Staying Safe While You Cycle

May 15, 2017 Dr. LouAnne Giangreco

Springtime has finally arrived in Upstate New York. With this warmer weather, it is a great time for people of all ages to hit the pavement on their bicycles. While bicycling provides outdoor fun and a great source of exercise, it can lead to serious injury without the proper safety precautions.

In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 900 bicyclists were killed due to bicycle-related accidents. Moreover, an estimated 494,000 bicyclists sustained cycling-related injuries that required emergency room care; half were children and adolescents under the age of 20.

To help prevent injury to you or your loved ones, we have compiled a list of quick safety tips for a safe and enjoyable ride.

  1. Ensure you have a properly fitting helmet

A helmet should always be worn while riding a bike. Be sure your helmet is in good condition and is free of any cracks, dents or grazes. If shopping for a new helmet, make sure to try it on first. The helmet should sit low on the forehead, approximately the width of one or two fingers above your brow. Side straps should form a “Y” and meet below the rear. Lastly, the chinstrap should be tightened until snug.

  1. Ride on the right-hand side of the road

Be sure to ride your bike with traffic, on the right-hand side of the road. At all times, be alert and stay in the designated biking lane to avoid drifting into oncoming cars.

  1. Obey all traffic signs at all times

Whether there are no cars, fellow bikers or pedestrians in the immediate vicinity, always obey all traffic signs as if you were driving a car. Stop at all signs and red lights. Use the proper hand signals. And look both ways before entering an intersection. It is better to stop your bike and risk falling than to ignore a traffic sign and risk being struck by an oncoming car.

  1. Always wear proper attire when biking at night

Wearing light-colored clothing is not enough. To maximize chances for a motorist to see you, wear reflective clothing at night to alert drivers of your presence. Front headlights and rear reflectors will illuminate your bike, providing maximum attention – and safety – for you.

Use the tips above to stay safe on the roads while you and your family enjoy bike rides. If you have questions on cycling safety, contact a Five Star Urgent Care location nearest you.