Kids and bikes – it’s the perfect combination for a fun summer day or an excellent way for kids to commute to school. Although fun and healthy, bikes can also be dangerous. If your child is hit by a car, their life can change. Bike safety for kids is critical. The North Carolina and South Carolina bicycle accident lawyers at Stewart Law Offices offer the following bike safety tips for kids and parents.
Kids and Bicycle Safety: Understanding Child-Specific Laws and Regulations
The first step in bicycle safety for kids is understanding what North Carolina and South Carolina laws require of bicyclists.
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT):
- Bicycles are vehicles and are subject to vehicle traffic laws.
- Riders under 16 must wear helmets.
- Bicycles must have white headlamps and red taillights visible from 500 feet if ridden between sunset and sunrise.
- Bicyclists must use hand signals.
- Bicycle racing on highways is not allowed.
All bike riders in South Carolina must follow these rules, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS):
- Ride in the same direction as the rest of traffic.
- Ride in a bike lane whenever a bike lane is present.
- Install a white light on the front of the bike visible from at least 500 feet and a red rear reflector visible from at least 50 feet if the cyclist is riding at night.
- No more than two cyclists may ride side-by-side in a lane of traffic.
- Follow all traffic signs, signals, and right-of-way rules at intersections.
- Bike riders cannot carry more people than there are appropriate seats on the vehicle (no “doubling up” on a bike seat or carrying a passenger on the bike’s handlebars).
South Carolina law does not require bicyclists to wear helmets while riding. The SCDOT does, however, recommend that all bike riders wear helmets.
Teaching Kids About Bicycle Safety: Legal and Practical Tips for Parents
Even when the law doesn’t require your child to wear a helmet, making them wear one is a critical part of keeping them safe.
Other ways you can keep your child safe include:
- Teaching them hand signals
- Reminding them to walk a bike across the street when crossing
- Instructing them to look both ways and how to know when it’s safe to cross the road
- Encouraging your child to ride in bike lanes or on the sidewalk
Drivers are the primary source of child bicycle injury dangers, even in your own neighborhood.
Liability and Child Bicycle Accidents: Navigating Legal Issues
If your child is involved in a bike accident someone else caused, you have the right to pursue compensation against the responsible party. A child bicycle accident lawyer can explain your rights for seeking compensation and the potential pitfalls that could arise after an accident.
Your attorney can build a case against the driver, possibly citing negligence or distraction on their part, and seek a settlement from their insurance company to cover your child’s medical care.
Contact Stewart Law Offices for a Free Consultation
If your child has been hurt in a bike accident, contact Stewart Law Offices today for a free case review with a South Carolina or North Carolina bicycle accident lawyer.