In 2013, at least 13 million bicycles were sold across the U.S. That translates to a lot of people riding around on the streets alongside cars. Accidents are bound to happen. There are a few steps you can take to protect yourself.
1. Wear your helmet.
It should not need to be said that proper protection can minimize your risk of injury. However, how often to you see a bicyclist on the road? Are they wearing a helmet? In fatal accidents, bicycling injuries can include severe brain damage. A study of bicycle injury statistics revealed that 95% of bicyclists who were killed in 2006 were not wearing a helmet. Another study showed that 2/3 of the dead bicyclists had brain damage. Bicycle head injuries are implied to cost bicyclists about 2.3 billion annually. Don’t be one of them. Wear your helmet.
2. Wear reflective gear.
Did you know that four pm to midnight is a dangerous time for bike riders? About 48% of bicycling injuries occur at night. Most bicycles come with a small rectangle of reflective plastic on the rear of the bicycle. Do yourself a favor and invest in a light for the handlebars or wear reflective clothing so cars can see you riding easily. The risk of any bicycle accident injuries trumps fashion sense in this case.
3. Be aware of your surroundings.
Fatal car and bicycle accidents happen most often in urban areas. It is predicted 20% of car accidents occur because the driver became distracted. On a bike, you cannot control what the drivers around you are doing, but you can stay aware of the situation going on around you. if you are in an accident, make sure you file a police report and get contact information from the driver and any witnesses, if possible. Get documentation of any injuries, and try to retain any evidence you have of the accident.
Riding a bicycle can be a healthy mode of transportation. But there are some risks when you ride on the road. Do you have any advice on how to stay safe? Let us know in the comments below.