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11-25-13: Fall and winter safety tips for walking, riding bikes to school
11-25-13: Fall and winter safety tips for walking, riding bikes to school
Posted on 11/25/2013

To improve the safety of students who walk or ride bikes to school, parents are encouraged to review the following fall and winter safety tips with their children.


Be seen


  • Wear bright-colored clothes, and if it is dark or hard to see, carry a flashlight and wear reflective gear on items such as backpacks and shoes. Bicyclists who ride in the dark are required by law to have their bikes equipped with a white headlight and a red rear reflector or taillight.Image


  • Walk or bike on the appropriate side of the road. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic. Bicyclists should ride on the right side of the road, moving in the same direction as motor vehicles.


Dress appropriately


  • Layering is warmth. Wear many layers of loose clothing, as this ensures that there are pockets of air between the clothing layers that insulate the body from the cold. Close gaps, such as neck and wrist openings that are potential sites for heat loss. Wearing a scarf around the neck and long gloves or mittens can help.


  • Ice and occasional snow in the Northwest can make it difficult to walk, so a good pair of boots or other shoes with traction is essential.


Make sure bicycles and bicycle equipment are in working order


  • Before riding a bike to school, check to see that the tires are inflated properly, the drive train is clean and lubricated, and the brakes work.


  • Keep both hands ready to brake. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain, since brakes are less efficient when wet.


  • Wear a properly-fitted bicycle helmet. Head injuries cause 75 percent of bicyclist deaths.



Sources: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, National Center for Safe Routes to School, Washington State Department of Transportation, and Mayo Clinic.