Amy Scholten, MPH
Biking is a great way to exercise, and explore the trails or a long country road. It is also an easy way to get around town or commute to work. No matter what your reason is, make sure you know how to stay safe while you're on two wheels.
Common bicycle-related accidents are due to:
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.
There are several factors to consider when you buy a bicycle. If you haven't bought one before, consider going to a professional bicycle shop to get sound advice, look over the selection, and see what is available for accessories. Here are some other tips:
Knowing how to use a bicycle is just as important as picking one out. Follow this advice before jumping on your bicycle:
Regular maintenance is essential for safe riding. Refer to the owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations. Have an experienced repair technician do complicated work. This is especially important if your bicycle has been sitting idle for several weeks.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
League of American Bicyclists
Canada's Safety Council
Government of Canada
Head injuries and bicycle safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
Updated March 18, 2013. Accessed January 15, 2014.
Kids and bicycle safety. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Available at: http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/kidsandbikesafetyweb/index.htm. Accessed January 15, 2014.
State Bike Laws. The League of American Bicyclists. Available at: http://www.bikeleague.org/content/state-bike-laws-0. Accessed January 15, 2014.
Last reviewed January 2014 by Michael Woods, 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.
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