May is National Bike
Promoting and practicing safe techniques is
the first step in preventing bicycle-related injuries and
deaths. There were 105 injuries and 1 death involving
bicycles in South Dakota in 2003, according to the SD Motor
Vehicle Traffic Crash Summary. In the United States each
year, there is an average of 900 bicycle-related deaths and
more than 500,000 bicycle injuries requiring hospital
emergency room treatment. Every week 2700 children suffer
serious head injuries and every day 2 die in crashes while
May is National Bike Month and a good time
to remind all parents and bicycle riders that the first and
most important step in bicycle safety is wearing a helmet
and wearing it correctly. Research shows that properly-worn
bike helmets can reduce the risk of serious head and brain
injury by as much as 88 percent. Remember the following tips
Bicycles are vehicles with the same
rights, rules and responsibilities as other road users;
always share the road.
On every ride, wear a helmet that meets
federal safety standards issued by the Consumer Product
Safety Commission. To determine the correct helmet size,
measure the riders head with a tape measure.
Adjust the helmet pads and straps so the
fit is snug and level. The helmet should be worn 1-2 finger
widths above the head, not tilted back on the crown or
pulled low over the forehead.
If a helmet has been dropped hard or
been in a crash, replace it.
Make sure the bicycle is the right size.
When sitting on the seat with hands on the handlebar, the
rider should be able to place the ball of each foot on the
Check for traffic and be aware of the
traffic around you. Over 70 percent of car-bicycle crashes
occur at driveways or other intersections. Before riding
into traffic: stop, look left, right, left again, and over
Ride single file in the same direction
as other traffic and always use hand signals.
Wear bright clothes to be visible and
avoid biking at night.
Adults and parents should be good role
models and wear helmets too.
The MPD Bicycle Safety Program offers free
bicycle helmets through help from Mobridge
Regional Hospital & Clinics to promote bicycle safety to
children and youth.
As part of the MPD Bicycle Safety Program,
Bike Patrol Unit Police Cyclists issue certificates for
treats redeemable at local businesses to children & youth
wearing helmets while bike riding, roller blading, and skateboarding
as a reward and to reinforce the importance of wearing helmets.