KILGORE FIRE DEPARTMENT SAFETY TIPS

Family Bicycle Safety

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A weekly article that will offer information concerning the Kilgore Fire Department and provide safety tips for home and family.

In 2016, there were 840 bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in the United States. A large percentage of crashes can be avoided if motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other.

The arrival of warmer weather and sunnier days means that families can escape from indoor activities and move on to new outside adventures to enjoy with the family. The benefits of being an active family are endless and bike riding is the perfect activity to get everyone moving. Before you and the children rush out and start pedaling, an important factor that you must consider is SAFETY. Listed are a few tips to make sure every ride is the safest ride.

1. Protect Your Head – a helmet is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes. Ensure that you have a properly fitted helmet.

2. Adjust Your Bicycle to Fit – when a child is straddling the bike both feet sould be flat on the ground and there should be 1 to 3 inches of space between the child and the top bar.

3. Do the ABC Quick Check – Air, Brakes, Crank, and Chain. It’s important to do a bike maintenance check whether it’s been a day or a longer time since your last ride.

4. Be Bright, Use Lights – When riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening, be bright and use lights. Also fluorescent, reflective or bright colored clothes will help children be visible on the road.

5. Road Rules – If you allow your children to ride on the street, be sure to go over the rules of the road. Obey traffic laws, including stoplights, signs, signals, and lane markings, yield to pedestrians, ride your bicycle in the same direction as traffic and signal when you make turns.

6. Choose Your Path – Avoid hills and find bike routes that will make cycling fun for everyone. With children, it is safer to keep on bike trails.

7. Making Safety a Family Affair – One of the best ways to help kids learn safe bike riding is to set a good example by following the rules of the road yourself. Go for bike rides with your children so you can show them what safe riding looks like.

8. Drive Defensively – Be focused and alert to the road and all traffic around you; anticipate what others may do, before they do it. This is defensive biking-the quicker you notice a potential conflict, the quicker you can act to avoid a potential crash.

Stay S.A.F.F.E.,

Johnny Bellows

Fire Chief

Next week characteristics of potentially harmful substances used in homes.

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