As the weather gets warmer, many kids are going to be taking to the streets to play on their bicycles. Bicycles provide a great method of transportation for young kids who want to go to their friends’ houses nearby but who are too young to drive a car to get there. Bike riding in the neighborhood or in the driveway can also be a lot of fun for kids of all ages.
Unfortunately, our Birmingham bicycle accident lawyers know that hundreds of people die each year as a result of bicycle accidents and that many more are injured. A large number of those who get hurt on bicycles are children who may be in grave danger due to a lack of skills on the bicycle or a lack of understanding of the risks of the road.
The Dangers of Bicycle Accidents for Kids
Any time a child or an adult rides a bicycle, there are some potential risks. There is a risk of becoming involved in a car accident while riding the bike, and there is also a danger of falling off of the bike and getting hurt.
The dangers are not insignificant and deaths and injuries due to bicycle accidents are not rare. In fact, according to NHTSA, there were 618 people killed in crashes between bikes and motor vehicles in 2010. During that same year, there were also another 61,000 people injured in bike accidents. The total cost of all these injuries adds up to more than $4 billion each year, and that is just the economic loss.
Unfortunately, in many cases, it is younger children who are at the greatest risk of getting hurt in a bicycle accident. BicyclingInfo.org indicates that 20 percent of those who suffer injury in bicycle accidents were under the age of 16. This means thousands of children each year suffer varying degrees of injury ranging from mild to severe and permanent.
Keeping Your Kids Safe from Bicycle Accidents
Over the winter, kids typically don’t spend a lot of time outside riding their bikes. As the weather gets warmer in Birmingham, however, kids will head outside. This means now is a perfect time to talk to your kids about bike safety. By having the conversation early in the spring, you can get your son or daughter off on the right path toward making smart choices.
To help your child stay safe from bicycle accidents this spring and summer, consider these tips from Children’s of Alabama:
You should also make age-appropriate rules for how far your child can go on his or her bicycle, and regarding whether or not your child is permitted to ride a bike without being supervised at the time.
Safe Driving in 2013 Should Top List of Priorities for Alabama Motorists, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, January 3, 2013.