We've been talking a lot about bicycle safety, after all it is National Bike Safety Month. But we do understand that accidents happen. Do you know what to do when an accident is unavoidable?
Our Boston bicycle accident attorneys are here with tips from Bicycling.com to help to better your risks against injury in the event of a fall.
The first thing you've got to remember is to look where you're going. Naturally, our body shift into the direction we're looking. If you're looking at a rock you want to avoid, the more likely you are to run into it. Your best bet is to keep looking into the clear path in the area you wish to ride. Your eyes will guide your bike.
Secondly you want to make sure that your pedals are ready for anything. Your best bet is to ride with clipless pedals. You don't want to strap yourself onto a falling bike. Make sure you can remove your feet easily whenever needed.
Next you want to make sure that you're staying loose and that you're moving with the road. If you happen to jump a hump in the road or shoot over a pot hole, you want your body to be ready to absorb the movement. Staying stiff is only going to work against you and increase your risks of a fall.
Lastly, you want to make sure you're stable. Whenever you're pedaling at a slow speed or you're heading up a hill, you're going to want to make sure there's space between you and the bike. Get up and use your body to pedal. It's a good workout and it's safer.
So you followed all of those safety precautions, but you still get into an accident. What now? The best thing you can do is prepare yourself for the fall and know what you're doing.
The first thing you want to do is go with the flow. You want to fall along with the bike. Don't put your arms out to stop yourself. That's only going to increase your risks for a fracture or a broken bone (if not more than one). Instead, your best bet is to tuck your chin into your check, make your body into a ball and roll with the fall.
If you happen to fall backwards, you want to do something a little different. This is where you want to stop the energy. You still want to tuck your chin, to avoid whiplash or a head injury. Instead of rolling with the fall though, you're going to want to extend your arms to the side to stop the momentum from rolling you further. Remember not to put your arms behind you to stop the fall, because you run the risk of a break or a fracture, but put your arms aside to stop.
To keep safe no matter what kind of fall you endure, your best bet is to lower your center of gravity. The lower you are, the easier it is for you to tuck and roll and the shorter distance it is to get to the ground.
With these tips, we're not telling you it's okay to get into an accident because you have a better chance of surviving. We're just offering up these safety tips IN CASE something unavoidable happens. Best of luck out there!