Bike riding is fun and a good way to
exercise. But many do not realize the risk of
serious injuries from bike crashes. Head
injuries are the leading cause of death and
permanent disability from bike accidents.
Bike crashes and injuries can be avoided by
wearing helmets and following the rules of the
road. Bike helmets reduce the risk of brain
injury by 88% and face injury by 65%. Yet only
about 25% of children aged 4-15 years wear a
helmet when riding. Teen use is nearly zero.
Teach your children about safe biking.
Children should ride on sidewalks and paths
until at least 10 years of age and be able to
show good riding skills. They should observe the
rules of the road. Oversized bikes for children
to "grow into" are dangerous. Children
should be able to sit on the seat with hands on
the handlebars and the balls of both feet on the
ground. Other safety rules to include:
- Always wear a bike helmet, even for short
- Ride on the right side of the road with
the traffic flow. Riding against traffic is
dangerous and confuses or surprises drivers.
Pass on the left. Do not dart in and out
- Use correct hand signals. Obey traffic
signs and signals, including stop signs and
- Stop and look both ways before entering a
street. Yield the right-of-way to
pedestrians and skaters.
- If riding at dawn, dusk or night, wear
reflective clothing, not just light colored
clothing. The bike should have a headlight
and a rear reflector.
- Maintain your bike in good working order.
For more information, contact the Genesee
County Health Department at (810) 341-7653.