A bicycle safety study performed by the National Institute of Health indicates that teaching bicycle safety to youngsters is very effective. In the study, researchers taught students to recognize potential hazards, wear a helmet effectively, and exercise recognized safety precautions while riding their bicycles. Indeed, based on this study it appears that early education is critical when it comes to bicycle safety.
5 Tips for Bicycle Safety Instruction
- Use language that children can understand. Complex words and phrases like intersection, traffic patterns, caution, and hazard may be difficult for youngsters to understand. When possible, use pictures, videos, and live demonstrations for optimal effectiveness. Also, be sure to assess regularly for understanding.
- Allow children the ability to demonstrate the skills they have learned. Do not simply instruct the children and expect that they can apply what they have learned. Instead, allow them to demonstrate what they know. For example, have them show you the proper way to secure a helmet. Take them riding and have them demonstrate how they perform in actual, real-world situations. This will enable them to apply what they have learned and help prepare them for when you are not there.
- Teach students to use their senses to avoid danger. Explain how their sight and hearing can help prevent many accidents from occurring. Instruct them to use their hearing to listen for oncoming traffic, horns, or other sounds of hazards. Teach them to watch for potholes, puddles, parked cars, traffic, and stop signs. Being aware of hazards is the first and most important step to avoid them.
- Avoid graphics and language that may be disturbing to children. We know well just how dangerous bikes can be, but showing children images of bicycle crashes or accident victims may be disturbing. Instead, use works like hurt, unsafe, and crash.
- Work with children to adjust their bicycle for safety. Add reflectors to the bicycle and adjust the bike for proper fit. Demonstrate how to do this. Remember that children grow quickly, so their bikes will have to be adjusted for fit regularly. Also, remember to teach children to wear bright clothing in order to remain visible when they are on their bikes.
When you teach children bicycle safety, you are not only protecting them from potential hazards: you are also teaching them the love of the sport. If you are not confident in your own ability to teach, look for an educator in your area. Often, parks and recreation programs offer classes on bicycle safety for children.
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As bicycle crash attorneys, we are well aware of the importance of safety instruction from an early age. We urge all bikers, regardless of age, to exercise caution and enjoy biking! Take a moment and add Kass & Moses to your phone in case you are even in a bicycle crash. We’re the experienced team of bikers who will be on your side in the event of a crash. You can reach us either online at Kass & Moses or by phone toll-free at 1-844-BICYCLE.