Staying Safe While Cycling
As we cyclists take advantage of the beautiful weather, the increase in bike lanes, and the money saved at the gas pumps, we also need to be aware of the increase in serious injuries, especially if the term “spring chicken” has worn out its welcome. Without question, cycling has many health benefits, but of course, there are some health risks, too. Dr. Benjamin N. Breyer, comments in Jane E. Brody’s New York Times article entitled, “Cycling 101 Needn’t Be a Collision Course” that, “older riders may have more accidents because of diminished strength and balance, and their resulting injuries were likely to be more serious”(D5). I learned that injuries did decline pertaining to the arms and legs, but according to this article, “there was a 16 percent from 10 percent rise in head injuries and a 20 percent increase in injuries to the torso”(Brody, 2015, p.D5). Now, let’s not let these statistics dissuade you from enjoying a leisurely bike ride alone or with friends, or a trip to the market, or a great workout that strengthens your cardiovascular system. Instead, review these great recommendations. If you are already aware of these directives, then, please continue to follow and share them with those who may not be so informed.
The article highlighted that cyclists should always:
- Wear a helmet that fits snugly and covers the upper forehead
- Wear bright colors in the day and reflective clothing at night
- Install bike lights on the front and back of the bicycle and even a flashing light on your helmet
- Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians when possible
- Use a mirror on your helmet to see vehicles that approach from behind
- Install a bell that can also be used to forewarn pedestrians
- Always ride in the direction of vehicular traffic and obey traffic signals
And the obvious: Avoid using ear buds, texting, or talking on your cell phone
Not only should cyclists be aware of the proper “rules of the road”, they should also understand they have rights as cyclists, and they should know what they are. Please check out the Mills Law Firm website, for not only great information concerning these regulations, but for informative articles and clips pertaining to cycling. Jack Mills is a Board Certified trial attorney, and he is an avid cyclist and supporter. He has tried numerous cases involving cyclists and has attended many bike events, sharing his stories and listening to many others. Mills Law Firm also just sponsored The New Haven Grand Prix, which was an awesome event for both cyclists and spectators. If you become aware of anyone who has been injured while cycling, we are certainly the firm to contact.
Article Credit; Jodi F. Rooney