Bicycle Safety

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Bike Safety
© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation

Every year, the Bend Fire Department responds to hundreds of car/bicycle incidents. When a bicycle and a motor vehicle collide, the bicyclist almost always gets hurt. Some bicycle injury deaths involve young children. It is important to know some simple "rules of the road" to help keep bicycling safe and fun!

Click here to download a PDF version of this information

Bike Helmets: The Right Fit:

  • All bike riders in Oregon under the age of 16 shall wear a properly fitted helmet whenever they ride their bike
  • Helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by 90 percent.
  • When purchasing a new helmet, be sure that it has two sets of sizing pads: a thin set and a thick set.
  • While wearing the helmet without the straps secured, shake your head from side to side. The helmet should be snug with very little movement. If there is too much movement, replace the sponge pads inside with thicker pads. If there is still too much movement, the helmet is too big.
  • Front and back straps should meet in a V shape just below the ear.
  • All straps should be equally tight when the chinstrap is buckled.
  • The chinstrap must be snug, allowing only one finger between the chin and the chinstrap when the mouth is closed.
  • The helmet should sit on the child's head so that the front rim is just above the eyebrows. If the helmet rests on the back of the head, the forehead, nose and chin will be exposed.
  • Before buckling the chin strap, have children shake their heads from side to side. The helmet should stay put. If it moves, it's too big and won't protect the head no matter how tight the chin strap is pulled.
  • When the chin strap is buckled, children should be able to open their mouths and feel the helmet press firmly against the top of their heads.
  • Buy a new helmet. Helmets that have suffered even a single fall or have been exposed to heat for a long time (i.e., kept in the trunk of a car) should be replaced.
  • Parents and caregivers; don't forget to set an example by wearing a helmet yourself!

Road Safety:

  • Know and obey all traffic signs and signals. The Oregon DMV has a great handout on all traffic laws that pertain to bicycles. 
  • Younger children should always be supervised and not allowed to ride on the street. They should always ride on the sidewalk.
  • Always walk a bicycle in the crosswalk when it is safe to cross.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings, other vehicles can’t stop as fast as you can
  • Always have proper bright and/or reflective clothing on so you can be seen
  • At night, law requires you have lights on front and back
  • Stop before entering the road or a driveway, look left, look right and left again for moving cars. Look to the front and to the rear before entering the intersection.
  • Always ride with the flow of traffic on the far right side of the street.
  • Bicycles with one seat and one handlebar are made for one rider. DO NOT ride on handlebars or pegs.
Off Road Safety:
  • Be aware of rocks, sticks, broken glass, and other hazards when riding on unpaved surfaces.
  • Always ride with a buddy and tell someone where you will be riding and when you will return.

More safety information can be found here

A helmet should be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Snell. Helmets manufactured after March 1999 must meet new CPSC standards.

(Information provided in part courtesy of the City of Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department© 2013)