Cycling is a great way for children to keep fit as well as allowing them to get about independently. However, concerns are often raised about how safe cycling is, especially as day light hours reduce at this time of year.
We have put together our top tips as to how children can continue to enjoy cycling safely at this time of year.
Be seen on your bicycle
Make sure that your child wears bright or reflective clothing and has suitable lights on their bike, both at the front and back. Suitable headlights will better illuminate your child’s path, allowing them to navigate any unexpected bumps or potholes whilst reflectors and back lights will improve their visibility to other road users, alerting drivers to their presence. The use of lights on your bicycle spokes will increase side visibility while making your child’s’ bike fun and colourful at night.
Investigate the route beforehand
For a new journey, it can help to do some research to check that the roads and pathways are suitable for your child to cycle on. This will allow you to plan a route that avoids busy roads or navigating temporary road works. It could also be useful to review regular routes such as the journey to school to ensure that your child has familiar options in the event of unexpected road closures.
Keep your cycle helmet on and fastened
It is vital that your child has a helmet that fits properly and that this is worn at all times when they are on their bike. This could dramatically reduce the risk of injury should they come off of their bike. It is also important that the helmet is fastened securely. If your child does damage their helmet (even through dropping it) it is important to replace this straight away as its effectiveness in an accident could be compromised.
Ensure that rules of the road are followed
It is important for your child to use a cycle lane or pavement. In some circumstances it is necessary for children to cycle on the roads and it is therefore crucial that they know to obey traffic signals and give appropriate hand signals as to their movements. Failing to adhere to traffic signals can result in unpredictable behaviour and give other road users little time to react and avoid a collision.
Discussing road safety with your child and implementing a few simple safety rules can allow them to enjoy their bikes all year round and minimise their risk of injury on the roads.
If you have any questions about the above or require any further information, please contact the one of the team on 01483 543210.