Three Important Safety Tips for Cycling

Clinical Expertise

by John Weidner | Oct 6, 2015

It’s that time of year again and the MS150 Cycle to the Shore is upon us. As anticipation for the event builds and athletes are on the road training, it is important to keep safety in mind at all times.

In 2013, over 900 bicyclists were killed in the U.S., with an additional 494,000 estimated ER visits due to bicycle-related injuries. Cyclists can reach speeds of up to 40mph on the road, and the risk of suffering major head or orthopedic injuries in a crash is high.

Whether you’re an avid athlete or an amateur, here are a few safety tips to keep yourself out of the ER and on the road:

o   Motorists are used to looking for cars, not smaller objects.  Protect yourself and make sure you can be clearly seen. There are three main things to keep in mind when it comes to visibility. First, there is power in numbers. Groups make you more visible and can provide support on longer rides. Second, what you wear matters.  Black might look cool, but if you are riding early in the morning or at night, it makes you less visible. Opt for florescent colors, it may seem obnoxious but so is going to the ER. Third, make sure you have both front and rear lighting.

o   By law, bicycles are considered vehicles with the same rights.  This however, also means riders have the same responsibility to follow all rules of the road. It might be tempting to run the red light when no one is looking or hop up on a sidewalk to avoid traffic. This can lead to all kinds of trouble. Motorists do not usually look for moving traffic on the sidewalk which puts you at greater risk. Follow the rules of the road, it’s the law!

o   Stay alert and put the headphones away. Listening to music while you ride is both distracting and dangerous. In order to avoid an accident you need to use all of your senses to play defense. Don’t plug up one of the best tools for doing that.

The Brooks Rehabilitation Cycling Team will be participating in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s two-day, 150 mile bicycle ride, “MS150 Cycle to the Shore”, on October 10th and 11th.  Our team of cyclists will consist of approximately 20 staff and family members representing Brooks Rehabilitation. The purpose of our participation is to show support for the National MS Society (our local chapter) in their efforts to fund research and assistance for those affected by MS. 

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