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LG Health Physicians

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Bike Safety

  • About 75% of all bicycling deaths each year result from head injuries. Scrapes and broken bones heal, but brain injuries may not. The simple precaution of wearing a bicycle helmet may prevent severe injury or save a life.

  • Only purchase helmets that meet the CPSC Standard. A bicycle helmet must be able to absorb impact energy just as motorcycle helmets do to prevent brain injury. Most of the best helmets have three elements - a shell, a liner and straps and buckle.

  • PA Bicycle Helmet Laws: Children under age 12 must wear a helmet while riding a bicycle under state law. Pennsylvania’s mandatory bicycle helmet law applies to children operating bicycles and to children who are passengers in a restraining seat or trailer. 

Four common bicycling myths:

  • Bicyclists should ride facing traffic – FALSE, this myth causes about 25% of car/bike crashes. Ride with the direction of traffic.

  • A child needs a bike to grow into – FALSE, In order to balance and react in an emergency, your child should be able to stand over his/her bike with both feet flat on the ground.

  • My child needs a 21-speed mountain bike – FALSE, Few young children can work standard-sized handle brakes or confusing shifters while steering and pedaling. For your child’s first bike, choose a sturdy one-speed with a coaster brake.

  • Our neighborhood is quiet, so we don’t have to worry - FALSE, many bike crashes involving children happen on quiet two-lane residential streets with 25 mph speed limits, largely because that is where kids bicycle.

Learn more about bicycle safety on the PennDOT website.

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