The weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer, which means more children are outside riding bikes.
But this is also the time of year when bicycle-related injuries skyrocket.
That’s why Amica is offering bike safety tips as part of National Bike Safety Month, which runs through the end of May.
“The number of childhood deaths resulting from bike accidents increases by 45 percent during the summer months,” said Dina Morrissey, program coordinator for Rhode Island Hospital’s Injury Prevention Center and Safe Kids Rhode Island. “Most of these are due to head injuries. The use of a properly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent.”
Every bike rider should wear a helmet, said Lisa Melton, an assistant vice president with Amica.
Choose a helmet that meets federal safety standards and is the correct size.
A helmet should fit tightly on the top of the head and the straps should be secure under the chin. The helmet should not move.
Here are a few other tips for bike safety:
• Make sure your bike is the correct size — your feet should be able to touch the ground when sitting on the bike.
• Wear bright, reflective clothing.
• Place a light and reflectors on your bike when riding at night.
• Check the brakes and gears to make sure they’re working properly, and make sure the tires are properly inflated.
• Ride in the same direction as traffic and always use caution when riding on the road or sidewalk.
“Talk to your children about bicycle safety and always insist they wear a helmet,” Melton said. “Remind them to use caution, obey all traffic regulations and be especially careful at intersections. If possible, it’s best to ride on the sidewalk or a bike path and not on the road.”
Bike riding is a great way to have fun with your family and exercise, Melton said, so make safety your top priority and enjoy the ride this spring and summer.