Bicycle Safety

Bicycles are fun, but 500,000 annual injuries nationwide are caused by not taking bike safety precautions. These are a few more reasons why learning to ride safely is vital:

  • Each year 800 cyclists are killed, one third are kids ages 5 – 15.
  • 63% of all cyclist fatalities occur in urban, non-intersection locations between 5pm and 9pm during the summer.
  • Fatal errors by the cyclists are often the cause of the nearly 800 cyclist deaths each year.
  • 80% of the deaths in bicycle crashes result from brain injury.

Research shows that using a helmet while bicycling can reduce the chance of sustaining a brain Injury by 88%.

These statistics were made available courtesy of the Dutchess County Department of Transportation.

How to fit a bicycle helmet
Research shows that helmets are effective in reducing head and brain injury in a crash. Demonstrating Bicycle Helmet Effectiveness: A How to Guide will help to provide visual demonstrations to show the effectiveness of bicycle helmet use. A mixture of shock value, hands-on learning, group activity and open discussion is used to deliver the vital message—wear a helmet every time you ride a bicycle!

Preventing concussion/traumatic brain injury
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or concussion is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Symptoms of a concussion may last less than a day or may linger for months, or longer. Millions of mild traumatic brain injuries occur in the U.S. each year, but most don’t require a visit to the hospital.

What are the causes of concussions?
Many concussions that require emergency treatment are because of falls, motor vehicle accidents, assaults and sports injuries. Children, young adults and older adults are at especially high risk for concussions and may take longer to recover after a concussion. People who have had concussions before are more likely to have them again.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?
Concussion symptoms may occur right away, but some may not start for weeks or even months after the injury. These are symptoms of a possible concussion:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Trouble thinking normally
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble walking
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in sleep patterns

Important facts about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)/concussion

  • TBI contributes to about 30% of all injury deaths.
  • Every day, 153 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI.
  • Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation or emotional functioning.
  • In 2012, an estimated 329,000 children (age 19 or younger) were treated in U.S. emergency departments (ED) for sports- and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or TBI.
  • 70% of concussions among high school athletes result from colliding with another athlete.
  • From 2001-2012, the rate of emergency visits for sports- and recreation-related injuries with a diagnosis of concussion or TBI, alone or in combination with other injuries, more than doubled among children (age 19 or younger).
  • Being struck by or against an object was the leading cause of TBI-related emergency department visits for persons 15 to 24 years of age.

Can concussions be prevented?
You can take a number of steps to help reduce your risk for a concussion or prevent it in your children:

  • Wear a seat belt every time you’re in a motor vehicle.
  • Make sure your children use the proper safety seat, booster seat or seat belt.
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Wear a helmet for activities such as riding a bike or motorcycle, playing contact sports, skiing, horseback riding, and snowboarding.
  • Reduce your risk for falls by eliminating clutter in your home, removing slippery area rugs, and installing grab bars in the bathroom if needed, especially for older adults.
  • Never work on a ladder if you feel dizzy or lightheaded. Alcohol can make you dizzy. Some medicines also can make you dizzy or affect your balance.
  • Have your vision checked at least once a year. Poor vision can increase your risk for falls and other types of accidents.

Learn more about concussions.

Content sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control