4 Key Skills for Bike Safety

Tips for Teaching Your Kids How to Stay Safe on the Road

You are the key to your child’s bike safety. Make sure your children are properly trained and skilled enough to handle a bicycle before giving them free reign of the road. Here are 4 key skills that they need to learn.

1) Riding in a Straight Line: This seems like common-sense, but too often children are allowed to ride on streets before they have the ability to ride in a straight line. Take your child to a park or empty parking lot and have him or her practice riding on the striped parking lines.

2) Turning: This skill can be very difficult for beginner cyclists to master. Without this skill, children risk losing control on a turn and sustaining an injury. To really master this skill, bring your child out to practice riding “figure eights”. As turning skills improve, have him or her ride in smaller and tighter formations that will closely resemble turning out of an emergency situation.

3) Looking Back Without Swerving: Once your child possesses basic cycling skills, it is time to teach more advanced riding maneuvers. Cyclists must practice looking behind their bicycles before making left turns. To practice this, take your child to an empty parking lot or park and have him or her ride past you. As they do so, either hold up your hand or hold it behind your back. Shout “look!” and have your child look back and tell you if they saw your hand up.

4) Braking Control: To practice proper braking draw a line on your driveway and have your child practice driving towards the line and braking right in front of it. Make sure your child brakes in a fluid manner, as sudden braking can lead to skidding.

Learning basic biking skills isn’t always enough. Teach your child about 10 Bike Laws You Need to Know. The best way to keep safe on the road is by following the rules!

If you were injured as a cyclists, get the information you need to receive the compensation you deserve ordering our book Spinning Out of Control: The Ontario Bicycle Accident Handbook. In this book, learn about safety tips; the legal and insurance issues that surround cycling in Ontario; and how to make an insurance claim if you have been badly injured

About the Author: Brenda Hollingsworth

Brenda Hollingsworth co-founded Ottawa’s Auger Hollingsworth in 2005 with her husband Richard Auger. Together, their mission was to create a personal injury law firm for Eastern Ontario that is unrivalled in the province for customer service and legal expertise. Brenda was named an Ottawa Business Journal Forty Under 40 award recipient and took home the Women’s Business Network’s Businesswoman of the Year award in the Professional category. She was also recognized as one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s “Top 50 People in the Capital.” She is often quoted as an expert and has appeared in media outlets such as CTV, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Sun Media, CBC, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, CFRA and many legal publications.

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