Bike riding has become commonplace in New York City, and is about to become more so as the bike share program develops. The city has invested significant amounts of money in bike lanes and other improvements to make New York a safer place to ride a bicycle. However, bicycle riders themselves should take steps to protect themselves from accidents and injuries.
A recent report by Boston radio station WBUR outlines safety tips that apply equally well in New York or wherever a bicycle is being ridden. Here is a summary:
Don’t just wear a helmet, wear it properly. Keep the chin strap snug and don’t allow any air between the strap and the chin. A loose helmet is almost as bad as no helmet. Helmet use reduces the risk of head injury by 85 percent. Almost all bicyclists who died in accidents were not wearing helmets.
Make sure that motor vehicle drivers see you. Wear a lime green or other florescent-colored jersey. Wear light colored clothing at night. Think about getting a white helmet for night riding. Have both a headlight and a tail light. You may wish to try the blinking lights that you can wear on your clothing, rather than installing lights on your bicycle. If you use the portable lights, make sure they are positioned correctly. If they are hidden, the lights don’t do any good.
Rear view mirror
Bike shops sell rear view mirrors that attach to glasses or helmets. These mirrors allow you to easily see cars and trucks trying to pass you.
Riders who adopt these practices are taking important steps to reduce their risk of injury. Won’t you do the same?
Source: CommonHealth, “Don’t Be A Bicycling Statistic: One Key Way To Stay Safer,” by David C. Holzman, Sep. 21, 2012.