Ninety-four Orange County children recently received bicycles at the 12th annual Wheels 4 Kids event. The yearly event began in 2002 and was founded by City of Orlando District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan to give kids who live in the Reeves Terrace neighborhood an alternative mode of transportation to school after bus service to the neighborhood was suspended. Santa Claus joined Ms. Sheehan in giving out bikes this year, thanks to donations from many partners in the community and Walmart, who supplied the bikes to organizers at a discount. Olde Town Brokers donated locks and bike cables to the lucky recipients to protect their wheels.
Orlando bicycle accident attorney James O. Cunningham applauds organizers for helping disadvantaged kids receive bicycles for school transportation and fun. However, he would also like to remind readers that central Florida can be a dangerous place for bicyclists, as our area is one of the worst in the state for bicycle accidents. In order to make area roadways safer for everyone, he has provided a list of bike safety tips for parents:
- Please make sure that your children’s bicycles have the proper reflective equipment and that your kids wear bright clothing to improve visibility.
- Make sure that your kids wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet at all times.
- Make sure that the bike is sized properly for each child.
- Insist that your kids avoid riding in the dark whenever possible. If they must ride in the dark, make sure that they have reflective clothing and flashing lights to alert drivers.
- Make sure the tires, brakes, lights and other equipment are in proper working order at all times.
- Teach your children proper hand signals and insist that they use them.
Mr. Cunningham also has some bike safety tips for drivers. They include:
- Please be extra vigilant for bicyclists around schools and playgrounds.
- Share the road. Bicyclists have just as much right to use roadways as drivers, with few exceptions, such as interstate highways.
- Take an extra moment when backing out of driveways and changing lanes to ensure that no one is in your blind spot.
- Honk your horn out of safety, not frustration. If a potentially dangerous situation arises, by all means, honk your horn but do not use it to startle or harass bicyclists that are in your way and/or slowing you down.
- Drive defensively and allow plenty of space between your vehicle and a bicyclist, especially when making a turn.
Please take a moment to review these bicycle safety tips and help make central Florida roadways safer for everyone!
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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