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National Trauma Awareness Month - Bicycle Safety

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Bicycle trips make up only 1% of all trips in the United States. However, bicyclists account for over 2% of people who die in a crash involving a motor vehicle on our nation’s roads.

Most bicyclist deaths occur in urban areas. About 64% of bicyclist deaths occur on sections of roads away from intersections (where higher speeds might occur) and 27% occur at intersections.

Cyclists, Check Your Equipment

Always inspect your bike prior to riding.

● The seat should be adjusted to the proper height and locked in place
● Make certain all parts are secure and working properly
● Check that the tires are inflated properly
● Make sure the bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals and spokes
● A horn or bell, a rear-view mirror and a bright headlight also are recommended

Plan to Be Seen

Make certain drivers can see you.

● Wear neon, fluorescent or other bright clothing
● Whenever possible, ride during the day
● If you must ride at night, wear reflective clothing and use flashing lights

Wear a Helmet

Helmets appropriate for bicycling should be worn by everyone – adults and children – on every bike ride regardless of length of the ride. Make certain the helmet is certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Follow these guidelines from NHTSA to properly fit the helmet:

● Adjust sizing pads or fit ring until the helmet is snug
● Position the helmet level on your head, covering the forehead and not tipped backward or forward; this will be about one to two finger widths above the eyebrow
● Adjust the side straps so they form a “V” shape under and slightly in front of your ears
● Center the buckle on the chin strap under your chin
● Buckle and tighten the chin strap until it is snug; no more than one to two fingers should be able to fit between the chin and strap
● When fitted, the helmet should not rock more than 1 inch side to side or front to back on your head
● Watch Fitting a Bicycle Helmet

Follow These Rules of the Road

Stay safe by following these rules:

● Get acquainted with traffic laws; bicyclists must follow the same rules as motorists
● Ride single-file in the direction of traffic
● Remain alert, keep your head up and look around; 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

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