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Health Information Safety on Wheels

Now that the weather has warmed up, it's a fine time to pull that bike out of storage and take it for a spin.

But before striking out, take a few moments to make sure you and your bike are prepared to play it safe.

Every year, more than a half-million people have to be treated in emergency departments — and more than 700 people are killed — due to bike-related injuries. And children under age 16 are particularly at risk.

Here are a few tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for protecting yourself or your loved ones.
 

  • Always wear a helmet. Most bike deaths are caused by head injury, and helmets can prevent head injuries. And remember that head injuries can happen anywhere, whether you're on the road or in the driveway.
  • Wear a properly fitted helmet. It should be comfortable, cover your forehead, and not rock backward and forward. Check to make sure it meets U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.
  • Inspect your bike. Check your brakes and inflate your tires.
  • Be visible. Wear bright colors, reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights.
  • Avoid riding at night.
  • Use hand signals for turning.
  • Go with the flow. Ride with traffic on the right side of the road.
  • Obey traffic laws. You're not special — obey stop signs, traffic lights and road markings like everybody else.
  • Stay off the sidewalks.

More Information at Your Fingertips:

  • Read more safety tips for bikes, skateboards and in-line skates.
  • Looking for a doctor? Call toll free: 888 352-RUSH (888 352-7874)

Please note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.

If you enjoyed this article and are not already a subscriber, subscribe today to Discover Rush Online. You'll receive health information, breaking medical news and helpful tips for maintaining your health each month via e-mail.

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