You’ve probably heard that once you learn how to ride a bicycle, you never forget. That may be true, but if it has been a few years since you’ve ridden, you may need a refresher course. Bikes themselves have changed structurally, plus there have been myriad improvements in safety gear and designated bike paths, as well as changes in motor vehicle laws which, in many states, apply to bicyclists as automobile drivers.
Perhaps your doctor has recommended you lose a few pounds, or you just want to look better in your summer wardrobe. Whatever your reason for taking up cycling, it’s an easy way to get a good workout. Cycling in the sunshine will get you plenty of Vitamin D, plus a lot of fresh air. Beyond that, the health benefits are numerous: you’ll burn about 300 calories per hour; build and tone your muscles, especially legs; improve your balance and coordination; strengthen your heart; and build stamina. A short daily ride can be a relaxing way to see the world in a different light and reduce the stress of everyday life.
Despite the health benefits of bicycling, there are also some dangers to keep in mind. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics from 2011, 677 people were killed and another 48,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents. A few safety precautions can go a long way in preventing accidents and injuries; some are just plain commonsense, while others are state laws.
- Make sure that the bike you are riding is the right size. Here are some guidelines from Bicycling.com.
- Always wear a properly fitted Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved bicycle helmet and adjust it every time you ride.
- Check your tires before you head out. Be sure they are properly inflated and free of rocks or other debris that could cause a puncture.
- Wear visible clothing. White is better than dark, and bright-colored neon is even better. Reflective strips will help motorists see you after dark.
- Ride on designated bike paths whenever possible. Sidewalk riding is generally allowed for children younger than 10 but is prohibited in some municipalities. Pedestrians have the right of way, so be sure to alert them as you approach.
- Familiarize yourself with state laws governing bicycles on roadways. According to the Florida Bicycle Association, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and a bicyclist is a driver who must follow the same rules as drivers of other vehicles.
- Avoid nighttime riding if possible, but if you must ride between sunset and sunrise, make sure your bike has front lights and rear reflectors.
- Don’t wear headphones or listen to music while you ride.
- Be alert for road hazards: pot holes, construction or accident debris, sewer grates, or even litter can cause serious accidents.
Even the most experienced cyclists encounter danger on the roadways, in the form of hazardous roadways or careless drivers. If you know someone who has been injured in an accident involving a bicycle, the personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can determine whether your injuries were caused by driver negligence or poor road maintenance. Please call today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765