Bicycle riding is beneficial, but safety, awareness are paramount

May 31, 2017 | By: Kristin Wolfrum

May is Bike Month, and for many, Memorial Day, always on the last Monday of May, marks the official start of summer.

Longer days and warmer temperatures provide the perfect opportunity to get outside and get moving.

Heading out on a bicycle can be an ideal way to boost activity and enjoy some fresh air, and the benefits of biking are numerous, whether you’re riding to get in shape or to commute from Point A to Point B with a reduced carbon footprint.

Advantages include:

  • Environmental: Reduced emissions and a reduced need to build, service and dispose of cars
  • Financial: Savings on fuel costs, vehicle purchase and maintenance
  • Mental health: Reduced stress and anxiety levels.
  • Physical health: Builds muscle strength, decreases body fat, improves cardiovascular fitness, coordination and posture.

While the gains are multiple and varied, bicycle safety is paramount. This includes ensuring the proper equipment is being used and caution is being utilized in these areas:

  • Always wear a helmet. Make sure it is not old and fits properly.
  • Be visible – wear bright, reflective clothing.
  • Practice proper maintenance on your bike. Check the air pressure on your tires, inspect your brakes and lubricate the chain on a regular basis.
  • Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic. Never ride against traffic.
  • Avoid busy roads.
  • If riding at dusk or dawn, make sure you have lights (and that they are working properly).

Even when observing the safest practices, bicylce accidents can happen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report in 2015 showing Florida had the highest rate of bicycling deaths of any state. Efforts have been launched to address biker safety in the state, including the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic plan, developed by The Center for Urban Transportation Research out of the University of South Tampa. The report focuses on engineering (of roads, bike lanes and speed limits), education (for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians) and working with law enforcement and emergency services to increase knowledge and awareness of cyclist and pedestrian safety and laws.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Luhrsen Goldberg
at 941-212-2600 for a free consultation. Our attorneys, based in Lakewood Ranch, have 25 years of experience and have established a reputation as skilled and trustworthy advocates for personal injury victims.