Biking is a great way to get exercise, and it is also a great alternative mode of transportation for those without cars or for those who want to save money on gas. Bicycling has many health benefits, but it can also pose many risks. When bicyclists aren’t careful and don’t follow recommended safety guidelines, it can result in severe bicycle accident injuries and can lead to long and expensive personal injury lawsuits. According to bicycle injury statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 726 bicyclist deaths in 2012 and 49,000 bicycling injuries. Bicyclists deaths accounted for over 2% of all motor vehicle deaths in 2012, as well. In order to avoid death and injury while riding a bike, bicyclists should adhere to the following safety tips:
- Follow Traffic Laws – The first thing for bicyclists to remember is that they must follow the same traffic laws as any other vehicle on the road. This means driving with traffic, staying in the proper lanes and using signals to indicate turns.
- Be Ready to Brake – It is important to keep both hands over the brakes. Using both brakes can improve stopping time and is especially helpful in bad road conditions.
- Be Aware of What’s Behind You – Bicyclists should be comfortable checking behind them for oncoming traffic. Anyone who is not comfortable looking behind them as they are riding should practice before going out on the road. Many bicyclists also choose to install a rear view mirror on their handlebars for extra help.
- Always Wear a Helmet – A helmet is an essential piece of safety equipment that can be the difference between life and death in bicycle accident injuries. Approximately 1/8 of people in bicycle accidents sustain brain injuries. Wearing a helmet can prevent bicycle head injuries and keep the brain safe.
- Never Use Headphones – Many people enjoy listening to music when they are going places, but riding a bike is not the time to do it. Bicyclists should never wear headphones, as it can prevent them from listening to important sounds around them.
While bike riding is a fun and healthy activity, bicyclists need to take on certain responsibilities to ensure their safety on the road. Driving on crowded streets puts bikers at an elevated risk for accidents, but following the safety tips above can prevent injuries. More like this blog.