Use Your Head, Protect Your Noggin
September 25, 2019, Nacogdoches, Texas- The statistics are sobering. Bicycle related injuries and deaths are dramatically rising. According to the National Safety Council, the number of deaths from bicycle accidents increased 29%, between 2010 and 2017. There were 1,024 bicyclist deaths in 2017. Of these, 679 people died in accidents involving a motor vehicle, while 345 people were killed in other type of incidents according to National Center for Health Statistics mortality data. Bicycle-related deaths peak in the summer months and remain high through September. As for bicycle related injuries, The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports 457,266 emergency department-treated injuries associated with bicycles in 2017.
The benefits of bicycling are many. It’s a fun and healthy activity that the family can enjoy together, and it’s a great way to get or stay in shape. However, cyclists face many hazards, from sharing the road with vehicles, to mishaps on a designated path. President of the Nacogdoches-San Augustine County Medical Society and pediatrician Modupe Sokunbi, MD says your first line of defense on a bicycle is to wear a helmet to protect your brain. “A bicycle helmet can save your life, or your child’s life,” said Dr. Sokunbi. “Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of severe traumatic brain injury by half. To ensure the best protection, cyclists should wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards and one that fits properly.” Dr. Sokunbi offers these additional safety tips for children and adults alike:
Safety tips to know before you head out on your next bike ride.
Dr. Sokunbi, the local chapter of the Texas Medical Association and Nacogdoches Medical Center invite the community to learn more about bicycle safety at the “Hard Hats for Little Heads” event coming up on October 5th from 10am to noon. NMC will be set up on the square, directly in front of the Light and Champion during the Shelby County Poultry Festival. Parents can get tips on how to protect their children, and the first 200 children to attend will receive a free bicycle helmet provided by grants from The Texas Medical Association, NMC Health Network and the Nacogdoches/San Augustine County Medical Society.
For more information, visit nacmedicalcenter.com.
- Know traffic laws. The rules are the same for cyclists and motorists
- Ride single-file in the direction of traffic
- Watch for car doors opening and other hazards
- Use hand signals when turning and use extra care at intersections
- Before entering traffic, stop and look left, right, left again and over your shoulder
- Wear reflective, neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding, day or night.
- Make sure your bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals and spokes
- A horn or bell, rear-view mirror and bright headlight are recommended
- Watch for and avoid road hazards like potholes, glass, gravel or puddles
- Wear a properly fitted helmet