6 tips to help you stay safe while cycling
Published Wednesday, June 7, 2017 4:02PM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, June 7, 2017 6:33PM EDT
The weather is warming up which means seeing more bikes out on the roads.
But before your children take off on their two-wheeled adventure, there are a few important safety tips to follow to make sure it’s a safe ride.
From helmets to crosswalks, we’ve got you covered:
1) The 2V1 Rule. Make sure you have a helmet that fits properly. An easy way to figure out the sizing is to use the 2V1 method: 2 – There should be enough space for two fingers on your forehead between where the helmet sits and your eyebrows. V – The straps should form a ‘V’ shape under your ears. 1 - You should be able to slide one finger between the strap and your chin when the helmet is buckled up.
2) Ride a straight line. When teaching kids how to ride a bike, a great thing to focus on before hitting the streets is ability. Collen Cooper from Waterloo’s Cycling into the Future training program says being able to ride in a straight line is one of the best things to learn. “When they’re on the road, in order to be predictable to cars, they need to ride in a straight line, not be weaving all over the place,” she says. Once you’re on the road, you’re considered a vehicle.
3) The lifesaver. When you’ve done a shoulder check, do one more. Over the last five years, there have been about 120 car-bike collisions that involved people under 20-years-old in this region.
4) Crosswalks are meant for walking. It’s an easy one to forget, but cyclists need to get off their bikes and walk across the street, not ride. According to Cooper, crosswalks are the number one spot for collisions. Watch for cars that might be turning and make sure you have the right of way.
5) Ride with traffic. When you’re out on the road, it’s important to ride in the same direction as traffic. Drivers aren’t expecting a bike to be coming towards them in the lane. It can cause conflict and an accident. To avoid confusion, ride with traffic and in a straight line.
6) Learn the sign language. Once you’re sharing a lane with drivers, you need to be able to communicate effectively. Spend some time refreshing yourself on the proper hand signals and ensuring your children know them as well. Remember to signal with your left hand so drivers can clearly see it.
With reporting by Krista Simpson