If you loved a good bike ride before having children, it is encouraging to know that you do not have to wait until they can ride one themselves to be introduced to the joys of bicycling. There are numerous bicycle trailers available at reasonable prices, so younger kids can enjoy the experience with you. Families can pack up and take off on a fun journey together instead of having to carve out time or get a babysitter. For safety reasons and to be in compliance with Maryland traffic laws and regulations, make sure all children 16 and younger wear a proper helmet.
Even with a helmet, some parents have concerns about bicycle trailers and whether they are safe for adult riders and young passengers. There are various factors to consider when assessing these towable vehicles for safety, and much of the focus will be on where you intend to ride. The risk of collisions is always higher when you are sharing the road with negligent motorists, so get help from a Baltimore County bicycle accident lawyer. Some safety information is also helpful.
Safety Advantages of Bicycle Trailers
Some parents may remember a time when the only way to bike with their child was a seat. These seats can be mounted on the handlebars or behind the rider, typically fitted for an adult-sized 10-speed or 12-speed bicycle. Another option would be for the rider to wear a child carrier while cycling.
Bike trailers exceed these options considerably when it comes to safety, primarily because of the balance issue. The child’s weight can lead to tipping and loss of control, often sending the rider into traffic.
Challenges for Riders
There are some points to note about the drawbacks of bike trailers, but there are adjustments you can make to enhance safety. For example:
- Between your bicycle and the bike trailer, you create a vehicle that is quite long compared to other nonmotorized traffic. Motorists who do not expect a bicycle to be followed by a trailer might make turns too quickly.
- For smaller adults, cycling with a trailer can be cumbersome and clumsy. The vehicle, along with your precious cargo, could weigh more than you. Loss of control may lead the bike and trailer to jackknife.
Safety Tips for Towing a Bike Trailer
Considering the above challenges, some recommendations about safety practices are useful. One of the most important is to carefully consider your route in advance and make sure it is as far away from traffic as possible. Plus:
- After securing children’s helmets, put on your own.
- Stay as far away from traffic as possible when riding near roads, using bike lanes and sidewalks where legal.
- Use your phone to find the safest routes through Google Maps or mobile bicycle riding apps.
A Maryland Bicycle Accidents Attorney Can Explain Legal Options
To learn more about your remedies after a bike collision, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to set up a free case review. We can meet with you at our offices in Owings Mills or Glen Burnie, MD, to discuss details.