Hand signals are like turn signals and brake lights for bikers. It helps cars and trucks know what you will do next so they don’t run into you. Don’t change directions or lanes without first looking behind you, and always use the correct signals.
Use your left arm for all signals:
Left turn: After checking behind you, hold your arm straight out to the left and ride forward slowly.
Stop: After checking behind you, bend your elbow, pointing your arm downward in an upside down “L” shape and come to a stop.
Right turn: After checking behind you, bend your elbow, holding your arm up in an “L” shape, and ride forward slowly. (Or, hold your right arm straight out from your side.)
Now that you’ve learned those hand signals, you get a big thumbs-up for finding out more about bike safety!
Whether you should ride on the sidewalk or in the street. Kids younger than 10 years should ride on the sidewalk and avoid the street.
Common things that can get in the way like rocks, children or pets, and big puddles.
No matter where you ride, daytime riding is the safest. So try to avoid riding your bike once it starts getting dark.
And always keep an eye out for cars and trucks. Even if you’re just riding on the sidewalk, a car may pull out of its driveway into the path of your bike. When you cross a busy road, walk your bike across the street.
Riding a bike that is the right size for you helps to keep you safe. If you go to a bike store, ask the people who work there to help you get the right fit. In general, your feet should easily touch the ground as you sit on the seat and your legs shouldn’t be too bent when you pedal.
Making a safety checklist is important. Ask your parent for help:
Make sure your seat, handlebars, and wheels fit tightly.
Check and oil your chain regularly.
Check your brakes to be sure they work well and aren’t sticking.
Check your tires to make sure they have enough air and the right amount of tire pressure.
Bike riding is a lot of fun, but accidents happen. Every year, lots of kids need to see their doctor or go to the emergency room because of bike injuries.
Wearing a helmet that fits well every time you’re on a bike helps protect your face, head, and brain if you fall. That’s why it’s so important to wear your bike helmet whenever you are on a bike.
Bike helmets are so important that the U.S. government has created safety rules for them. Your helmet should have a sticker that says it meets the rules set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If your helmet doesn’t have a CPSC sticker, ask your parent about getting you one that does.
Wear a bike helmet every time you ride, even if you’re going for a short ride. And follow these rules:
Make sure your bike helmet fits you well.
Always wear your helmet the right way so it will protect you: Make sure it covers your forehead and don’t let it tip back. Always fasten the straps.
Don’t wear a hat under your helmet.
Take care of your helmet and don’t throw it around. If it’s damaged, it won’t protect you as well when you need it.
Get a new helmet if you fall while you’re on your bike and hit your head.
Put reflective stickers on your helmet so drivers can see you better.