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Thread: Research on safest ways to carry kids on bikes?

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  1. #1

    Research on safest ways to carry kids on bikes?

    Does anyone know of current research happening on bicycle safety, specifically with respect to child safety seats, trailers, and ride-behinds? A colleague pointed me to some research from Ruina's group a decade or so ago on bicycle dynamics (example: and I found some work on injury rates for bicycle-mounted child seats (example: But what I REALLY want to see are guidelines similar to motor vehicle safety guidelines (rear facing, front facing, booster seat, etc.) that follow appropriate age/weight guidelines, something like:
    0-1 years old (<20lbs): Skip the bike, walk or use your stroller
    1-2 year old (20-?? lbs): Front mount seat
    .....: rear mount seat or bike trailer
    .....: kid cargo bike
    .....: ride behind bike
    Right now it's still like the wild west when choosing between these options, no safety regulations or certifications, etc. that I can find. But it seems like we have a good start on dynamic models, and injury rates (almost 5,000 in the decade studied above) that necessitate further research.

    This is a bit out of my wheelhouse now as I'm non-tenure track faculty with a heavy teaching load. But I still do some engineering education research and would be happy to support any efforts here. I just fell on my bike with my 5 year old and it renewed my interest in trying to pursue this line of research.

  2. #2

    Re: Research on safest ways to carry kids on bikes?

    I am also looking for similar information specifically on bike trailers. We have a non-profit foundation that has provided bike adapters to a jogger for children with special needs. <> . This jogger is rated up to 200 lbs. I have been unable to find any information on testing or standards.

    Thanks, Trey <>

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA

    Re: Research on safest ways to carry kids on bikes?

    I'd suggest looking for research from Holland - I think that bikes are far more popular there than anywhere else in the West - when I visited for an ESMAC meeting some years ago I saw a lot of mothers cycling with multiple kids of their bikes to school in the morning.

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