Bicycling Accidents – Study Reveals Something All Cyclists Should Know

Bike SafetyRiding bicycles has always been a fun pastime, especially during these summer months. It doesn’t matter if you go on leisurely bike rides with your family or are training for a big bike race, a new study reveals something all bike riders should know.

What’s the big news?

A recent study by the Canadian Medical Association Journal reports that bicyclists who don’t wear helmets while riding are three times more likely to die of head injuries than those who wear helmets.

The study took a look at 129 different fatal bike accidents that affected people between the ages of 10-83 years old that occurred between January of 2006 and December of 2010.

77% of the accidents were caused by collisions with motor vehicles. So why aren’t more people wearing helmets?

North Dakota and Minnesota Helmet Regulations

North Dakota and Minnesota have regulations that state riders on motorcycles who are 17 years or younger must wear helmets, but that doesn’t apply for bicyclists.

Neither state have laws regarding bicyclists wearing helmets. It is encouraged that riders wear helmets, but that isn’t the norm for most bike riders across the state. Think about the last time you and your family went for a bike ride. Were all of you wearing helmets?

Still don’t believe in wearing a helmet?

Victoria, Australia is a great example of successful legislation regarding helmet laws and increased helmet use. Helmet use in the city increased from 31% to 75% after the introduction of the mandatory helmet legislation. Since then, cycling fatalities decreased by 48%.

Do you wear a helmet? You probably should.

It is important for all bicyclists to consider wearing a helmet when they ride. Especially if you are riding on roads or streets with heavy motor vehicle traffic. Children are also recommended to wear helmets whenever they are riding their bikes due to inexperience with street sights, traffic flow and unfamiliarity of riding areas.

Accidents are called accidents for a reason, and it is important to protect yourself and your family.

Other ways to stay safe while cycling.

In order to keep yourself and your family safe, it is important to follow these safety tips while riding:

  1. Never ride against traffic.
  2. Ride single file on roads without bike lanes.
  3. Use hand signals to indicate right or left turns and stopping.
  4. Never assume that motorists can see you.
  5. Never assume that motorists are going to give you the right of way.
  6. Always be proactive and expect the unexpected.
  7. Wear appropriate clothing and gear while riding, this includes a helmet.
  8. Wear reflective gear and use headlights and reflectors while riding in the evening or at night.

If you or a family member have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may want to consider consulting with the personal injury attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss.

Photo courtesy of Yi Chen/Flickr