Waushara County Health Department voices concerns over bike safety

Now that it is finally warming up outside, more people are choosing to ride their bikes. Biking is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. If you choose to ride your bike, make sure you are practicing bike safety. According to the National Safety Council, 488,123 people were treated in emergency rooms in 2015 after being injured while riding a bicycle. Here are some tips to help keep you safe while you ride:     Always wear a helmet while you ride your bike to protect your head. Make sure your helmet fits you properly; it should be worn level and cover your forehead, and the straps should always be fastened. If drivers can see you, they are less likely to hit you, so stay visible. Wearing bright clothes and putting reflectors on your bike can help you stay safe. Use lights when biking at night or in low-light conditions. Look, signal, and look again. Use hand signals to let drivers and other bicyclists know where you’re going. Look for traffic and make eye contact. Don’t assume drivers will stop. Stay alert and don’t get distracted. Keep a lookout for obstacles in your path. Some common ones that can cause falls include wet leaves, big puddles, rocks and changes in the road or sidewalk surface. Never listen to music or talk on the phone while riding. Go with the flow. Bike in the direction of traffic and act like a car. You should obey all traffic laws and lights. Assure bicycle readiness. Make sure your seat, handlebars, and wheels fit tightly.  Check and oil your chain regularly. Check your brakes to be sure they work well and aren’t sticking. Lastly, check your tires to make sure they have enough air and the right amount of pressure.