Bicycle Safety

Every year, the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department responds to several of car/bicycle incidents. When a bicycle and a motor vehicle crash, the bicyclist almost always gets hurt. Most bicycle injury deaths involve young children. It is important to know some simple “rules of the road” to help keep bicycling safe and fun!

Road Safety

  • Children under age 8 should always be supervised and not allowed to ride on the street. They should always ride on the sidewalk.
  • Until riding skills are developed, both feet should be flat on the ground while sitting on the bicycle seat.
  • Always walk a bicycle in the crosswalk when it is safe to cross.
  • 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.
  • Know and obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • 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.

Helmet Information

  • 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.

How to Wear a Helmet

  • When purchasing a new helmet, be sure that it has 2 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 chin strap is buckled.
  • Chin strap must be snug, allowing only one finger between the chin and the chin strap when the mouth is closed.
  • Front of the helmet should always cover the forehead just above the eyebrow and not interfere with vision.
  • If the helmet is not sized correctly with the sizing pads, a tight chin strap will not prevent it from moving to an incorrect position while riding.