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Cycling: A danger in spring

Cycling is dangerous if you're not careful about when and where you ride. It's particularly hazardous in times like the spring, fall or winter, when drivers may not expect you to be on the roads.

Most cycling accidents involve a bicycle crashing into a vehicle or another cyclist. Others happen because cyclists lose control or because they get caught up in the bicycle's pedals or moving parts. Fortunately, there are ways you can ride safely, so you can avoid accidents caused by user error.

The first thing to remember is that you should wear a helmet. Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by around 95 percent. A properly fitted helmet stays secure in a crash and prevents the skull from impacting the ground or a vehicle with as much force as it would have otherwise. It may reduce or eliminate the risk of injury in a crash, depending on the speed at which the cyclist is hit or falls.

Another thing you can do to stay safer is to ride a bicycle designed for your weight and height. All bicycles have weight limits. They should be size appropriate, allowing you to stop with both feet on the ground to balance the bicycle.

Finally, remember not to wear loose-fitting clothing but instead tighter clothing with reflectors. You want to be seen and eliminate the risk of getting caught in moving parts while you ride.

If you're hit by a driver who failed to see you, you can pursue a claim. Drivers are responsible for driving safely, and that means watching for cyclists.

Source: Anderson-Brainerd Protection Team, "Springtime Safety: Cycling Tips," accessed March 22, 2018

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