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Back-to-School Bicycle Safety

Did you know...

As NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said on Bike to School Day, “Helmets are the single most important piece of safety equipment for riders.”While they can’t prevent a crash from happening, “they can prevent a crash fromresulting in a serious injury.”

Biking to school involves much more skill than walking. Take time to practice riding skills with your child in a safe place with no traffic such as an empty parking lot. Work on important skills such as starting and stopping, riding in a straight line, looking over your shoulders, and signaling to vehicles.

Ride along streets with low traffic volume and slower speeds. Always ride in the same direction as motorized traffic, and stop at all stop signs and signals. Use your eyes and ears to stay alert to traffic, and NEVER use headphones or cell phones while riding.

Resources for Parents

Fitting a Bicycle Helmet (Brochure & Video)

Make sure your child has the right helmet  (PDF 2.29 MB) by reading our brochure and watching a video about helmet facts and tips (WMV) (also in Spanish).

Bicycle Safety Tips for Parents, Guardians, and Kids

Be a “Roll Model” for other adults and children: Before riding, make sure you, your family, and bicycles are ready to ride. Follow these safe bike riding tips (PDF 712.89 KB).

Choose Safer Walking and Bicycling Routes
Find out the 10 characteristics of a safe route (PDF 322.39 KB) for walking and biking.

ABC Quick Check

Check out these bike inspection reminders (PDF 671.06 KB) before hitting the road.

Promote Bike Safety

Sponsor bicycle day, week, or month to get your community out riding bicycles for fun or to encourage replacing short car trips with a bike trip. The more bicyclists seen on a routine basis, the more motorists will expect to look for and see bicycle riders.

Prevent Bicycle Crashes: Parent and Caregiver Brochure

Learn about developmental limitations of young bicyclists and find out what you can do to help your child avoid bicycle crashes in this parent and caregiver brochure (PDF 846.38 KB).

Bicycle Helmet Use Laws & Facts

Helmet laws for bicyclists 16 and under exist in 21 States, two territories and the District of Columbia. Learn more about your local helmet laws.

NHTSA Bicycles Web Page

For more information on bicycle safety, visit NHTSA’s Bicycles Web page.

Resources for Children

Bikeability Checklist

Checklist (PDF 846.38 KB) (also in Spanish) for your child to rate the bikeability of your community.

Get to School (and Back) Safely

Creative game board, cards and answer sheet to make bicycle safety fun.

Bike-Riding Dangers

Visual “find-the-hazards” challenge (PDF 969.32 KB) to spark your child’s curiosity about dangers near home and in the public.

Safety Songs for Kids

Bike Rap and On Top of My Bicycle (PDF 227.38 KB) – lyrics for instilling good bicycling habits.

ABC Quick Check

Bike inspection reminders (PDF 671.06 KB) before hitting the road.

Bicycle Safety Activity Kit

Safety messages for kids four to 11 years old (parents, too), including games and flyers.