As a cyclist, one of the most important things you can do is to make sure you’re wearing protective attire when you ride your bike. While there is still a risk that you could be involved in a collision, wearing reflective gear, a helmet, padding and closed-toe shoes can really help protect your body.

Did you know that it’s adults between the ages of 50 and 59 who have the highest bicycle death rates? Children and adolescents are more likely to suffer nonfatal injuries, but they do account for over one-third of all the emergency department visits caused by bicycle-related incidents in the U.S.

Preventing those injuries is the key to protecting cyclists. One of the most productive ways to protect yourself is by putting on your helmet. Bike helmets are known to help reduce the risk of a brain injury, which can be catastrophic and permanent.

Other helpful interventions that can prevent you from getting into a crash or help you if you are involved in one include:

  • Wearing brightly colored clothing that helps make you more visible from further away
  • Wearing retro-reflective clothing that reflects back at drivers at dawn, dusk or at night
  • Using active lighting on your bicycle, such as flashing rear red lights or a bright light on the front of your bicycle. Lights help make you more visible, reducing the likelihood of a collision with another party.

Avoiding a bicycle crash is possible if you pay close attention to the road and make yourself stand out. If you do end up involved in a crash, you may be able to hold the other party responsible for their errors.