#1 Safety Tip for Bicyclists
Bike rides are a great way to enjoy the outdoors, spend time as a family, or get in some exercise. However, with bike accidents happening regularly, it can also be scary to ride a bike. So what’s the number 1 most important thing you can do to keep you and your family safe? Wear a helmet.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2011, 677 cyclists were killed and 48,000 cyclists reported injuries in crashes involving motor vehicles. Nearly 75-percent of all fatal bicycle crashes involved head injuries and only 17 percent of those fatally injured were wearing helmets. In 2009, it was estimated that 9 of 10 bicyclists killed were not wearing helmets and despite these facts, only 1 of every 5 bicyclists wear helmets.
Helmets aren’t just for kids. Eighty-three percent of bicycle deaths reported were of people 20 and older. This is why it’s crucial that anyone on a bike wear a helmet. It will help protect you from brain injuries in case of an accident. For more information on how to fit a bike helmet, the NHTSA has a great guide here.
But why are so many people choosing not to wear a helmet if they know the risks in not wearing one? British inventor Jeff Woolf sought to find out. He conducted a survey to learn about the helmet-wearing habits of those who rely on bike rentals, like the GRID bikes in Phoenix, New York City’s CitiBike and Boston’s Hubway. Of those he surveyed, he found that 92 percent reported not wearing a helmet when riding a temporary bike. Eight-four percent believed they were risking their lives by forgoing a helmet and 83 percent said they go without a helmet due to its lack of portability.
Because of this, Jeff invented a folding helmet called Morpher. It folds flat, is 1.4 inches thick and compact enough to fit in a laptop bag and stack efficiently if needed. Popular Science gave it an Invention Award in 2014 and the helmet has been recognized by many organizations in the UK, as well. You can see the helmet, how it works, or even preorder a helmet here.
With or without this new helmet, there is no excuse for an adult or child not wearing a helmet while riding a bike. For 7 other tips for bicycle safety, visit our blog here.
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