In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted a total of 677 bicycle riders were killed in motor vehicle crashes. The 14-and-younger age group accounted for 9% of those fatalities, and males accounted for 69% of the fatalities among cyclists age 14 and younger. This makes bicycle accidents one of the most frequent causes of injury-related deaths for young people.
Whether you’re riding for recreation, transportation, or exercise; bicycling is one of the most popular was to get around. Always remember that a bicycle is not a toy. Just as children are told not to ride in the street, adults must follow basic bike safety guidelines.
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet
- Check to make sure the brakes work
- Adjust the bike to fit your stance
- Wear reflective clothing and check your bike’s reflectors
- Never drive faster than you can see in front of you
- If you ride at night, always use lights
- Never drink and ride
- Obey all traffic laws and yield to pedestrians
Riding on urban streets increases your chances for getting into an accident. You must treat your bicycle as if you were just another vehicle on the road. Cars, motorcycles, and bicyclists must share the road equally. Just as drivers follow vehicle codes, riders must abide by similar rules. This isn’t just to keep order, it’s for safety.
Most importantly, the proper use of a helmet offers you the most protection out in the world. Helmets are roughly 85-88% effective in decreasing the number of brain and head injuries sustained as a result of an accident.
This information courtesy of the NHTSA