Skip to main content

Bicycle Safety 101

Class is in session for kids and adults riding bikes. Before hitting the road, be sure to know these safety rules to protect from injury and accidents. 

Always wear a helmet!  

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, an approved, proper-fitting bicycle helmet reduces the chance of suffering a serious head injury in an accident by as much as 85%. 

  • Select a helmet approved by one of the following safety-standard organizations: Snell, ANSI or ASTM and wear it on every ride, no matter how far or close to home.
  • Let your children pick out their own safety-approved helmets with the assistance of an adult. Children who like their helmets are more likely to wear them.
  • Make sure the helmet covers the forehead. A helmet that is tipped back or slides around does not provide adequate protection.
  • Although a hard-shell helmet provides the most protection, if it is too heavy for a young child, a soft-shell helmet may be a better choice.
  • Chin straps should fasten easily and remain secure.
  • PARENTSset the example by insisting your child wear a helmet and wear yours, too! Remember to praise children for wearing a helmet, especially when they do so without being reminded.
  • Start the helmet habit early! Children should wear a helmet beginning with their first tricycle or bicycle.

Getting a Propert Helmet Fit 

Bike Maintenance

  • Equip bicycles or helmets with a rear view mirror, and practice using it.
  • Regularly inspect bicycles for loose sparts, under-inflated tires and soft or misaligned brakes.
  • Bikes are not one-size fits all. While standing over the frame with both feet flat on the ground, the rider should be able to clear the top tube/bar of the frame with an inch or two clearance. Another indiciator is being able to rest the balls of the feet on the ground while seated on the saddle.

Follow the Rules of the Road

  • Know the Illinois Bicycle Rules of the Road.
  • Bicycles must STOP at stop signs or red lights. Remember, the same traffic rules apply to all those who share the road. 
  • Use hand signals to indicate direction of turns and intention to stop. Be sure children are aware of the proper signals. 
  • Always ride single-file. Riding side-by-side is dangerous.