Bicycle Safety Tips

Plan a safe cycling route with children and ride it with them.  A safe cycling route to school may not be the same as a safe walking route.  Streets with a steady flow of fast-moving traffic are not appropriate for young cyclists with limited traffic experience.

  • Street cycling should be supervised until a child is age 10 and can show how well they ride and observe the basic rules of the road.  Adult supervision is essential until traffic skills and judgment thresholds are reached by each child. 
  • Make eye contact with drivers.  Do not assume that they see you, especially at intersections and driveways! Watch for right-turning cars whenever the bike lane border is dashed.  Cars may enter the lane at that point.
  • Be predictable.  Avoid accidents and traffic tickets by obeying ALL stop signs, traffic lights, and other traffic laws and signs.  You are a vehicle, not a pedestrian, so follow the same rules of the road as cars do. 
  • Wear your helmet.  It’s the law.  Make sure it fits properly so it will protect your brain in case of an accident.  It should be snug, level, and covering your forehead. 
  • Ride on the right.  Use bike lanes whenever possible.  Wrong way riding is extremely dangerous.  If there is no bike lane, ride as far to the right as practicable.  Stay visible to traffic by not weaving in and out of parked cars.
  • Be alert & visible.  Watch for opening doors from parked cars, cars turning left or right, and cars coming out of driveways.  Avoid riding on sidewalks--you are most visible in the roadway with other vehicles.
  • You always have the option of becoming a pedestrian.  Consider this if the intersection is especially crowded.  Move out of the stream of traffic, get off your bike and walk it in the pedestrian crosswalk.
  • Do NOT carry things in your hands.  You should secure anything you need to carry on a bike rack or basket and keep your backpack snug, not dangling low on your back.
For more detailed information, and videos, please visit the Education Resources page at the Safe Routes website.