Most people remember when they first learned how to ride a bike. They remember their parents standing behind them, cheering them on as they finally made their way down the local sidewalk or a steep driveway. They may even remember the first tumble to the ground as they lost their balance.

Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage in your childhood. And it’s up to parents to teach their kids how to ride safely and navigate the local streets with confidence.

Tips to share with young cyclists

While there are many bicycling tips that parents can share with their children, here are four common lessons to start with:

  • Safety is your first priority – Most kids do not understand the implications of failing to check the roads before crossing or not wearing a helmet. That’s why it’s critical that parents explain why safety is important, and to teach children to practice safety while on their bike rides.
  • Biking on the road means sharing the road – While most parents do not want their kids biking in the street, it’s very likely their children will begin to do so eventually. Therefore, it is helpful if parents communicate to their children the rules of the road, such as using hand signals and checking for traffic before entering a roadway, and how they can share the road safely.
  • Make smart decisions – Older cyclists know that you have to make quick decisions on the streets, but most kids won’t understand that concept until they start biking. You can help your child make smarter decisions by walking them through scenarios to show them what they should do. For example, ask your child, “what should they do if they approach a busy intersection?” and then work through the answer with them.
  • Wear your helmet – It’s a standard lesson, but it’s still incredibly important. The helmet is one of the most critical pieces of safety gear because it protects the head. You need to emphasize the significance of helmets and why your child needs to wear it on every single bike ride (no matter how long it is). If your child is resistant, let them pick out their helmet or decorate it at home.

Takeaway: Kids look to their parents for guidance, so it’s critical that parents spend time teaching their kids as much about bike safety as possible. Communication is key!

If despite all precautions you or your child is involved in a bicycle accident, contact attorney Hubert X. Gilroy or George B. Faller, Jr., who are experienced cyclists.  At Martson Law Offices, we have represented those who are injured as well as defendants who may be responsible, giving us a comprehensive perspective to fight for your best interests here in Pennsylvania.