John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Bicycling training: The best preparation for safe bicycle riding is proper training.
Common resources include an experienced rider, parent, or community program.
Initial training often involves simple instruction from parents on balance and pedaling.
Proper supervision of younger riders is a prerequisite. It is recommended that younger children ride only in enclosed areas.
Bicycle safety equipment: Investment in safety equipment such as protective clothing and a helmet can prevent a significant number of injuries.
Helmets are extremely important. Helmet use has been estimated to reduce head injury risk by 85%, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Reflective clothing for nighttime or low-visibility conditions
Bicycle reflectors on frame and wheels
Proper bicycle selection
Bicycling safety guidelines: Consideration of these tips can further reduce the risk of a bicycle accident.
Use a bicycle only in a way that is appropriate for the age of the rider.
Be aware of the need for experience and skill before bicycling on public roads.
Less experienced bicyclists should be educated about the rules of the road.
Be aware of the understanding among bicyclists and motorists about sharing the road.
Promote and ensure safe motorist and bicyclist practices (proper speed, yielding right-of-way, not driving or riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs). In some states in the U.S. it is illegal to ride a bicycle under the influence of alcohol and may lead to a BUI (bicycling under the influence).
Teach increased awareness of surroundings. (Beware of opening car doors, sewer gratings, debris on roads, uneven surfaces, poorly lit areas.)
Obey traffic rules
Cyclists must follow the same rules as motorists. Use correct hand signals before turning.
Because we all share the same road, obeying the rules of the road allow for an enjoyable and safe ride for both bicyclists and motorists.
Ride in single file with traffic, not against it.
Avoid major roads and sidewalks.
Announce your presence ("On your left") on bike and walking trails as you come up behind and pass pedestrians and other riders.
Enforcement and legislation can increase bicycle safety.
Mandating use of protective devices (helmets, reflectors): Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have helmet laws requiring young bicyclists to wear helmets.
Bicycle-friendly community and community planning, for example, establishing bicycle lanes and bike trails or rails-to-trails programs.