed in bicycle accidents has been on the rise, according to the latest data compiled between 2008 and 2012 by the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Report.

Indeed, the number of bicycle deaths has steadily risen 13 percent from 130 in 2008 to 147 in 2012. Most of the people killed were between 45 and 54 years old. The overall number of injuries is up 15.5 percent from 11,760 to 13,921 incidents. The age group with the highest number of injuries were the 15 to 24 years old.

Happily, the number of fatal bicycle accidents involving children has decreased 200 percent over the same period from 15 deaths in 2008 to just five in 2012, the report said. Children injured in bicycle accidents has also steadily dropped 8.3 percent from 1,941 2008 incidents to 1,778 in 2012.

Bicycle Safety Equipment for Children

It’s the most important piece of safety equipment you can provide your child or teenager and it can save their lives, but as they grow older fewer young people wear helmets while riding a bicycle. It doesn’t help that even fewer adults wear helmets as we are our children’s role models.

Providing a child with a bicycle helmet is the first step, but it’s important to make sure

Additionally, children and young adults should wear shoes that protect their feet and not loose flip flops.

When can my child safely ride without an adult?

Most should be supervised until they are at least 12 years old and can demonstrate the ability to negotiate traffic, know the rules of the road and judge the speed of vehicles. Every child is different and should be assessed on their unique abilities. Adults should ride with them as role models until they demonstrate they are ready.

Bicycle Safety Tips for Children

  • Make sure helmets are worn and they fit properly.
  • Obey Rules of the Road.
  • Always ride on the right side of the street with the flow of traffic, not against it. Children should ride as far as possible to the right side and ride single file with groups.
  • Learn hand signals and use them at all times.
  • Use walk signs and obey traffic signals. While waiting for a light children should be up on the sidewalk away from the corner so they do not get clipped by a turning vehicle.
  • Always look both ways before entering into the roadway and cross only at marked intersections. Make sure drivers have completely stopped before crossing in front of them.
  • Be alert and watch what drivers are doing at all times. Talk to them about drivers being distracted with cell phones and texting, drugs and alcohol. Many drivers are in a hurry and speed without regard of others around them.
  • Young people should never ride their bikes in the dark or in foggy or wet weather.
  • If it’s unavoidable to ride in the dark or fog they should always use lights, wear light clothing and stay on the lighted side of the street if possible.

Orange County Bicycle Accident Attorney

Choosing the right attorney to handle your bicycle accident case is important and we want you to make the right decision because your health is the most important thing you have. It’s even more important when a child or young person is involved because you want them to obtain the best medical care available for a full recovery.

At Johnson Attorneys Group, our attorneys and legal staff are experts in the personal injury field and they have a huge depth of experience with bicycle accident claims.

Take the time to call us and find out why Johnson Attorneys Group is the right choice for your family. Call now for a free consultation at 800-235-6801.

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