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Bicyclists: Is it time to update your equipment?

Did you know that over 80,000 bicyclists went to the emergency room in 2015 for head injuries? Or that 840 riders died in accidents in 2016?

Considering the massive number of people injured or killed while riding a bicycle in the U.S. every year, it is crucial to understand what steps we can take to prevent bicycling accidents and keep riders safe.

Outdated equipment

One important step that bicyclists can take to protect themselves is to examine their riding equipment and gear. If it is broken or old, it may be time for an update. For instance, you may want to take a look at your helmet and see if there isn’t a better option to keep you safe.

Recently, researchers found that helmets today – including urban-style helmets that are becoming more popular – may not provide adequate protection around the rim near a rider’s forehead and side areas. These are the areas that frequently hit the ground when a rider falls.

They also found that helmets often prevent injuries like skull fractures, but not less-severe head injuries, like concussions. However, a fairly new technology called Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) can reduce the risk of a rider suffering a concussion. Not all helmets have this technology, though.

Getting up to date

To protect yourself in a bike accident, it is important to not just get the proper equipment, but also to wear it every time you go for a ride. An accident can happen anywhere at any time, and consistently wearing effective gear can keep you safer.

Bicyclists and their families must also remember that should an accident occur, seeking immediate medical attention is essential, especially if they hit their heads. If the accident was caused by a negligent or reckless party, an injured bicyclist may be able to pursue a legal claim seeking compensation for damages, which can be extensive.