Do You Ride a Bicycle With or Against Traffic?

Some helpful cycling tips as the weather gets warmer

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SATURDAY, April 10, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Bicycle season is here, and that means it's time for a few safety reminders.

Each year in the United States, about 900 people die and 567,000 are injured in bicycle-related crashes. About 67,000 of those are head injuries. Eighty percent to 85 percent of those head injuries would have been less severe or prevented if the riders had been wearing a helmet, according to a University of Michigan (U-M) Health System news release.

Here are some tips on purchasing and wearing a bike helmet:

  • The helmet should fit snugly.
  • Chin straps need to be sturdy.
  • The helmet should sit on the head evenly, not too far forward or backwards.
  • Light-colored helmets are best. They're more visible to drivers.
  • Always replace a helmet after a crash.
  • Make sure the helmet has a sticker that says it's safety certified.
  • Riders should always wear their helmets, even on short trips.
  • Parents need to encourage their children to wear helmets and should set an example by wearing helmets themselves.

Bicycles should fit the rider and be kept well-maintained and tuned. Here are some other bicycle safety tips:

  • Wear close-fitting, light colored or reflective clothing.
  • Walk bikes across busy intersections.
  • Never ride against traffic.
  • Never wear headphones while riding
  • Always stop before entering a street. Look left, right and left again before your proceed.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about bicycle safety.

SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, April 1, 2004

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