Riding a bicycle is about much more than getting from point A to point B. It’s about the open road, the wind in your hair and the smell of freedom. But with great freedom comes great responsibility, especially for the safety of you, your kids and those around you. Before you grip the handlebars on your next ride, take a moment to Think First…
Other bicycle safety tips
- Bicyclists must adhere to traffic rules of the road, which include riding in the same direction as traffic and obeying traffic signs and signals
- Take all precautions so motorists can see and avoid you; wear light clothing, use reflectors and lights and use hand sgnals as directionals
- Use a bike that fits you properly and is in good working order, with working brakes
- Wear clothing that is not loose or with strings that could get caught in the bike mechanism. Wear shoes that prevent slippage and protect the feet
ThinkFirst and ask yourself…
…is not wearing a helmet really worth the risk? No matter if you’re in the bike lane, on a dirt trail or a beach path, a crash or fall can happen in a split-second. A helmet can absorb the impact, rather than your head and brain. A helmet can decrease the severity of a brain injury and even save your life.
In 2010, 618 bicyclists and other cyclists were killed and 52,000 were injured in traffic crashes.
- In 2009, there were an estimated 418,700 emergency room visits and nearly 28,000 inpatient hospital stays for bicycle-related injuries.
- Over the past several years, roughly 9 in 10 bicyclists killed were not wearing helmets.
- Nearly 70% of all fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries.
- Bicycle helmets have been estimated to reduce the risk for head injuries by 85%.
- Despite these facts, only 20-25% of all bicyclists wear bicycle helmets.
Helmets are not just for children; helmets are important at any age!
Stranges, E., Uscher-Pines, L., Stocks, C. Emergency Department Visits and Hospital Inpatient Stays for Bicycle-Related Injuries, 2009. HCUP Statistical Brief #135. June 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. (cited 2012 June 14). Available from http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb136.pdf.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Fatality facts: bicycles 2010. Arlington (VA): The Institute; 2012 (cited 2012 June 26). Available from http://www.iihs.org/research/fatality.aspx?topicName=bicycles
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Dept. of Transportation (US). Traffic safety facts 2008: bicycle helmet use laws. Washington (DC): NHTSA; 2010 (cited 2012 August 17). Available from http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/TSFLaws/PDFs/810886.pdf
Thompson, R.S.; Rivara, F.P.; and Thompson, D.C. 1989. A case-control study of the effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets. New England Journal of Medicine 320:1361-67.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dept. of Health and Human Services (US). 2011. Body and mind. Hard facts about helmets (cited 2012 August 17). Available from http://www.bam.gov/sub_yoursafety/yoursafety_helmets.html.