Biking & Driving: Safety & Health
I read in the New York Times some disturbing information about people not wearing bike helmets. According to the article, head injuries account for three-fourths of the nearly 700-plus bicycle deaths that occur each year nationwide. In New York City, 97% of cycling deaths and 87% of serious cycling injuries happened to people who were not wearing a helmet.
I don’t understand why anyone would ride a bike without wearing a helmet. When I was a kid, bike helmets weren’t a thing, so when wearing a bike helmet became a thing, it was something I had to get used to. It was odd at first; and now it would feel odd to get onto a bike without one.
When I was a kid, we also didn’t wear seat belts when we sat in the back seat of my parents’ cars. Now I wear a seat belt wherever I sit in a car.
My parents came of age in an era when no one wore seat belts. Seat belts only became mandatory in cars in 1968 and wearing them in the front only became mandatory in 1983, and in the back, for kids, in 1989. I remember people rebelling a bit against the seat belt requirement. Shoulder belts can be uncomfortable. Yet, it still amazed me when I read in another article in the Times that one in seven American drivers still don’t use a seat belt, which contributes to the U.S. being a world leader in automobile deaths.
If you want to live a long, healthy life, you have to do your part. Eating well and exercising are two keys. Each of them takes a lot of work. Wearing bike helmets and seat belts don’t take any work at all, and each can preserve your health and even save your life.
What other safety tips can you share? Please join the conversation with your comments…