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National Bike Safety month spurs awareness

May is a busy month where safety initiatives are concerned. In addition to hosting National Dog Bite Prevention Week and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month it is also National Bike Safety month. Reminders of a bicycle accident causing personal injury abound around the U.S. One of the most popular pastimes in America, biking is enjoyed by adults and children alike. Fortunately, in Pennsylvania, bikers enjoy an expanding number of safe bike paths.

Many bicycle accidents and accompanying personal injuries involve cars. Bike paths infuse a strong extra measure of safety to bicycle riders, particularly if there is no chance of "interaction" with an automobile. Those that enjoy trail-riding however, also must be alert to dangers other than cars, such as rocks, trees and chasms.

Bike Safety month strongly reinforces the need for using safety helmets at all times. As the professional sports leagues are now aware, head injuries and concussions are much more dangerous than originally feared. The serious long-term effects of even seemingly minor head injuries should serve as a decisive warning to bike riders, young and old.

When riding a bike, always be sure that the pedals and seat are at the proper height and feel comfortable. Avoid riding at night, unless you wear bright clothing and have working lights and safety "blinkers" on your bicycle. Always use proper hand signals if you ride when cars are around. Obey all state and local traffic laws when riding a bike on public roadways.

Bicycling is a wonderful way to stay in shape and enjoy your outdoor surroundings, but you must bike safely. Helmets, pads and alertness to dangers are all critical to your safety and avoidance of personal injury. Do you have additional suggestions to help others enjoy bike riding and/or avoid serious personal injury?

Source: Erie Times-News, "May is National Bike Safety month," Patty Puline, May 21, 2012

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