The Month of May Marks National Bicycle Safety Month

bike safety month mehlville fireAccording to 2022 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 1,100 individuals were killed while riding a bike, and more than 46K sustained injuries. When riding a bike, individuals must adhere to traffic laws that guide other drivers on the road. Parents also must teach their children proper safety protocols when they ride their bikes in a neighborhood, a park, or elsewhere.

Here’s what to know about staying safe while bike riding. 

Table of Contents:


Key Takeaway:

Tens of thousands of cyclists were injured in 2022, and more than 1,100 died in a bike accident. Take precautions to stay safe when cycling; always wear a helmet, choose reflective clothing, abide by traffic laws, and remember to use hand signals to communicate with others on the road.

Is Mehlville Bike Friendly?

Not all St. Louis suburbs are bike-friendly. However, Mehlville strives to offer plenty of bike lines and park trails that create a bike-friendly community. 

Cliff Cave County Park and Grant’s Trail are two of the area’s most popular bike trails. Grant’s Trail offers 10 miles of paved trails, beginning near the River Des Peres. 

Important Bike Safety for Kids

Children can ride their bicycles on the sidewalk. However, adults with driver’s licenses must ride on the street. Parents should teach children to abide by these bike safety tips:

  1. Never ride a bike alone. Always travel in groups.
  2. Always wear a helmet.
  3. Use a bell to notify others that you are approaching.
  4. Wear reflective clothing when riding a bike at night.
  5. Wear proper shoes; opt for athletic shoes with a good rubber grip.
  6. When biking in shorts, consider wearing knee pads.
  7. Abide by traffic signs and be aware of traffic. 
  8. Follow the flow and direction of traffic. When riding on the sidewalk, choose the side that aligns with traffic. 
  9. Older children should learn hand signals and what they mean.
  10. Have parents inspect the bike’s tires for proper inflation.

Bike Safety Gear

bike helmet safety Children and adults should wear the right clothing when riding a bike. At night, always wear reflective clothing. Never ride a bike in sandals or flip-flops; opt for athletic shoes with a good grip. 

A helmet is the most important gear for every bike rider. Make sure the helmet fits properly; this means that the helmet needs to fit snug on the head so it doesn’t slip. Never ride a bike without a helmet!

Some bike riders opt for knee pads. Children may prefer knee pads, as they cushion against scrapes and cuts. Elbow pads also can be worn for the same purpose. 

What Are the Best Bike Safety Lights?

Children and adults should use a bike safety light when riding at night. This light ensures riders stay visible. There are many bike safety lights available. Kids bike lights include lights with favorite cartoon characters; some even illuminate the entire wheel. 

There is no “best of” for bike lights for staying safe. Any light that is bright enough to warn drivers of the bike aids safety and enhances personal protection. 

When to Wear Reflective Clothing 

Children, teens, and adults should wear reflective clothing when riding a bike in the evening. Reflective clothing shines when the light from a car’s headlights illuminates it. White is naturally reflective, but special patches and vests allow for better nighttime visibility when riding a bike. 

Always Use Bike Lanes

Bike lanes are the necessary traffic lanes for bikes when these lanes are available. Many areas in St. Louis designate bike lanes on roads. When using bike lanes, always abide by regular traffic laws. Use hand signals to communicate with other cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers when turning.

When Is It OK to Ride on the Sidewalk?

Children may ride their bikes on the sidewalk, but adults should stick to the street in most areas. The City of St. Louis reminds cyclists that riding a bike on a sidewalk in areas denoted as business districts is illegal. As these areas have high pedestrian traffic, cyclists on sidewalks pose a safety hazard. 

Hand Signals: How to Communicate with Drivers On the Road

Cars use turn signals to communicate to other drivers when approaching a left or right turn. Bicycles don’t offer turn signals; cyclists should use hand signals to communicate turns or actions to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. 

Unsure about these hand signals? Then NHTSA offers a visual guide to proper hand signals for cyclists. Study this guide and use the signals!

Bike Safely in May and Year-Round!

Mehlville Fire Protection District wants residents to stay safe when cycling. While May is National Bicycle Safety Month, following proper safety cycling protocols ensures you stay safe year-round. Learn proper hand signals, wear reflective clothing and proper shoes, and abide by all traffic laws. And never forget your helmet!