Bike safety starts with a helmet


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Summertime is a popular time to ride a bike, but doing so safely should be your first priority.

Dr. Mathew Devine, the Medical Director at Highland Family Medicine and Accountable Health Partners, discussed the key steps to make sure your ride is a safe one Thursday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“I think the biggest and most important thing is a helmet,” said Dr. Devine. “I think that that has to be a fitting helmet. It’s got to be relatively new and you have to ride with it regardless of where you’re going. Even if you’re on the Canal, accidents can happen. This can save your life, period.”

Make sure all of the bicycle’s equipment is working. “You want to make sure that the tires are pumped up and the brakes are working,” Dr. Devine said. “You want to make sure the bike is actually fitted to you. So if you share a bike, you want to adjust the seat. Sometimes you need to adjust the handlebars and other things as well.”

Dr. Devine recommended wearing neon or fluorescent colors, even during the daytime so drivers can see you better. Try to avoid riding at night.

Observing the rules of the roadway are essential for bike safety. “When you get on the road, it’s important to remember that there are other bigger vehicles and machines out there,” Dr. Devine noted. “Keep your eyes and ears open, you know, not wearing headphones, kind of following the general rules of the road that other cars are. And making sure they see you because even if you see them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve seen you.”

Riding in the proper direction is critical for safety. “You actually want to go with traffic,” Dr. Devine explained. “Most accidents, or most injuries that occur, happen when people are doing the opposite of the general rules of the road.”

He added, “Stop signs are good for us too. Rolling to the right and left, you still want to look both ways and make sure people see you. And let people know when you’re coming up behind them – kind of alerting them that you’re coming on the left or that you’re kinda coming by.”

When it comes to children, Dr. Devine said it’s important to make a distinction between the street and the sidewalk. “So kids probably ride bikes more than we do and I think anywhere between the ages of 10 and 12 we really kind of still say to keep them on the sidewalk,” he said. Most of the time, adults still ride in the road. It’s actually kind of preferred. But for kids, until they can really follow those road rules, they really should stay on the sidewalk. But that poses risks of people coming out of their driveways, kind of people not seeing them as well as they’re kind of coming down the streets. The biggest advice for them is to continue to learn all the rules of the road and to kind of make sure that they are always ever vigilant. Wearing their helmets, kind of following those road rules and trying to get those good habits built as they kind of build up.”

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