Most serious bike crashes happen close to home on quiet
streets. The vast majority of bike crashes DO NOT involve motor
vehicles. About 95 percent of all injury-producing bike mishaps
occur when a cyclist falls or runs into something like a pothole,
a post, a pedestrian or another bike.
Bike crashes are the leading cause of brain injury to
school-aged children. A brain injury is not like a broken bone,
it doesn't fully heal. Brain injury can lead to death or
permanent disability. Survivors with brain injury may suffer
seizures, intellectual and memory impairment and personality
Prevent Bike Crashes
Follow these basic rules of the road:
- STOP before riding into traffic from a driveway,
sidewalk, alley or parking lot.
- LOOK left, right and left again before entering.
- RIDE on the right with traffic.
- OBEY all traffic signs and signals. Walk bikes
across all intersections.
- LOOK back over your left shoulder and
yield to traffic coming from behind before moving out
Got a Brain? Get a Helmet
Bike helmet protection is priceless. Your brain, your life and
your future are at stake. Research shows that safety approved
bike helmets reduce the risk of brain injury by over 85%. Today,
helmets are designed to look good and feel great. They are light,
cool, comfortable, affordable, attractive and easy to wear.
Helmets that meet safety standards are the investment that you
can't afford to overlook. You always need to wear a helmet
wherever you ride. All cyclists crash eventually and even a low
speed fall on a bike path can cause a brain injury.
Getting into the Helmet Habit
- Cyclists who choose their own helmets are more likely to
wear them. There are a variety of helmet styles
available. Choose a helmet that you will enjoy wearing.
- Start the habit early. As soon as a child gets their
first set of wheels, whether it be a tricycle, a training
bike or a bike trailer, they should be wearing a helmet
for every ride.
- As a parent, always insist your child wears a helmet. The
rule is simple - no helmet, no bike.
- Be an example for others. Wear your helmet for every
- Talk to other people about the role helmets play in
preventing bicycle-related brain injuries.
Choosing a Helmet
- Make sure it meets the standards. Look for a
Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Snell Memorial
Foundation (Snell) or American Society of Testing and
Materials (ASTM) standards sticker inside the helmet.
- Make sure it fits. A good fit means that with the
straps adjusted, the helmet is level on the head,
touching all around, comfortably snug but not tight. You
should not be able to move a well-fitted helmet in any
direction. Use the sizing pads for a comfortable fit and
take time to adjust the chin straps.
- Use a bicycle helmet. Bike helmets are safety
tested for the types of falls that happen when biking.
Hockey, football or other sports helmets are not
effective at preventing bike related brain injuries and
are not for use when cycling.
- A helmet that has been in a crash must be replaced
even if it doesn't appear to be damaged.
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