Site Map

Bicycle safety


Bicycle helmet - proper usage

I Would Like to Learn About:

Stay Safe While Bicycling

Many cities and states have bike lanes and laws that protect bicycle riders. But riders are still at risk of being hit by cars. Therefore, you need to ride carefully, obey the laws, and watch for other vehicles. Always be prepared to stop or take evasive action.

While riding your bicycle:

Obey the rules of the road.

Bike Helmets

The brain is fragile and easily injured. Even a simple fall can cause brain damage that may leave you with lifelong problems.

When riding a bike, everyone, including adults, should wear helmets. Wear your helmet correctly:

Your local sporting goods store, sports facility, or bike shop can help make sure your helmet fits properly. You can also contact the American League of Bicyclists.

Throwing around bicycle helmets can damage them. If this happens, they will not protect you as well. Be aware that older helmets, passed down from others, may not still offer protection.

Make Sure You Can be Seen at Night

If you ride at night, try to stay on roads that are familiar and brightly lit.

The following equipment, required in some states, will keep you safer:

Riding With Infants

Having infants in bike seats makes the bike more difficult to manage and harder to stop. Accidents that occur at any speed can injure a young child.

Following some simple rules can help keep you and your child safe.

To be able to ride in a rear mounted bike seat or child trailer, a child must be able to sit without support while wearing a lightweight helmet.

Rear-mounted seats must be securely attached, have spoke guards, and have a high back. A shoulder harness and a lap belt are also needed.

Safety Tips for Children

Young children should use bikes with coaster brakes. These are the kind that brake when pedaled backward. With hand brakes, a child's hands should be large enough and strong enough to squeeze the levers.

Make sure bikes are the right size, rather than a size "your child can grow into." Your child should be able to straddle a bike with both feet on the ground. Children cannot handle oversize bikes and are at risk of falling and other accidents.

Even when riding on sidewalks, children need to learn to watch for cars pulling out from driveways and alleys. Also, teach children to watch for wet leaves, gravel, and curves.

Make sure your child is careful about keeping loose pants legs, straps, or shoelaces from getting caught in the spokes of the wheel or bicycle chain. Teach your child never to ride barefoot, or while wearing sandals or flip-flops.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Bicycle safety. Updated May 4, 2022. Accessed July 19, 2023. website. Bicycle safety: myths and facts. Updated July 14, 2022. Accessed July 19, 2023.

National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration website. Bicycle safety. Accessed July 19, 2023.


Review Date: 7/1/2023  

Reviewed By: Charles I. Schwartz, MD, FAAP, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, General Pediatrician at PennCare for Kids, Phoenixville, PA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo
Health Content Provider

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complied with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information from 1995 to 2022, after which HON (Health On the Net, a not-for-profit organization that promoted transparent and reliable health information online) was discontinued.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2024 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.