Bike Safety is a Big Deal

It’s a wonderful, sunny day complete with chirping birds and puffy white clouds when you decide to head out for a late morning bike ride. But wait! Before you trade in for those two wheels, let us give you a quick refresher on bike safety.

First, it’s absolutely critical that bike riders don a securely fitting helmet prior to hitting the road. Martin, Harding and Mazzotti is a strong advocate for bike helmet use, having donated thousands of bike helmets to children during their annual bike safety events in Albany, NY. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 52,000 cyclists wind up in the emergency room every year because of bicycle accident head injuries alone. What’s more, 70% of biking-related deaths are attributed to the lack of a helmet – in New York City, specifically, this number is a startling 97%.

Intersections and crosswalks deserve extra attention! When cars are turning, drivers are focused on where they are going and don’t always register activity in the foreground. If bikers fail to stop, slow down, or look before proceeding, their speed can increase the likelihood of an accident. The best way to avoid this? Make eye contact with the driver you’re encountering to ensure that they see you. Waving is often helpful to grab the attention of distracted drivers.

Although many people attribute the effectiveness of bike vests and lights to nighttime trekking, these inexpensive items can be extremely helpful during the day too. Blinking lights can be purchased for as little as $10, and vests for only a bit more. Just remember, the purpose of these items is functional, not fashionable– more important than how they look are their reflective visibility (1000 ft. or more) and the level of comfort they afford while riding.

Although these tips are individually effective, their cumulative ability to keep you and your biking companions safe is that much more impressive. So don’t forget what you’ve learned here – it might just save a life!