Child Cyclist Injuries
311 children were seriously injured whilst riding their bikes on Britain’s roads in 2012, according to statistics obtained from the Department of Transport. This represents a fall of 21% on the previous year.
Although this is an encouraging statistic, more alarming is that the amount of children killed whilst on their bikes rose sharply to 13. This is a massive 117% increase on 2011.
Any accident involving the death of a child is tragic, but for the numbers to dramatically increase in that way is truly shocking. It is clear that more needs to be done to improve road safety for children.
The THINK! road safety website have published a set of guidelines and advice to keep children safe on their bikes:
- Make sure your brakes and tyres should be working well.
- Make sure your front and back lights work well and your back reflector is clean
- If you have to carry anything on your cycle, use a bike bag or basket
- Make sure you don’t wear any loose clothing so that nothing can get caught in the wheels
- Always wear cycle helmet that is the correct size and securely fastened
- Wear light coloured or fluorescent clothing in daylight and at dusk, wear something reflective at night
- Do not ride a bike that is too big or small as your balance may become affected
- Do not cycle at night without a white front light, a red back light and a red reflector at the back
- Make sure that you can always see and hear well
Additionally, the Department for Transport has developed the Bikeability scheme, designed to give children the skills and confidence to cycle in modern road conditions. For further information, you can visit the Bikeability website on http://www.dft.gov.uk/bikeability.
As a nation, we are cycling more and more and it is important that road safety remains a high priority. Education is vital so that every cyclist is given the information they need to keep them safe. If the appropriate resources are used properly it can help reduce the number of lives that are tragically ended way before their time.