Recent Incidents Put Spotlight on Bike Safety

A recent spate of incidents involving bicyclists that were struck by cars in Detroit has biking enthusiasts emphasizing the importance of sharing the roadway. 

David Rudolph, a Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) board member and founder of Handlebars for the Homeless, said incidents involving aggressive and distracted drivers and bicyclists appear to be happening more frequently. 

Two of his colleagues were hit and seriously injured Wednesday by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed in the area of McNichols and Parkside. They remain hospitalized but are recovering.  

Just two days earlier, a 47-year-old Detroit woman was struck and killed while on her bike bicycle by a hit-and-run driver on the city's west side. 

Rudolph and Tom Page, a retired police officer and the ride and safety coordinator for the Handlebars for the Homeless event, visited the Fox2 studios Sunday morning to discuss the recent incidents and the importance of staying aware on the road regardless of whehter your'e on a bike or in a car.

The also shared the following bicycle safety tips:

Pick the right helmet:  Wear a helmet on every ride, no matter how short the ride or howclose to home. In the event of a fall or crash, bicycle helmets reduce the risk of brain injury by up to 85 percent. In 2009, 91 percent of bicyclists killed (all ages) were not wearing a helmet. Wear a helmet specifically designed for bicycle riding. The helmet should meet the safety standards established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Wear proper attire: Wear comfortable clothing, but ensure no fabric can get caught in the chain, wheels or other bicycle mechanisms. Wear fairly stiff shoes while riding, because flexible sneakers can cause arch pain when riding long distances. Tie back or tuck in loose laces and don’t wear sandals when riding a bike.

Cycling skills: Whether you are a new rider or just plan to ride an unfamiliar bike, the key is to practice riding before you get into a real-life traffic situation.

Maintenance: Like automobiles, bicycles require routine maintenance to keep them operating properly. Get into the habit of cleaning and inspecting your bike regularly.

Watch the video above to learn more and then click here for details about the upcoming Handlebars for the Homeless event.


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