Bridgestone South Africa has commented that parents need not wait until their children achieve driving age to instill good tyre care habits.
“One of the most common childhood toys is a bicycle, which soon becomes an essential means of transport for many children,” said Bridgestone Public Relations Manager, Mandy Lovell. “It is a milestone for children to be able to ride their bicycle without needing training wheels any longer, and many of the first principles of road safety are learned on a bicycle,” she added.
Many basic tyre care and maintenance habits which are useful later in life can be taught while a child is using a bicycle as transport. She mentioned items such as the importance of adequate tread depth and checking tyres from time to time to ensure they have not become damaged or cut.
Also, the importance of ensuring tyres are correctly inflated. “Children who ride bicycles soon become familiar with how difficult it is to ride with a flat or partially-inflated tyre,” she commented. “This is a valuable lesson for later in life when children reach driving age and an opportunity for parents to explain the dangers of tyre damage or blowouts caused by under-inflation.”
Parents are encouraged to educate their children on caring for their bicycles’ tyres, including teaching them how to repair punctures and identify when a tyre is in need of replacement. The inevitable childhood bicycle tyre punctures caused by riding over a nail or thorn are also a learning opportunity, highlighting the importance of careful positioning to avoid road damage to tyres, a skill which is as important in a car as it is on a bicycle.
“Bicycle use is a familiar part of childhood for many people,” said Lovell. “If children are assisted to learn the right road safety and tyre care habits through riding a bicycle, it sets a solid foundation for future learning when the time comes to study towards a driving licence,” she concluded.
For Info on Cycling Safety also view: