Welcome to the newest feature on our Ziff Law blogs, Q & A.
If you have legal questions, we will try to provide answers here as soon as possible after you submit them.
I am a longtime bicyclist who fights for injured riders in our courts, and I will be happy to talk about issues that are important to bicyclists, such as today’s question about keeping children safe when they are on their bikes.
Submit your questions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: My oldest child is getting the training wheels off his first bicycle this spring and I am worried about how he can be safer when he ventures into the road with motorists. Do you have any suggestions about how we can prepare our son?
Jim Reed: Having taught many children how to ride bikes, I have a few key pieces of advice:
ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET: Always. Teach them early that riding a bike means wearing a helmet at all times.
PICK A SMALL BIKE WHERE THEIR FEET CAN REACH THE GROUND WHILE SEATED: Being able to touch your feet on land inspires confidence and removes some of the fear.
PLAN FOR SOFT LANDINGS AND REMEMBER CRASHING IS PART OF LEARNING: I like to teach kids on nice, flat, soft grass because crashing always occurs so soft landings are essential. Make it clear to your student that there will be some crashing but that is part of the process. And when the inevitable fall occurs, make it part of the fun. Kids watch adults like hawks, and if you communicate fear or worry, they will devolve into a puddle of tears rather than laughing and getting over it. Kids are incredibly tough and resilient if we just give them a chance.
Here are some great online resources that will help you prepare your child for the open road and its thrills — and dangers:
Teaching A Child How To Ride a Bike
How To Learn To Ride A Bike In 15 Minutes
New York State Department of Health (see other great links on this page)
Schwinn: Teach Your Kid How To Ride
Teaching Your Child To Ride A Bike
The Center For Cycling Education: Riding With Kids
Please appreciate that while we are happy to try to provide you some basic legal information, doing so does NOT create an attorney/client relationship (unless you formally retain us to represent you). The information provided is general information and should NOT be considered legal advice. Also appreciate that in order to give definitive legal answers, it is critically important that a lawyer meet with you to get all the necessary details to provide a definitive answer so we encourage you to review the information we are providing with your own lawyer.
Thank you for reading and please share your best advice in the comment section below!