Bike Safely and Live to Ride Another Day

Bike Safely and Live to Ride Another Day

Bicycling is one of the best ways to stay in shape, see the sights, save money on gas and reduce pollution. The benefits are well-known to cycling enthusiasts and local leaders nationwide who have created bike-friendly communities. 

For all the benefits of cycling, cyclists face a host of hazards. They often must share the road with vehicles, and injuries can happen even on a designated path.

The number of deaths from bicycle incidents has increased 28%, from 793 in 2010 to 1,015 in 2016, according to Injury Facts. Of the 1,015 bicyclist deaths in 2016, 704 died in motor vehicle crashes and 311 in other incidents. Bicycle-related deaths peak in the summer months and remain high through September. 

With about 80 million bike riders sharing the road with millions of motorized vehicles, the importance of taking safety precautions cannot be overstated.

Cyclists who wear a helmet reduce their risk of head injury by about 60% and brain injury by 58%. That statistic makes sense when you consider the first body part to fly forward in a collision is usually the head, and with nothing but skin and bone to protect the brain, the results can be fatal.

Helmets must meet federal safety standards and should fit securely. This National Highway Traffic Safety Administration video offers instruction on how to properly fit a helmet.

Follow These Rules to Keep Safe

  • Get acquainted with traffic laws; cyclists must follow the same rules as motorists
  • Know your bike's capabilities
  • Ride single-file in the direction of traffic, and watch for opening car doors and other hazards
  • Use hand signals when turning and use extra care at intersections
  • Never hitch onto cars
  • Before entering traffic, stop and look left, right, left again and over your shoulder
  • Wear bright clothing and ride during the day
  • If night riding can't be avoided, wear reflective clothing
  • Make sure the bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals and spokes
  • A horn or bell and a rear-view mirror, as well as a bright headlight, also is recommended


Copyright 2023 National Safety Council

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