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Sometimes knowledge is the safest piece of equipment you can add to your bicycle. There are some common misconceptions that we at Christensen and Hymas want to clear up so we can all be safe out there on the road.

1. Cyclists should ride facing traffic.

This is one we all heard when we were growing up, because people might feel safer being able to see oncoming traffic. Not only is this untrue, it actually makes it more dangerous for you and for cars on the road. On a bike you are considered a vehicle, so you should stay with the flow of traffic. Teach your children, even while they’re young, to ride in the same direction as cars.

2. My child is Safe to Ride at Night:

Riding at night takes special equipment and experience that children have yet to obtain. Cars often drive faster at night believing the road to be empty. When you couple this with limited visibility, this makes a very dangerous environment for any rider.

3. Children Should Grow into Their Bikes

I know money may be tight, but when you buy a bike that is too large for a child, they have a lot less control. Their balance isn’t right which leads to swerving and wobbling, which causes falls and accidents. Your child should be able to stand over the bike with both feet on the ground.

4. My Child is Ready for a 10-Speed

Children and novice cyclists don’t need bikes with gears and shifting capabilities. Often their hands are too small to properly work the controls and all the gears can be confusing, presenting a .

5. My Child can Ride Around my Neighborhood Safely

Just because you live in a quiet neighborhood doesn’t mean your kids are completely safe. Any time you are on a bike, you need to be aware of your surroundings. Neighborhood roads have the highest concentration of kids on bikes, and any accident with kids is unfortunate and preventable. Teach your kids proper riding habits so they can enjoy cycling for a long time.

We live in a great area for cycling, and being informed about the laws and rules will allow us and our children to enjoy it to the fullest.

If you have questions about cycling laws, or have been injured please call us at (801) 506-0800 or visit us at www.utahpersonalinjurylawfirm.com. We also have a free handbook all about cycling in Utah, which you can request on the website.