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Riding your bike: risk factors and safety tips

Riding your bike is fun, healthy and convenient, but it can also be dangerous if you get into an accident. If a car hits you while you are on your bike, you are more likely to suffer injuries. This is why it is essential for you to know the risk factors and accident prevention tips. After all, an educated bicyclist is a safe bicyclist. Below is some of the most pertinent information you should know before you get back onto your bike. 

Statistics and risk factors

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicyclists made up two percent of car accident-related injuries and traffic deaths in 2014. Most of the fatalities and injuries occurred in males, especially those between the ages of 20 and 24. Most deaths occurred in the evening in urban areas. Knowing these risk factors can inform your decisions regarding your own safety. 

Safety measures

There are many things you can do to prevent injuries and crashes, including the following:

  • Wear a helmet: Every bike ride should start with you putting on a helmet that fits you properly, not too loose or tight. 
  • Increase your visibility: Because the risk of accidents increases at night, make sure you wear reflective clothing and equip your bike with front white lights and rear red lights. 
  • Avoid distractions: Do not listen to music or text while you riding your bike. Eliminate distractions that take your eyes, ears or mind away from the task at hand. 
  • Plan your route: If you ride on the road, choose a route with a slower speed and less traffic. Use a bike lane or bike path whenever possible. 

Following these tips is sure to make you a safer bicyclist. 

No matter how long you have been riding your bike, it is important to ensure you are doing it as safely as possible. If you keep this information in mind, follow the rules of the road and keep your eye out for drivers, you can reduce your chances of an accident.

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