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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

CHILDREN'S BIKE SAFETY WEEK

A Bicycle is not a toy, It is a child's first vehicle!

Young children leave their homes on bicycles to explore a world where adventures await. Unfortunately, so does danger. Young children are especially at risk in traffic situations because:
  • They expect others to look for them
  • They do not understand complicated traffic situations
  • They overestimate their knowledge and physical strength
  • They focus on one thought at a time
  • They assume that if they see a car, the driver can see them
  • They think that cars can stop instantly
  • They have difficulty estimating the speed a car is travelling
  • They have a field vision one third narrower than adults have
  • They have difficulty determining the direction of sounds

As children grow older they begin to ride on busier streets where cycling demands greater skills to avoid collisions. If children develop safe cycling skills and learn to follow the rules-of-the-road, many collisions can be avoided. Some accidents, however, happen through no fault of the cyclist, and that is why children must be taught to ride defensively and to wear bicycle helmets.

  • 85 % of all head or brain injuries could be avoided if cyclists wore bicycle helmets
  • 85% of all bicycle accidents occur within five blocks of home
  • 47% of all bicycle accidents occur off the road, in driveways and on sidewalks
  • 90% of all accidental deaths to children on bicycles occur when they dart into traffic from a driveway or when they cycle through a stop sign

Traffic laws tell children what rules they must obey when cycling. Traffic laws alone, however, cannot protect them. To be safe they must develop cycling skills and good judgement.

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