How to Prevent Child Bike Injuries in New Jersey
Riding a bicycle is a precious part of childhood. Unfortunately, riding a bike can also be very dangerous for children. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 677 bicyclists were killed in the year 2011 and that nine percent of those fatalities involved children aged 14 and younger. Two of those fatally injured young cyclists were killed in New Jersey. Of the estimated 48,000 bicyclists injured nationwide in traffic accidents that year, about 8,000 were children aged 14 and younger.
Here are a few ways in which you and your child can prevent bike injuries:
- Inspect the bike before each ride. Make sure the bicycle’s brakes are working properly and that the tires are properly inflated.
- Get the right helmet. Under New Jersey law, all bicyclists under 17 years of age must wear a helmet. Find one that fits snugly and doesn’t restrict your child’s visibility.
- Adjust the seat. Make sure your child’s feet can touch the ground while seated.
- Ride defensively. Never assume that a motorist sees you. Instead, make eye contact with motorists before entering an intersection and teach your child to do the same.
- Choose riding locations carefully. According to Safekids.org, children under the age of 10 are not developed enough mentally to properly judge speed and distance. Therefore, it is not safe for them to ride on the roadway. They should stick to riding in parks, cul-de-sacs, and bike paths. They should be taught to watch out for vehicles that are exiting or entering driveways.
- Lead by example. Children learn from watching adults. So make sure you are wearing a helmet when you ride a bike and that you have safe riding habits. Ride with your children to show them how it’s done.
- Increase your visibility. Wear bright clothes, use lights, and make sure your child’s bike has reflectors.
If your child is injured in a bicycle accident, please call the law offices of Lependorf & Silverstein at (609) 240-0040. We will help you seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, therapy, and other related damages.
To learn more about bicycle safety and the rate of accidents on the road, view our bicycle accident infographic.
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