Bicycle Safety: Preventing Serious Accidents and Injuries
By Michael Pines, Accident & Injury Prevention Expert
When we engage in the sports we love, we also carry an inherent risk of getting into an accident or sustaining personal injury. Bicycling is one of the more popular sports in San Diego, whether it’s a leisurely ride along the boardwalk in Pacific Beach or cycling on the Route 56 Bike Path. It’s also a sport that carries a great deal of risk due to traffic concerns and the fast speed in which bicyclists travel.
A recent bicycle accident in San Diego demonstrated the risks associated with cycling, echoing the fact that even common sports can be deadly. The accident occurred Wednesday in Velodrome at Balboa Park when an avid cyclist sustained brain death after her bicycle accidentally made contact with another rider, causing her to fall off her bike according to reports.
The tragic accident sent shockwaves across the entire San Diego cycling community.
“There’s a tremendous feeling of loss and sadness,” said one bicycle shop owner in a statement at FOX5 San Diego.
Although details of the fatal accident were not released, riders have called the collision a “freak accident.” And because the Velodrome is an enclosed track away from street traffic, it has made the bicycle accident all the more tragic and confusing.
The Velodrome issued a statement online following the death of cyclist, expressing shock and sadness over the incident. “Occasional crashes are an inevitable and even accepted part of bike racing, but sometimes the unthinkable happens,” the website said.
The organization made no statement on the cause of accident or the safety of its track.
When it comes to bicycling, even the safest rider can sustain injury. But to reduce your risk of personal injury, consider the following tips.
3 ESSENTIAL BICYCLE SAFETY TIPS FOR SAN DIEGO
Safety is essential when it comes to bicycling, no matter how advanced your riding skills. From amateur to advanced, here’s what you need to know.
BRUSH UP ON YOUR SKILLS
Even if you’ve been riding for years, you can learn a thing or two in a cycling course. Or, if you’re making a transition from mountain to street biking, it’s essential to learn the new law of the land. And it goes without saying that if you are new to the sport, a biking class is the best bet in ensuring your safety. Check with your local bicycle shop for upcoming classes or bike workshops. The Velodrome in San Diego offers clinics, classes and workshops for all skill levels – check with the organization for classes suited to your interests.
KNOW YOUR CALIFORNIA BICYCLE TRAFFIC LAWS
Countless bicycle accidents occur each year in the state of California due to motorist’s lack of attention or errors encountered on behalf of the rider. When bicyclists share the road with other drivers, they are entitled to the same privileges as motorists, so it’s important to share the road from both perspectives. As a bicyclist, you should know proper hand signals when riding in traffic. Always equip your bicycle with proper reflectors as it’s not only California law but also one of the most essential safety devices on your bike. For a complete list of California bicycle traffic laws, click here.
WEAR PROPER GEAR
It’s critical to always equip yourself with the proper safety gear when you’re riding a bike, even if it’s a leisurely ride. Always wear a helmet properly (check the safety manuals or box of the helmet to ensure proper fit). Wearing knee pads and elbow guards are also a good idea when it comes to protecting your body against injury in the event of a fall.