Bike Safety Tips for Kids

Bike riding can be a lot of fun, especially for kids. It’s a way for them to get out of the house and enjoy themselves in the fresh air. However, bike accidents do occur. They can happen pretty often if the child is not paying attention to their surroundings. Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency room because of bike injuries. A majority of the time it’s because they weren’t looking where they were going.

Picture Sources:  http://www.capjournal.com/people/health/riding-for-fun-riding-for-health/article_c11adcaa-690b-5b42-8e26-9fc324360473.html?mode=image&photo=0

Picture Source: http://www.capjournal.com/people/health/riding-for-fun-riding-for-health/article_c11adcaa-690b-5b42-8e26-9fc324360473.html?mode=image&photo=0

In order to fix this problem and for your child to stay safe while riding, here are some bike safety tips for them to follow:

Always wear a helmet. They may not seem like the coolest and most popular item out there, but they can save your life. A bike helmet can be annoying if not fitted properly. Make sure you size the helmet to fit your head. You do not want it too big or too small. Along with the helmet, always wear sneakers. Open toed shoes and sandals can fall off your feet or get stuck in the bike pedal while riding.

If it’s a hot day outside make sure to bring a bottle of water, sunglasses, and use sunscreen. It’s very important to stay hydrated when doing a physical activity- like bike riding. If the sun seems to be out then you should apply some sunscreen to areas of your body where the sun will be hitting them. It’s not worth getting really bad sunburn, even if you are going for a short ride.

Lastly, do not use your phone while riding your bike. Text messages , emails, calls, and the new game “Pokémon GO” can all wait.  Although it seems like fun to use the app while riding, it is a huge distraction. Not looking where you are going can cause an accident and even lead to injuries. Always make sure you come to a complete stop when playing or checking your phone. That way you are aware of your surroundings and are able to get to your destination safely.

New Brunswick Ciclovia is Coming!

Ciclovia7.12 eventKMM is getting ready for the next New Brunswick Ciclovia, coming on Saturday July 12th!

Ciclovia is an open streets event that encourages New Brunswick residents and visitors of all ages to get physically active through biking, walking, skating, and programmed activities on closed city streets. KMM is partnering with Safe Kids Middlesex County to bring mini bike skills course to Remsen Avenue.

The July 12th event features an all-new route that connects New Brunswick’s downtown and residential neighborhoods with the Cook/Douglas campus of Rutgers University.  Plan ahead and check out the Cicolovia map!

To learn more about the program, be sure to visit the New Brunswick Ciclovia’s website.

Pay Attention

Pay-attention1I turned into the street and moved into the right lane.  The light was in my favor and I signaled my intention to turn right.  But, I slammed on my brakes as I made the turn because a bicyclist who ran his red light almost ran into me.  I sat there fuming as he pedaled away totally oblivious to the accident he almost caused.

But there’s more.  A few blocks later, I put on my left turn blinker.  The driver of a car approaching in the opposite direction signaled that he was turning to his left.  Thank goodness I paused a moment before taking the turn.  If I had not, the car left would have crashed into mine because the driver didn’t turn left at all.  He drove straight ahead even as his left turn signal blinked.

If we’re on the road as motorists, pedestrians, or bicyclists, we all have to be careful and watch what we’re doing.  Stop lights are for everybody, those who are driving, walking or bicycling.  Turn signals mean the motorist or bicyclist (who should know hand signals) intends to turn. 

 It’s real simple.  Pay attention. 

Share the Road, Save a Life!

share-the-road1The warm weather has finally arrived and that means more people are leaving their cars behind and opting for pedal power to get to their destinations. Not only is this a fun way to explore the sights and sounds of the GardenState, but it also incorporates physical fitness into your day. And for many NJ residents, bicycling is the only form of transportation to get to and from work.

If you’re an avid bike rider, you’re probably aware of the rules of the road, but if you’re not very experienced, or just prefer to drive in the comfort of your car at all times, it’s important to remember that the road belongs to both bicyclists and automobiles. We need to practice mutual respect and follow all state and local traffic laws in order to reach our destinations safely.

New Jersey’s Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations laws recognizes bicycles as a vehicle and grants bicyclists all the same rights and responsibilities as any other automobile traveling along our state’s roadways. This means, that bicycles are permitted on all roadways, unless expressly stated otherwise, and must follow the same traffic rules and patterns as motor vehicles.

According to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, there are an average of 173 reported bicycle accidents in MiddlesexCounty every year. In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission reported 12 fatalities related to bicycle accidents throughout the state.

So what can we do to prevent bicycling accidents and fatalities? Bikeleague.org offers these common sense tips to bicyclists and motorists:

 

Bicyclists:

Obey all vehicle traffic laws, lights and signs

Use hand signals to signify stops and turns to other vehicles

Stay to the right of the road and always ride in the same direction as traffic

Wear bright colored/reflective clothing and a proper fitting helmet

Use front and rear lights when riding at dawn and dusk

Make eye contact with the driver of other vehicles and proceed with caution.

 

Motorists:

Reduce speed when approaching bicyclists

Do not tailgate or follow too closely; Give the bicyclist space

Yield to bicyclists and give them the right of way, do not try to beat them to the intersection.

When passing, leave four feet between you and the bike rider

Do not blast your horn next to a bicyclist, as this may startle the rider and cause them to lose control.

Make eye contact with the bicyclist and proceed with caution.

Remember the road belongs to everyone. Following these simple rules will ensure we all have a safe and happy trip.