Bicycling is a popular activity in Utah, especially in cities like Salt Lake City. However, as more people take to the streets on bikes, the risk of bicycle accidents increases. Bicycle accidents can result in serious Bodily harm, including traumatic brain injuries. With the increase of distracted drivers on the road, what can you as a cyclist do to keep yourself safe? In this article we will explore bicycle safety in Utah and the importance of wearing a helmet to help prevent brain injuries.
Bicycle Laws and Safety in Utah
In Utah, bicycles are considered vehicles and have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers on the road. This includes riding with the flow of traffic, using hand signals to indicate turns, and obeying traffic signals and signs. Bicyclists should also wear a helmet and use lights and reflectors when riding at night to increase their visibility to other road users.
The Importance of Wearing a Helmet
One of the most effective ways to prevent brain injuries in the event of a bicycle accident is to wear a helmet. A helmet works by absorbing the impact of a crash, and reducing the risk of head injury. To ensure that your helmet works properly, make sure that it fits snugly and that it is properly fastened to provide maximum protection.
ANSI and MIPS Safety Standards
When shopping for a bicycle helmet, it’s important to look for a helmet that meets safety standards set by organizations such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS). ANSI’s Z90.4 standard establishes the minimum performance requirements for bicycle helmets, including impact resistance, retention system strength, and labeling requirements. Helmets with MIPS technology are designed to reduce rotational forces in the event of a crash, which can cause serious brain injury.
Avoiding Bicycle Accidents in Salt Lake City and Throughout Utah
In addition to wearing a helmet, there are steps that cyclists can take to avoid accidents and prevent personal injuries. These include:
- Obeying traffic laws and signals
- Wearing bright, visible clothing
- Using lights and reflectors when riding at night
- Maintaining a safe distance from other road users
- Being cautious and aware of your surroundings
What Does This Mean For You?
Riding a bike is a fantastic way to exercise and is a great way to get around, however it is an inherently dangerous activity. Bicycle safety is a critical issue in Utah, especially in places like Salt Lake City. Just by wearing a helmet you can decrease your chance at brain injuries by over 66%. By following traffic laws, being cautious and aware of your surroundings, you can greatly reduce your risk of being involved in an accident and help ensure that you arrive at your destination safely.