Bicycle Safety Facts

In 2004 725 bicyclists were killed and an additional 41,000 were injured in traffic crashes. The 14 and under age group accounted for 18% of those fatalities. Males age 14 and younger accounted for 75% of the bicyclist fatalities.

Bicycle fatalities occurred more frequently in urban areas (66%) during the months of June, July and August between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

(Source: NHTSA Bicycle Safety Tips)

Columbus has passed an ordinance that requires all children from age 1 year to age 18 years to wear a bicycle helmet every time when riding a bicycle or participating in wheeled sports.

Tips for Buying a Helmet

 The most important thing you can do to protect yourself while riding a bicycle is to protect your head with a helmet. A bicycle helmet reduces the risk of serious head injuries by 80 to 85%. It’s not enough to buy and wear a helmet, you need to make sure that it fits properly.

  • Purchase a helmet that meets or exceeds the safety standards developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
  • Select a brand and size that fits your child’s head now, prior to adjustments. Adjustable sizing pads are often included to help ensure a better fit.
  • The helmet should be comfortable and attractive. Your child will be more likely to wear it.
  • Replace any helmet that is involved in a crash or if it no longer fits properly.


Fitting a Bike Helmet Properly

  • Put the helmet on your head so it sits evenly between the ears and rests low on your forehead – it should only be about 1-2 finger widths above your eyebrows.
  • Use your eyes to look up. You should be able to see the rim of the helmet.
  • Use your ears to make sure the helmet straps are correct. The straps should come to a point right below your ears and form a “v”. Adjusting the position of your straps is important to help keep your helmet from sliding around.
  • Use your mouth and open it as wide as you can. If you don’t feel your helmet tug down on your head, you should tighten the chin straps a bit. This will help keep your helmet on your head while you’re riding.

Safety Tips While Riding Your Bicycle

  • Wear a bicycle helmet on every ride. Make sure it fits and your child knows how to put it on correctly.
  • Make sure the bicycle fits your child’s height, weight and age. When he/she sits on the seat, his/her feet should be able to touch the ground. There should be about 1 inch of clearance between the bike frame and the child’s groin when the child’s feet are flat on the ground. Also, make sure the bike is in good repair – reflectors are secure, brakes work properly, gears shift smoothly and tires are tightly secured and properly inflated.
  • Wear light, bright colors.
  • Ride so drivers and other cyclists can see you. Bikers should ride one behind another, on the right side of the road and with the traffic.
  • Look left-right-left for oncoming vehicles before turning or crossing a street. Go only when it is clear.
  • Use appropriate hand signals and follow the rules of the road by respecting traffic signals. Stop at all stop signs and stoplights and watching out for pedestrians.
Follow us Facebook Twiter YouTube RSS