For many in Oregon, bicycling is a way of life. It appeals equally to families out for slow rides and serious athletes alike. It's great exercise, easy on the environment, and has a reasonably inexpensive bar to entry once you acquire the basic equipment.
Unfortunately, bicycle accident injuries are all-to-common as well. Many bicycle accidents are caused by the negligence of other cyclists or motorists. However, bicycle injuries are all-to-often the result of an inexperienced rider, who is either insufficiently skilled at maintaining control of the bicycle, or does not wear the appropriate safety equipment.
Because of the high level of physical exposure on a bicycle versus when driving a car, failing to take appropriate safety measures when riding a bike can easily result in severe injury or even death when an accident occurs. Failure to wear the correct safety gear is a common cause of injury. The National Highway and Safety Administration has an excellent resource to help newer and younger cyclists avoid Oregon bicycle injuries.
Safety precautions for children that can lessen bicycles injuries**
According to statistics, most fatal bicycle accidents are children riding a bicycle without wearing proper protective equipment. To avoid the chances of getting injured in a bicycle accident, all riders, but especially children, should follow some basic safety guidelines. The most critical piece of safety equipment any rider has is a helmet. When riding a bicycle, a helmet should be worn every single time. A correctly fitting and adjusted helmet can greatly lessen the chances of a child sustaining a traumatic brain or another head injury, which is the most common cause of death in bicycle accidents.
Second, a child’s bicycle needs to be correctly adjusted for size and re-adjusted as the child grows. A bike that is adjusted as being either too large or too small may prove difficult to control, leading to a bicycle accident or injury.
Finally, children should only ride during daylight hours, even with appropriate safety equipment, unless accompanied by an adult rider with appropriate lights. Even with lights, cyclists are just not as visible, and small riders are even less-so. The chance of an impact with a vehicle or encountering unseen obstacles in the road increase dramatically at night. Following these safety precautions can dramatically reduce the number of Oregon bicycle injuries or deaths.
Additional Tips to Avoid Bicycle Injury for Adults
Children should not generally be riding unattended in traffic. However, when adults ride in traffic, those riders need to be constantly aware of their surroundings and follow all traffic rules to avoid bicycle accidents. Watching the road carefully at all times, being aware of surroundings, and maintaining an active lookout for parked cars in important for every rider to avoid becoming a bicycle accident injury or death statistic.
Bicycling doesn’t have to be overly dangerous and following common-sense guidelines can greatly reduce the chance of a bicycle injury, or even prevent an injury if an accident does occur. As many riders like to say, “keep the shiny side up!”