Simple Steps Can Reduce Indiana Bicycle Injuries (Part II of III)

parked%20bikes.jpgIndiana bicycle riders have enjoyed many sunny days of wonderful two-wheeled riding this spring. But for every hour spent on the bike, the rider runs an increased risk of injury.

Perhaps the biggest risk for any bicycle rider is falling off the bike. A rider’s head has no protection from a fall except the bicycle helmet. This complex device made of foam and plastic is designed to absorb much of the impact that a rider would experience if a fall were to occur. Worn correctly, a helmet can help prevent life-threatening head injuries.

Many Indiana personal injury attorneys believe bicycle helmets should be required by law, like using seat belts and booster seats in cars. Children and adults are both at risk for head injuries by a fall. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the average bicyclist may crash every 4,500 miles of riding. Although collisions with cars are likely to cause a most serious injury, even a low-speed fall on a bicycle can be catastrophic.

The rules for wearing a bicycle helmet are the same for children and adults. Every rider should wear the bike helmet flat on top of the head. The helmet should cover the top of the rider’s forehead without tilting forward or back. The chinstrap should fasten just below the chin. If the bicycle helmet does not feel snug, the rider should use the foam sizing pads that come with the helmet to get a better fit.

Keeping the helmet straight is of vital importance. A bicycle helmet tilted forward may expose the back of a rider’s head to the force of a crash. To keep the helmet flat on your head, tighten the chin strap. If the helmet still tips forward, you may need a smaller helmet.

While a bicycle helmet can protect a rider during a fall, it is import to discard the helmet once it has been damaged. It should be replaced with a new helmet. Even if the helmet looks undamaged, it may not withstand the force of another blow.

Knowing how to correctly wear a helmet is critical to a bicycle rider’s safety. A safe rider must wear the bicycle helmet every time they mount their bike. Parents must set an example by wearing the bicycle helmet every time they mount their bike and ensure that their children do as well.

By taking proper precautions, a day of fun doesn’t have to turn into tragedy.