Bike Safety Tips
Biking is a great way to explore the trails or a long country road. It is also an easy way to get around town or commute to work. Be sure to be safe, though, and heed the advice outlined here.
Common bicycle-related accidents are due to:
- Collision with a car or another bicycle
Loss of control because of a number of factors, including:
- Difficulty in braking
- Riding too large a bike
- Riding too fast
- Riding double
- Striking a rut, bump, or obstacle
- Riding on slippery surfaces
- Attempting to do stunts
Mechanical and structural problems including:
- Brake failure
- Wobbling or disengagement of the wheel or steering mechanism
- Difficulty shifting gears
- Chain slippage
- Pedals falling off
- Spoke breakage
- Entanglement of feet, hands, or clothing in the bicycle
- Foot slippage from pedal
Most of these accidents can be avoided with proper bike selection, use, and care. Consider the following safety tips when shopping for a new bike or taking care of an old one.
- If you are buying a bicycle for a child, choose one to fit the child's size today. Do not choose one he will "grow into" later.
- A bicycle should suit the rider's ability and kind of riding.
- Check hand and foot brakes for fast, easy stops without instability or jamming.
- Avoid slippery plastic pedals. Look instead for rubber-treated pedals, or metal pedals with serrated rat-trap edges or with firmly attached toe clips.
- Make sure the bike fits your body. Ask for professional help if you are not sure how to choose the proper size and type of a bike.
Last reviewedJune 2012by Brian P. Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.