Bicycle Trailers – Safety for Children

Bicycle trailers set lower to the ground and motorist have more difficulty seeing them. Most bicycle carriers come with a tall orange safety flag on back of the trailer. Always make sure the safety flag is attached before heading out on the road.

The ball and socket assembly that hitch the trailer to the bike is an important safety feature. It would be wise and safer to have because the trailer won’t tip over if the bike does.

The wheels should have reflectors and reflective material on cover. Check the stitches in the material and the quality of construction. Covers should be strong, waterproof and protect your child from the sun. Construction should be steel and lightweight.

Never exceed weight limits or put two children in a bicycle trailer meant for one. Make sure the harness is adequate to secure your child,most have a five point harness. Children from one to six years of age can safely ride with a properly fitted helmet and safely harnessed. I would suggest to check with your pediatrician before taking your baby for the first ride.

Be sure to always use your hand signals to make the motorist aware of your intentions and give you and the bicycle trailer plenty of room. A road in good condition and lightly traveled is a good idea. Stay clear of potholes and curbs. Avoid sharp turns, remember the trailer is wider then the bike and requires a wider turn.

Once you purchased the right bicycle trailer and before you head out on the road, Start a routine safety check list. It only takes a minute to assure you and your child’s safety. Here are the things I check before heading out on the road.

* Is the ball and socket hitch assembly properly connected and secure?

* Check the tires. Do they have the correct air pressure? Are they stable?

* Are your brakes working properly? You need more braking distance when you tow a trailer.

* Make sure your helmets are properly fitted for you and your child.

* Is your child’s safety harness fitted correctly to be comfortably and secure?

First time trailer drivers should take a test run without your child to get the feel of it and be more confident. Bicycle trailers are wider then the bike and require wider turning, also the stopping distance is longer when more weight is in the trailer.

OK, enough about safety, go have FUN.