Vehicle or source of increased danger? How to avoid injury while cycling

Health Tips

Causes of injury

Along with pedestrians, cyclists are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents. There are two main causes of accidents: 1. Non-observance of traffic rules by a cyclist. Often he simply does not know them. 2. Limited visibility on the road due to fog or rain. Then the driver may not notice the cyclist and knock him down.

As a result of an accident, both injuries, sometimes quite severe, and deaths occur. According to UK statistics, for every 77 cyclists injured in car collisions, there are 61 minor and moderate injuries, 15 serious injuries and 1 death in this country.

Other sources of cycling injuries:

  • falls as a result of loss of control of the bicycle or its breakdown;
  • collision with pedestrians or various objects (walls of houses, fences, trees, etc.);
  • pits, steps, relief features that may not be noticed in the dark;
  • extreme cycling.

How to avoid injury?

Some tips to help avoid injury:

1. Minimalism. Travel light on your bike. Do not use it as a cargo vehicle. A large load makes the bike less manageable. In addition, breakdowns at the most inopportune moment are not ruled out. If you go on a bike tour, take only the essentials with you.

2. Special equipment. It will help to ensure the safety of the cyclist on the road. Take flashlights with you, put reflective elements (reflectors). On a long trip, take spare parts and a repair kit.

3. Bike quality. Buy yourself a good bike, with wide wheels, a strong frame, plenty of gears, and a front shock-absorbing fork. This will reduce the risk of falling. You will be able to feel safe even on a wet and slippery track. Pay attention to the size of the wheels. The larger their diameter, the better.

4. Rudder. Don’t buy a bike with low handlebars. You have to ride with your head down, which reduces visibility. Cyclists on such machines are significantly more likely to be involved in road accidents or get injured as a result of falls. And the handlebars should not be high, otherwise the bike will be harder to control.

5. Brake. You can prevent a fall or a collision if you slow down in time. The shorter the braking distance, the better. The worst brake pads are rubber. Leather is best for rainy weather. Quite reliable and synthetic pads. The location of the brake on the rim is better than on the hub. It is best if there is a brake on both wheels. But if you have to choose, it is better to brake with the front wheel. It should be borne in mind that the hand brake is more effective than the pedal brake.

6. Cheerfulness of spirit and body.Overwork is a common cause of cycling injuries. A tired person becomes inattentive and physically weak. Under such conditions, it may fall off the bicycle or be crushed under a car. Therefore, you should not squeeze all the juice out of yourself. Tired – rest, and then continue on your way!

7. Do not overtake the car on the right!In Russia, 12% of all road traffic deaths are due to the fact that the driver of the car turns right without noticing the cyclist. He falls into the “blind” zone. Keep this in mind when driving on the roads.

8. Pass the car. Including in situations where, according to the rules of the road, you have an advantage. Car drivers are often dismissive of cyclists, not considering them full-fledged road users. Yes, it’s not fair. Still, it’s better to give in than to prove later that you were right, lying in the hospital with broken bones.

9. Don’t drive on the sidewalk.There you will surely run into pedestrians. This is fraught with injury both for them and for you. Some particularly vengeful pedestrians can be hit in the teeth, which is an additional source of injury for a negligent cyclist.

10. Look at the weather.No need to drive in the winter in the snow, and even more so in ice. Do not ride your bike in rain, fog, high winds, or any other conditions where the risk of falling or colliding with a vehicle is greatly increased.

And finally, a few more recommendations:

  • do not drive drunk;
  • always hold the steering wheel with at least one hand;
  • do not talk on the phone while driving;
  • do not drive at night without a flashlight;
  • do not drive on motorways;
  • do not turn left or turn around on roads with 2 or more one-way lanes or tram tracks;
  • ride on the bike path, if there is one;
  • do not carry passengers on the frame or trunk;
  • do not carry oversized cargo that interferes with control;
  • wear protective gear to reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of a fall;
  • keep your bike in good technical condition.

These tips will help you enjoy cycling to the fullest without experiencing the pain and all the hardships and unnecessary long stays in the trauma ward.

Photo: vostock-photo/shutterstock

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