When you’re riding your bicycle, your most important piece of safety gear is a helmet that fits. Helmets are designed to cushion and protect riders’ heads from the impact of a crash. Like safety belts in cars, helmets cannot provide total protection against head injury or death, but they can reduce the risk of both. Nearly 70 percent of fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries, according to the US Department of Transport (DOT), yet only one in four cyclists wear helmets when they ride. Wearing a helmet dramatically increases your odds of surviving a crash, and also reduces the risk of traumatic brain injury. In 2016, Australian researchers found that cycle helmets reduced serious head injury by 70%!
The DOT estimates that if all children age 4 to 15 wore helmets when they rode bicycles, 45,000 head injuries and 55,000 scalp and face injuries could be prevented every year. Helmets decrease the severity of head injuries, the number of days spent in hospital, and the overall cost of medical care after a bicycle crash. Helmets also protect their riders from dust, rocks, and other debris thrown up by other vehicles.
Unfortunately, at the moment it’s not compulsory by law to wear a bicycle helmet in Ireland. But in the interests of personal safety, especially for under 18s, it’s highly recommended.
Buying a cycling helmet
The following are recommendations for buying and fitting a helmet:
- Make sure your helmet fits to get all the protection that you’re paying for. A helmet that fits well will sit level on your head, touching all points of your head. It should fit snugly, with no pressure points.
- Your helmet should be comfortable. You’re not looking for a fit tight enough to squeeze your head.
- Try to pull the helmet off. If you can, don’t buy it.
- When you move the helmet, it shouldn’t have much play, a maximum of an inch in any direction. The strap is as important as the helmet: it holds your helmet on your head. Check the latch and the strap to be sure they’re strong enough for the job. High visibility is very important; it can save your life.
- Choose a helmet in white or a light colour. Wearing a dark-coloured helmet increases the risk that a driver will not see you, especially at night.
- Always replace a helmet after a crash. Period. The helmet’s compressible foam absorbs the energy of the crash. Once it has absorbed energy, the foam does not recover. It may not look deformed, but it has lost its capacity to absorb energy. A helmet that has been through one crash will not protect you from a second one.
- For the most current ratings of helmets: check the most recent reviews in consumer reports.
No matter how effective and safe your helmet is, it only protects you if you wear it.
Other important safety equipment protective clothing can help prevent personal injuries and reduce the seriousness of injuries to arms and legs, hands and feet. Protective clothing includes:
Eye protection: Riders should protect their eyes against insects, dirt, rocks and other debris, and tearing and blurred vision from the wind. Good quality goggles with plastic or safety lenses can provide a measure of protection. Goggles and glasses should be unscratched, shatterproof, and ventilated to prevent fog build up.
Jackets and pants: Clothing should be tough enough to provide some protection from road rash if you’re tossed from your bike. Avoid pants that are excessively baggy, or wide at the bottom; these present a greater risk of tangling in the chain.
Gloves: Wear gloves that give you a solid grip on the handlebars, brakes, and shift levers. Leather gives the best grip. Leather gloves or fabric gloves with leather palms and grip strips on the fingers get the job done. Choose a safe bike. Choose a bicycle that’s a comfortable fit for you; when you’re astride the bicycle you should be able to touch the ground with both feet. Seat height, seat angle, handlebar style, and handlebar height all contribute to ease of handling. Have an experienced bicycle salesperson adjust all these so that you feel comfortable on your bike, and can handle it easily. Check the brakes and the shift levers, and make sure you can reach and operate them without strain.
Bicycle Safety Information
Riding your bicycle is not only a fun form of transportation, it is also a great workout and beneficial to the environment since it does not give off any harmful emissions into the atmosphere. However, riding your bike can also be hazardous if you are travelling on busy streets or do not adhere to best riding practices. Before heading out on the road, there are a few tip cyclists should review to ensure optimal safety in any condition. Sometimes, bicycle accidents are caused by the negligent actions of a third party. This could be a motorist, pedestrian or another cyclist. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a preventable cycling accident, contact an experienced personal injury* solicitor today to hold that person accountable in a court of law. The best way to avoid an accident on your bike is to engage in safe behaviour at all times. The following tips will help you make the best decisions on the road
Safety Tips for Biсусliѕtѕ
Always adhere to traffic signals, lights and warning signs. Never run a red light or stop sign. Make sure yo use hand signals when turning — because, your bike does not have brake lights or turn signals, this is especially important in order to communicate with other motorists. Wear bright, reflective clothing. Use a headlight, safety triangle or rear light when riding at nighttime.
Do not ride against traffic. Wear a helmet at all times. Even with the best safety precautions, accidents can still occur to cyclists. However, if your accident was caused by a negligent-behaving third party, you may be able to bring them to justice in a court of law.
By hiring an experienced personal injury* solicitor, you can increase your chances of a favourable outcome in court. In addition, you may be able to receive financial compensation to help you recover from physical, emotional and monetary damages you incurred as a result of the collision. Bicyclists deserve the same kind of respect as other motorists on the road. Just because you ride on two wheels, instead of four, does not give others the right to drive unsafely around you.
* In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any settlement.