More than just a helmet; cycling tips for a safe summer
By Staff Sgt. Randy Redman
Cycling is a fun, convenient and a healthy way to get around - but if you don't follow basic safety guidelines the results could fall well short of fun and be far from good for your body.
In 2002, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 635,000 bicycle injuries in children from 5 to 14 years old were treated in hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers and emergency rooms.
If you are new to cycling or have had a long lay-off, don't worry. By building up your skills and confidence you can be safely self-reliant on the road.
To enjoy traveling by bike on roads a person needs to be able to stop, start and steer, look behind to see what's going on and give clear hand signals. The better someone is at controlling their bike the easier they find it to get about. Time spent practicing your riding skills is never wasted.
Like everyone else, a person should aim to feel confident about riding on the road. This comes the more you cycle. People riding cycles should occupy enough space on the road to be safe themselves and be noticed by others.
In order to promote a safer season, orthopedic surgeons urge cyclists to take extra caution to prevent injury. While wearing helmets remains the proven method of reducing brain injuries in bicycle accidents, these accidents can also result in serious musculoskeletal injuries, broken bones, sprains and strains to the rider.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons offers these bicycle safety tips: