Monday, June 20, 2011

Bike safe!

I packed up our "office" this weekend, and consequently came across this little gem of a booklet. I think I picked it up last summer at one of the cycling events I participated in, and I probably had every intention of blogging about it at the time, but alas—it got lost in the shuffle otherwise known as my life. Until now.

Here I sit with it today, finally having read it from front to back. I even took pictures of important points within because, well...even though the book is all about bicycle safety on Indiana's roads, I am guessing your state's government advocates for something similar. You'd have to check your state government's website for specifics, but I'm here today to share with you what Indiana thinks to (at the very least) get you thinking about how safe you keep yourself on a bike.

Let's start with your head. Specifically, your helmet. This book says that over 1,000 American bicyclists die in crashes every single year, and those deaths are usually related to brain injuries, which means—yes, you have to wear that goofy helmet. In light of the previous statistic, don't you think you look more goofy without that helmet than with it? I don't know about you, but I'll make myself look as weird as possible in the name of saving my brain. How to make sure your bike helmet fits properly? Here's a clip from the booklet:

Live it, love it and learn it! It'll save your life.

The other thing that'll save your life: Obeying all traffic rules. Indiana, and perhaps many other states, consider bikers to be just like drivers. Therefore, you must obey all traffic rules as if you were behind the wheel of a car. This even applies to one-way streets. Indiana cops will pull you over for biking the wrong way down a one-way street. This I didn't know, but I'm glad I do! And speaking of "the wrong way," you should always ride your bike WITH the flow of traffic. Another stat from this book: 20% of all car-bike collisions result when bikers ride against traffic. Yikes, right? It's an easy fix, so fix it!

Not so easy? Turning left on a bike. Another clip from the booklet:

"Always signal," that's key. If you don't know the proper cycling signals, this image will help you learn them:

Now, get out there and test those signals!

If you want your own copy of the above (or a sweet coloring book), click here. You probably don't have to be from Indiana to get one!

Question: Ever have a scare on your bike?


DS said...

The helmet stuff is overblown. There are 50,000 head injury deaths every year in america. Only 400 of them are bike riders. Look up the numbers. Helmets make more sense inside cars.

adailydoseoffit said...

Regardless of the statistics, one head injury that results from a missing helmet is still one head injury too much. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to my personal well being, and I encourage my readers to do the same. I would never ride without a helmet, just in case.

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