Biking, running and walking are some of the best ways for families to stay active together, but before you get started, take some time to consider how you and your family will stay safe as you stay healthy.
Bicycle Safety for Parents and Children
- Whether you are thinking of hitting the streets or the trails, below are some important bike safety tips. Everyone should practice these safe biking guidelines, parents included. Remember your children will model your actions and behavior.
- Make sure all equipment on the bicycle is in working order (brakes, gears, tires, etc.).
- All bicycle riders and passengers under age 16 are required by Florida Law to wear a helmet. Always wear a properly fitted helmet and securely fasten the strap.
- Wear appropriate shoes (such as sneakers). Avoid wearing flip-flops or riding barefoot.
- Be seen. Wear neon or fluorescent or bright colors when riding and wear something that reflects light (reflective shoes, reflective tape, etc.).
- Pay attention. Do not wear headphones so that you can hear the traffic and pedestrians around you. Never text and ride.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic and stay as far to the right as possible. Use bike lanes whenever you can.
- Obey all traffic laws, including signs, signals and lane markings, when riding on the roadway.
- If crossing a roadway, it is safest to walk your bicycle in the crosswalk. Look Left Right Left before entering, and continue to look all around.
- Never attach yourself or your bike to any vehicle on a roadway.
- If riding between the hours of sunset and sunrise, Florida Law requires that the front of the bike be equipped with a headlight lamp that exhibits a white light visible for 500 feet, and the rear of the bike be equipped with a taillight lamp and reflector visible for 600 feet.
- Cross at intersections and never pull out into the roadway from between parked cars.
- If riding on the sidewalk or in a crosswalk, yield to pedestrians and give them an audible signal (such as, “passing on your left”) before overtaking and passing them.
Pedestrian Safety for Families
- Always walk on the sidewalk, if there is one. If no sidewalks are present, walk against the direction of traffic so that you can see oncoming vehicles.
- Always cross the roadway where pedestrians are expected, at corners or in crosswalks. Always watch for traffic when crossing the street.
- Never enter the street from between parked cars. If crossing mid-block cannot be avoided, pedestrians must yield right of way to vehicles on the roadway.
- Be seen. Wear bright, reflective colors on clothes, shoes, hats and wristbands. Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
- Pay attention. Avoid wearing headphones so that you can hear the traffic and pedestrians around you. Never text or look at your cell phone when crossing the street.
- Follow pedestrian signs and signals. Pedestrians should yield right of way to vehicles if the crosswalk signal is red or “Don’t Walk.”
- Refer to the official Florida Driver License Handbook for more information on bicyclist and pedestrian safety.