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10 Bicycle Safety Tips

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May weather has finally arrived and Old Man Winter has taken his leave. YAY!

Adults and children alike are getting outside to walk or bicycle, enjoying the fresh air and exercise. But with more and more families and individuals hopping on their bikes for some enjoyment, there are also more and more accidents happening.

wrecked bikeAccording to the US Department of Transportation, in 2011, 677 pedalcyclists were killed and an additional 48,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes.

Did you also know….

  • 140 bicyclists are injured or killed every day.
  • 40% bicycle accidents involved alcohol on the part of the cyclist
  • Each year, an estimated 67,000 cyclists visit an emergency room with a bicycle accident head injury.
  • A bike rider is killed every six hours in the United States.
  • The majority of people killed in bicycle accidents are male. The average age of a bike accident victim is 40.
  • Roughly 15 percent of all bike rider fatalities are victims under the age of 16.

Those are some scary statistics. That could be your husband or wife, brother or sister, son or daughter, or best friend. One careless moment can change a lifetime.

AAA has put together 10 Tips for Safer Cycling to keep you and your family safe and ready to ride another day.

10 Tips for Safer Cycling:

  • Wear your helmet. Follow this simple rule and you reduce your risk of serious injury by as much as 85 percent. A biker not wearing a helmet is 14 times more likely to die in a bicycle accident.
  • Keep your head up and look ahead, not at the ground. You need to see what is coming up so you have time to react and maneuver.
  • One person per bike. Riding with unsecured passengers puts you at risk for injury to yourself and others.
  • Ride in single file with space between bikes.
  • Ride on the right side of the road, never against traffic. Otherwise, you are at risk for an accident – or a ticket.
  • Plan ahead if you will ride in a group. Agree on the route ahead of time. Have a plan on what you will do if separated by traffic.
  • If you will be riding in an unfamiliar area, check out local laws and rules first.
  • Avoid busy roads and peak traffic times on your route.
  • Before riding at night, ask someone to help you check your visibility to motorists.
  • Maintain the bikes in your household. Keep chains clean and lubricated and periodically inspect brake pads.

Whether you’re trying to get to school in the morning, get home at the end of the day or hang out with family and friends riding on local trails, biking can be a fun, safe and sustainable transportation option for many families. By showing common courtesy and respect on the road and following these 10 tips, everyone can enjoy many miles of cycling fun.

Where do you love to ride?

Comment below and let us know!

~Cheryl Pastor, Social Media Specialist

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