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Vehicle or source of increased danger? How to avoid injuries while riding a bike

A bicycle is not only one of the best companions of summer leisure, but also … an inexhaustible source of patients for any traumatologist. Being engaged in cycling, everyone is injured, starting from the person who saw two wheels for the first time in his life and ending with a professional athlete. How to avoid injuries – in the material traumatologist Yuri Glazkov.
Full member of ESSKA, AAOS, ASTAOR, ATOR. He was awarded the Crystal Lotos Award in the nomination “The Best Sports Traumatologist-2018”.Causes of injury
Along with pedestrians, cyclists most often become participants in traffic accidents. There are two main causes of accidents: 1. Non-observance of the rules of the road by a cyclist. Often he simply does not know them. 2. Limited visibility on the road due to fog or rain. Then the driver may not notice the cyclist and knock him down.

As a result of an accident, there are injuries, sometimes quite severe, and deaths. According to statistics from the UK, in this country, there were 61 light and medium-sized injuries, 15 serious injuries and 1 fatal accident in 77 cyclists injured in collisions with cars.

Other sources of cycling injuries:

falls due to loss of control of the bike or its breakage;
collision with pedestrians or various objects (walls of houses, fences, trees, etc.);
pits, steps, terrain features that can be overlooked in the dark;
extreme cycling.
Photo: vostock-photo / shutterstock

How to avoid injury?
A few tips to help avoid injuries:

1. Minimalism. Travel by bike light. Do not use it as a cargo vehicle. Big load makes the bike less manageable. In addition, failures are not excluded at the most inopportune moment. If you go on a bike tour, take only the most necessary with you.

2. Special equipment. It will help ensure the safety of the cyclist on the road. Take the lights with you, put reflective elements (reflectors). On a long trip, take the spare parts and repair kit.

3. The quality of the bike. Buy yourself a nice big one, with wide wheels, a sturdy frame, lots of gears, a front shock absorber. This will reduce the risk of falling. You can feel safe even on a wet and slippery road. Pay attention to the size of the wheels. The larger their diameter, the better.

4. Steering wheel. Do not buy a bike with a lowered wheel. He has to ride with his head down, which reduces visibility. Cyclists on such machines are significantly more likely to become participants in an accident or are injured as a result of falls. And the wheel should not be high, otherwise the bike will be worse to manage.

5. Brake. To prevent a fall or a collision can be, if the time to brake. The less stopping distance, the better. The worst brake pads – rubber. Leather is best suited in rainy weather. Synthetic pads are reliable enough. The location of the brake on the rim is better than on the hub. Best of all, if the brake is on both wheels. But if you have to choose, it is better to brake the front wheel. Keep in mind that the handbrake is more effective than the foot brake.

6. Pep of the mind and body. Fatigue is a common cause of cycling injuries. A tired person becomes inattentive and physically weak. In such conditions, it can fall off the bike or fall under the car. Therefore, it is not necessary to squeeze out all the juices. Tired – rest, and then continue on!

7. Do not overtake the car on the right! In Russia, 12% of all fatalities of road accidents are caused by the fact that the driver of the car turns right without noticing the cyclist. He falls into the “blind” zone. Consider this fact when driving on roads.

8. Skip the car. Including in situations where by the rules of the road you have an advantage. Car drivers often neglect cyclists, apart from their full participants in road traffic. Yes, it is unfair. But it’s still better to give in than to prove that you were right lying in the hospital with broken bones.

9. Do not drive on the sidewalk. There you will surely come across pedestrians. It is fraught with injuries both for them and for you. From some, particularly vengeful pedestrians, you can get in the teeth, which is an additional source of injury for a negligent cyclist.

10. Look at the weather. You do not need to ride in the winter in the snow, and even more so in the ice. It is not necessary to sit on the bike in the rain, fog, strong wind or in any other conditions, when the risk of falling or colliding with the car increases many times.

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