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Injury Prevention & Bike Safety
So it’s the height of the summer and people are biking everywhere; to school, work, or just for fun. Whether it’s on a bicycle or motorcycle there are some real risks to be aware of when you share the road with four wheel vehicles. Following simple safety tips can prevent accidents.
Consider a Johns Hopkins study, published in the American Journal of Surgery; findings suggests that blacks are at higher risk than whites: for every two white motorcyclists who die in accidents, three of their African-American counterparts do not survive. Researchers analyzed 68,840 motorcycle accidents recorded by the National Trauma Data Bank between 2002 and 2006. The data indicated that black riders were 50% more likely to die than white riders, despite the fact that African Americans were more likely to be wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
To avoid fatal accidents, it is important to fully understand the rules of the road and stay alert to the road activity that surrounds us, both as a bike rider and a driver, to keep the roads safe for everyone. Here are a few tips for riding right!
Bike Riders Should:
- NEVER ride against traffic. Drivers can see you better when you ride with traffic.
- Bicyclist should use bike lanes if available. Do not ride inbetween cars.
- Stay alert to what cars to your left and right are doing. Watch for cars pulling out of roadside parking.
- Do not weave in and out of cars. Regardless if the cars are parked or moving this is not a good idea; you want to remain easily visible.
- ALWAYS wear a helmet. You want to make sure your head is protected. Adjust straps to fit tightly around your chin and the back of your head.
- ALWAYS wear reflective gear if you are riding at night. Wearing bright colors will alco help drivers see you better.
- Use hand–signals at all times. Drivers need to be aware of where you’re headed next.
- Be aware of bycyclist hand signals. They help you undersand a biker’s next move.
- Do not ride directly behind a bike. Keep the same distance away from the back of a bike as you would for another vehicle.
Bicyclist, motorcycle riders, and drivers should make sure to stop at all red lights and stop signs and yield to all pedestrians. Sharing the road is essential to avoiding collisions and injuries. Enjoy your bike ride this summer and be safe out there. Helmets have been proven to reduce traumatic brain injury deaths following motorcycle crashes and reduce the cost of hospital stays.
This article was written by Brittaney Jewel Bethea, a summer 2013 intern at Healthyblackmen.org.
Content for this article provided by the sources below:
1. Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (2010, September 24).ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 2, 2013, from sciencedaily.com
2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/headinjuries.html