Isn’t it wonderful that fall has finally arrived? With cooler air and beautiful, sunny days here finally, many of us are opting to get out our bicycles and head out for a ride after work or on the weekends. This is a great way to spend healthy time with friends and/or family. Bicycle safety is a main concern for these rides as a report released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that Florida has the highest rate of bicycling deaths of any state in the nation, 0.57 per 100,000 people, more than double the nationwide rate of 0.23 per 100,000.
HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?
Deaths and Injuries
In 2013 in the U.S., over 900 bicyclists were killed and there were an estimated 494,000 emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries.
Data from 2010 show fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion.
- You always need a helmet wherever you ride. You can expect to crash in your next 4,500 miles of riding, or maybe much sooner than that!
- Even a low-speed fall on a bicycle trail can scramble your brains.
- Laws in 22 states and at least 201 localities require helmets, although few cover adults.
- Make sure your helmet fits to get all the protection you are paying for. A good fit means level on your head, touching all around, comfortably snug but not tight. The helmet should not move more than about an inch in any direction, and must not pull off no matter how hard you try.
- Rear stabilizers do not substitute for careful strap adjustment.
- Pick white or a bright color for visibility.
- Common sense tells you to avoid a helmet with snag points sticking out, a squared-off shell, inadequate vents, excessive vents, an extreme “aero” shape, dark colors, thin straps, complicated adjustments or a rigid visor that could snag or shatter in a fall.
- Consumer Reports has some brand recommendations here.
So, get out that dusty bike and polish it up! Grasp life by the handlebars! Because four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul. And thank you for not driving (in the bike lane).
Stay safe out there friends,
YOUR #accidentattorney, Marianne