Biking with the family is a fine way to stay in shape while you spend quality time with those you love; however, this activity is not without its dangers. While The New York Times notes that the amount of traffic on roadways fell nearly 75% in 2020, biking with children and teens can present several risks.
If you plan to start biking with your family, keeping a few simple safety tips in mind may help you avoid an accident that could cause considerable injury to yourself or your children.
1. Keep your bikes in good condition
No matter what type of bikes your family ride, keeping them in sound condition can help prevent an accident due to malfunction. Before each ride, check the tires, chain and brake lines to ensure they function properly. Inspect the tires regularly for glass or nails that may have embedded themselves in the tires, and store bikes inside if possible.
2. Use safety equipment
Nearly two dozen states have helmet laws in place, including Louisiana, which requires that any child age 12 and younger wear helmets while riding a bicycle. You can enhance your child’s safety by adding elbow and kneepads to further protect them in case of a fall. Set a good example for your kids by wearing a helmet and obeying all safety laws.
3. Teach signals and safety habits
If any of your children have yet to master a bicycle, teaching them hand signals and safety protocols as they improve can help them feel more confident once they hit the road with you. Have them practice each time they ride.
Planning biking routes with the family can also increase safety. Include each rider and their input for a safer, more enjoyable trip.