Riding a bike is a fun, healthy activity that adults and children love. In Florida, bike riding is a year-round activity with people riding their bikes to work or school, over to the beach, or just around the block for some exercise. Just like other modes of transportation, there are some dangers in riding a bicycle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 45,000 bicyclists were injured in 2015. Although some bicycle crashes are minor, even those can result in scrapes, bruises, and whiplash. In a more serious accident, a person may suffer head trauma, broken bones, and other neck and back injuries.
Although the number one tip for preventing injuries is to wear a helmet and other protective gear, like elbow and knee pads, there are some additional ways bicyclists can keep themselves safe.
- Adjust the bicycle properly. Stand over your bicycle, there should be about 1 to 2 inches between you and the top bar if you’re using a road bike. The seat should be level from front to back and the seat height should be adjusted so the knees are slightly bent when the leg is fully extended.
- Make yourself seen. Wear bright clothing, use a reflective vest, and/or use reflective tape or flashing lights on your bicycle. Just because you can see a driver, doesn’t mean they can see you.
- Watch for and avoid road hazards. Pot holes, gravel, wet leaves, and broken glass can all cause a bicycle crash.
- Obey all traffic laws, which includes going with traffic flow and not against it, obeying all traffic signs and signals, and yielding to traffic when appropriate.
- Stay alert at all times. Don’t bike distracted and avoid listening to music so you’re not drowning out railroad signals or emergency vehicle sirens.
- Watch for opening doors. If you’re driving next to a row of parked vehicles, a driver may suddenly open their door and you could crash into it. Ride far enough left that you won’t crash into an open door, but not so far into the lane that cars cannot easily pass you.
- Ride slowly at crosswalks. Just because you’re obeying all the rules of the road doesn’t mean other drivers will. Slow down at crosswalks and be prepared for vehicles who may fail to yield to bicyclists and pedestrians, or who might run red lights.
- When riding with the flow of traffic, stop behind a car, instead of to the right of it or in their blind spot.
- Use the appropriate hand signals when turning and stopping.
- Don’t drink and bike. You might think this is a better option than drinking and driving, but it’s just as risky.
Florida is considered one of the worst states for bicyclists, according to the CDC. If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, the chiropractors at ChiroCare of Florida can help relieve some of your pain.
Find a ChiroCare of Florida location near you and start getting the chiropractic treatment you need.