Bicycling — what more could you want in a sport? Biking offers fun, travel, scenery, group support, several speeds, and exercise. It helps you burn calories, strengthen muscles and improve heart health. And it’s relatively easy on your joints. But when you get on your bike, don’t forget safety.
Biking injuries send more than half a million Americans to emergency rooms and result in hundreds of deaths each year. Most serious bike accidents involve a collision with a motor vehicle.
Factors that raise bike injury risk include:
- age under 16 or male gender
- racing or doing stunts
- unsafe biking conditions
- not wearing a helmet
- not observing traffic laws
Most cycling deaths and disability result from head injuries. Scrapes, bruises, broken bones and overuse injuries are also common. Before you pedal, practice prevention:
Wear protective gear. A properly fitted helmet is essential; it should sit level on your head (not tilted backward) with pads and straps adjusted for a snug fit. Also consider goggles, cycling shoes, bright or reflective clothing, and a cushioned seat, handlebars, gloves and shorts.
Perform safety checks. Make sure your bike fits your body, with handlebars and seat adjusted correctly. Keep your reflectors, lights and bicycle in proper repair. Test your brakes before every trip.
Tip: Did you know you can earn 10 incentive points towards your biometric rewards for completing a century ride? That's 100 miles!
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