While kids may ride faster on their bikes than adults, a University of Iowa study finds kids are slower getting across a busy street. Professor Jodie Plumert and two colleagues put 10 to 12 year-old kids in a virtual simulation to see how well they crossed a busy street on a bike. She says the kids and adults chose the same size gaps to bicycle across, but when the kids actually tried to bicycle across, they ended up with less time to spare between themselves and the approaching car. Plumert says the disparity came at the start across the busy street. She says they discovered that the kids were simply just taking longer to get their bikes to the roadway, as they hesitated a little bit. Plumert says the study shows a couple of key safety points for kids on bikes. She says it shows the kids need to choose a bigger gap than an adult to get across the street. And she says it would be worthwhile for parents to work with kids on crossing the street as soon as they choose a gap. She says there’s also a lesson for drivers who see kids ahead of them trying to cross the street on a bike. She says motorists should be aware that the kids might not be able to get across the street as quickly as you would expect them to. Plumert says nearly 500-thousand bicycle-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms across the country each year, and hopefully this study will help cut down some of those injuries.
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