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Cycling Safety – Keeping your Child Safe on a Bike

Posted on June 7th 2019

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) statistics show that 10% of all cyclist casualties are children, with a recorded 8 child cyclist deaths in 2016. These cycling safety statistics only include cyclists killed or injured in road accidents that were reported to the police. Although the number of deaths is accurate, this suggests there could be a much higher number of injuries not recorded.

Sadly, our Personal Injury Department sees the terrible impact that accidents have on our most vulnerable road users. Unlike other road users, cyclists are not protected by their vehicle. For example, cars have a safety cage and crumple zones which protect occupants in a crash. Often, this means that cyclists experience more severe injuries.

The 3rd-9th June is Child Safety week – an annual initiative started by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented.
This year the theme is – Family life today: where’s the risk? Its aim is to highlight the new dangers facing families today from our modern lifestyles and offers simple solutions to keep children safe.

This year we are promoting CAPT’s message – the prevention of child accidents with a focus on cycling safety. At Oliver & Co, we understand how dangerous the roads can be for children who cycle when met with the modern day distractions from devices used by pedestrians, motorists and other cyclists.

How can you make sure your child is as safe as possible when on a bike? Are you up to date with legal requirements? This guide will give you all the details on cycling safety.

How to teach road safety to your children

Follow these basics to help you and your child stay safe when cycling:

  • Make sure your child’s bike fits and that all your bikes are roadworthy;
  • If you’re on the road with children, take up a position behind them. If there are two adults in your group, it’s a good idea to have one at the back and one in front of the children;
  • Helmets are particularly recommended for young children. Ultimately, wearing a helmet is a question of individual choice and parents need to make that choice for their children;
  • Set a good example, follow the Highway Code and teach children road safety and awareness – don’t use devices on the road!
  • Obey traffic signs, be considerate of other road users and do not let yourself be distracted by using a mobile phone or listening to music;
  • Encourage them to notice and discuss what they see around them on the road;
  • Make sure they know that when they’re on the road they need to concentrate and watch out for other road users all the time;
  • Encourage them to make their own decisions – they shouldn’t blindly follow what others are doing without making their own checks first;
  • Practice judging speed and distance with them;
  • Help them work out the safest routes for the journeys they make.

Cycling safety rules for kids

  • Don’t jump red lights or cycle on the pavement unless it’s a designated cycle path;
  • Signal clearly at all times;
  • Ride in a position where you can see and be seen;
  • Make eye contact with other road users, especially at junctions, then you know they’ve seen you;
  • When riding at night always use a working white front light and red back light, plus a red rear reflector – it’s the law!
  • Wear fluorescent or light coloured clothing if you are riding during the day or in poor light;
  • After dark, wear reflective clothing as fluorescent or light coloured clothing will not be visible.

If you’re cycling on paths shared by walkers, wheelchair users and horse riders:

  • Don’t go too fast – it can intimidate others;
  • Use your bell to let others know you are approaching, but don’t assume they can hear or see you – they may be using devices;
  • Give way to others and always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary;
  • Keep left or on your side of any dividing line;
  • Be careful at junctions, bends or entrances.

Being cyclist aware as a pedestrian or motorist

  • Avoid using devices at all costs – it is illegal for motorists to use mobile phones when driving!
  • Be aware – make a note of your surroundings and listen closely for approaching sounds;
  • Look twice both ways before pulling out of a junction – children are smaller and therefore a lot harder to spot on first glance;
  • If driving after dark make sure headlights are switched on for visibility and that they both work;
  • If walking after dark, wear reflective clothing to make yourself visible;
  • Avoid wearing headphones.

How can we help?

If you or your child has been injured in an accident as a pedestrian, cyclist or driver, we’re here to help. We help injured clients every day claim compensation after they have been injured in accidents. Read about our services here or call us today on 01244 312306.

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306