Grab a Helmet & Celebrate Bike Safety Month
Bicycling offers a host of benefits, including improved health and overall well-being. At the same time, when people fail to take appropriate precautions, they leave themselves at risk for serious injuries. Since May is National Bike Safety Month, there's no better time to focus on avoiding falls and accidents.
Assessing the Risks
Because they often share the road with motorists, bicyclists must be aware of serious threats at all times. Many people are surprised to learn just how dangerous bicycling can be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bicyclists face a much higher risk of death or injury compared to motorists, even though just one percent of all U.S. trips are taken by bicycle. The CDC also reports that approximately 500,000 emergency department visits are related to bicycle injuries.
With these statistics in mind, it's clear that proper safety can mean the difference between an enjoyable ride and a tragic outcome.
Taking Proper Precautions
There are a number of ways you can reduce your risk of being involved in a serious bicycle accident. These include:
- Wearing a properly fitted helmet
- Adjusting your seat and handlebars to fit your body
- Checking your equipment for problems
- Wearing bright, noticeable colors
- Maintaining good control of your bicycle at all times
- Keeping a watchful eye for road hazards
- Avoiding any bicycling at night
- Moving with the flow of traffic
- Obeying all applicable traffic laws
- Yielding to motorists when appropriate
- Behaving in a predictable manner
- Staying alert despite fatigue
- Watching for parked cars
- Looking both ways and signaling before turning
When Injuries Occur
According to the CDC, most serious bicycle injuries involve the head. If you or your child suffers a hard blow to the head, it's important to seek medical care right away. You should also seek emergency care for serious bone breaks, knee injuries, puncture wounds and uncontrolled bleeding. If the injury is limited to abrasions, minor lacerations or a potential fracture, PhysicianOne Urgent Care can provide expert medical attention at a fraction of the cost of an ER visit.