Dealers stress bicycle safety - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dealers stress bicycle safety

December 27, 2003

Albany- Each year more than 500,000 Americans are sent to the hospital for bicycle-related injuries. Often times the largest percentage of those injuries are children.

Dealers say parents need to remember safety first before letting their children become bike riders.

"The first thing they need to aware of is a helmet, especially in young children. Not only is it a legal requirement, it's the number one safety equipment," says Ron Owens of Bloch Brothers.

Georgia law requires all bike riders under the age of 16 to wear a helmet.

Though all bicycles are required to come equipped with reflectors, Owens says they aren't enough to keep your children safe a night.

"As it starts to get dusk, it's best to bring the kids in. If for some reason they have to ride at night they need to get some kind of auxiliary lighting to go on the bike."

Regular maintenance is another key when it comes to bicycle safety.

"The parents need to periodically look at the bike to be sure that the kid is on a product that is safe to ride."

That includes periodically checking the assembly of the bike, making sure to tighten any parts that may be loose; measuring tire pressure and adjusting it to manufacturer specifications; and replacing parts that may have become worn or rusted.

Dealers say if parents know the bike is safe, they can concentrate more on teaching their children rules of the road.

Owens also warns parents to be careful when altering their children's bikes. If not installed properly, the addition of non-standard parts can make the bike unsafe to ride.

Posted at 5:00 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com