Tags: biking | safety | helmet | fit

May is National Bike Month: How to Stay Safe on the Road

man and woman wearing helmets stopped on bikes
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 02 May 2022 04:30 PM EDT

Biking is a popular form of exercise and became even more popular during the pandemic. But biking can be dangerous, as NBC’s Stephanie Gosk found out the hard way. The news correspondent became an avid cyclist during COVID-19 and joined the New York Cycle Club after months of practicing outside of the city. Her first group ride was in March and during the 65-mile journey she hit a pothole and crashed, she told TODAY. Her helmet was cracked clear through in two different places.

“When I got to the emergency room the doctor said to me in the kind of casual tone you would expect from a guy who sees dozens of people like me over the course of the biking season, ‘Your helmet looks like this so your head doesn’t have to,’” she says.

Gosk was lucky that her injuries were minor, but her accident illustrates the need to take cycling safety rules seriously. The League of American Bicyclists has promoted May as National Bike Month since 1956. It’s a chance to showcase the many benefits of cycling and encourage people to give biking a try.

During COVID-19 many fitness centers across the U.S. closed to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, prompting bike sales to surge. It is reported that cycling traffic after the pandemic increased by 50% from the same time the previous year in New York City and that several metro areas modified traffic patterns and opened more miles of roads to accommodate bikers and pedestrians.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 846 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2019. Although the numbers declined to 675 deaths in 2020, experts point out that vehicle traffic was also reduced by 41% that year. More than one-fourth of bicycle fatalities were caused by hit-and-run accidents in 2020.

Interestingly, there are more cycling injuries and deaths today because of the increase in SUVs and trucks on the road. There is a greater chance of death when a bicycle accident involves an SUV or a pickup truck.

To ensure safety the NHTSA offer these tips:

Wear a proper-fitting helmet. Gosk’s visit to the emergency room and the condition of her helmet tell the whole story. While wearing a helmet is critical for cycling safety, it is equally important that your helmet fits properly. Follow the suggestions from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

Avoid crashes. If there is a conflict between a motor vehicle and a bike, it’s the cyclist who is most likely to be injured so prevention is the name of the game. Most bicyclists’ deaths occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. One out of four fatal bike crashes in 2019 involved a bicyclist who had been drinking alcohol.

Drive defensively and stay focused and alert. Drive with the flow of the traffic and obey all street signs and signals. Look for hazards on the road that may cause a fall. Do not text or listen to music while biking.

Be prepared before heading out. Make sure you are riding a bike that fits you and is in good working order. Wear protective equipment and colorful clothing and make sure you have a white front light and red rear light if you’re biking at night. Tuck your pants legs into your socks and tie your shoelaces carefully so they don’t get caught in the bike chain. Try and plan your route away from traffic, in a bike lane or bike path.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
Biking is a popular form of exercise and became even more popular during the pandemic. But biking can be dangerous, as NBC's Stephanie Gosk found out the hard way. The news correspondent became an avid cyclist during COVID-19 and joined the New York Cycle Club after months...
biking, safety, helmet, fit
587
2022-30-02
Monday, 02 May 2022 04:30 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
Find Your Condition
Get Newsmax Text Alerts
TOP

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved