Your child being injured while riding their bike is every parent’s worst nightmare. Follow these tips to keep them safe.
How common are child bicycle accidents?
Each year, approximately 100 children are killed, and 254,000 are injured due to bicycle-related accidents. Bicycle accidents among children have gone down over the past ten years, while accidents amongst adults are growing in commonality.
However, while accidents involving children are decreasing, you should still do your best to keep your children safe and informed regarding road hazards and potentially dangerous situations.
Safety Tips to Keep Your Children Safe While Riding Their Bikes
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your child is safe while riding their bike. You can equip them with the tools and the knowledge to ensure that they are safe while riding in any area.
- Make sure your children wear helmets every time they use their bike, even if they’ll only ride for a short amount of time.
- Make sure their bicycle helmet fits them properly and that they wear helmets correctly.
- Don’t wear helmets under your bicycle helmet.
- Take good care of their bicycle helmets. If it’s damaged, it won’t do as good of a job at protecting their head from injury.
- Use reflective stickers on their bicycle so that drivers can see them better, especially at night.
- Check to make sure the brakes work well, and they aren’t sticking before going on a bike ride.
- Check and oil the bicycle chain regularly.
- Make sure they know where they’re allowed to ride their bike and how far they’re allowed to go.
- Ensure you’re confident in their riding ability before allowing them to travel long distances or ride their bicycle at night.
- Teach them which side of the street to ride on and whether they should ride on the sidewalk or the road.
Other Child Bicycle Safety Tips
You should also teach them the following bicycle road rules, especially if they’re going to be traveling far distances away from your home. Those rules include:
- Always keep your hands on your handlebars.
- Always stop and check for traffic, looking in both directions before leaving your driveway, an alley, or a curb.
- Walk your bike across busy intersections using the crosswalk.
- Ride on the right-hand side of the street. Never ride against traffic.
- Use bike lanes when you can.
- Don’t ride too close to parked cars, as doors can open suddenly.
- Stop at all traffic lights and obey traffic signals just as cars do.
What to do if your child is injured by a vehicle?
If your child is injured in a bicycle accident, you should contact the police to file a police report right away. You should also get to the scene of the accident as soon as possible. While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, gather information and evidence.
You should get the information from the driver of the involved motor vehicle, but don’t discuss fault and don’t apologize. You should also take pictures of the scene of the accident, including damage to the motor vehicle, your child’s bicycle, and pictures of your child’s injuries.
Speak with anyone who may have witnessed the accident and get their contact information. Encourage them to stick around to speak with the investigating police officer. Once you’ve spoken with the investigating police officer, you’re free to go.
You should bring your child directly to the hospital or emergency room for medical treatment. If they don’t receive medical treatment immediately, insurance companies may try to make it seem like their injuries aren’t serious.
Once you’ve received medical treatment, you should start looking for an attorney. It’s best to have an attorney before the at-fault insurance company contacts you. That way, your attorney can talk to the insurance company on your behalf, preventing them from tricking you into damaging your case.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accident injuries can be devastating and severe, as bicyclists don’t have the same protection that motor vehicle drivers do. A hit to the side can cause broken bones, severe abdominal damage, and soft tissue damage. Other common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Fractures (especially to the ribs and face)
Damages for Bicycle Accident Injuries
If your child has been involved in a bicycle accident, there are various damages that you can receive compensation for. Those damages fall into two categories, economic and non-economic.
Economic damages cover monetary losses, such as medical bills. You may also receive compensation for any wages you’ve lost while out of work caring for your child.
Non-economic damages cover non-monetary losses like pain and suffering, permanent disability or disfigurement, or loss of future earning capacity. Non-economic damages may be greater in children’s bicycle accident cases, especially if the damages will affect the child into adulthood.
Contacting a Child Bike Injury Attorney
If your child has been injured in a bicycle accident, please contact one of our bicycle accident attorneys here at The Eberst Law Firm in Florida. We have years of experience working on and winning bicycle accident cases to get you the compensation you deserve.