If there is one thing that is true, it’s that drivers are not always cautious around cyclists. They may take a turn without looking at the bike lane or get too close to a cyclist who is using the road. They might open a door without looking to see if a cyclist is present, increasing the risk of a dooring accident that could maim or kill someone.
To stay safe, it is helpful for cyclists to be aware of the risks and to take action to prevent harm from coming to themselves. For example, you might talk to your children about riding on a sidewalk or in a cul-de-sac to avoid heavily trafficked areas (if they’re young enough to do so legally). If you have teens, you may want to send them to a bicycle safety course to help them prepare for riding on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 938 people were killed while riding their bikes due to traffic collisions in 2020. To help protect your child, it’s important to encourage them to wear the right riding gear. A properly fitting helmet could prevent head injuries in a collision. Padded gear might help cushion a fall, so they don’t break bones.
You can talk to your child about watching out for drivers who don’t see them and erring on the side of caution, but it’s not just their responsibility to keep themselves safe.
Drivers need to take responsibility for their actions on the road. They need to be aware of what’s going on around them. They should also be aware of areas where children are present, so they can slow down and be cautious around them.
Drivers who speed, drink before driving or who just aren’t paying attention put lives at risk. It’s important for you to discuss what to do if a bicycle crash happens with your child, and be prepared to seek compensation from any driver who was unsafe on the road. They should be held liable for the injuries and damages they’ve caused.