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family riding bicyclesBicycling is a fun and healthy activity that promotes heart and cardiovascular health and allows you to travel long distances using nothing but muscle power. Some bicyclists look at motorcycling and see it as a dangerous activity, but little do they know that they may be exposing themselves to similar or possibly greater risks simply by choosing not to wear a helmet.

Depending on your bike, fitness level and terrain, speeds can vary between five mph going up hills and 35 to 40 mph going down hills. The higher speeds are similar to those of cars and motorcycles. If a tire flat, obstacle or a dog causes an accident at these speeds, severe injury and trauma to an unprotected head is very possible. Even at lower speeds an accident involving a car or simple loss of control can cause life-threatening injuries. The circumstances leading to serious and fatal accidents are varied and many.

91 percent of bicycling deaths occurring between 1994 and 2010 happened to cyclists not wearing a helmet. People don't use helmets because of various attitudes and false beliefs about them. Many older adults grew up during a time when helmets where not in common use and because of a lifelong habit, they still neglect to don one.

Another problem is that some people regard helmets as nothing more than a fashion item, and an ugly one at that. Descriptions of them as being dorky, ugly or weird are common. People who don't like the appearance of helmets simply aren't aware of the many types and styles available today.

The state of bicycling helmet use today is the same as that of seat belt use in cars in the 1950s and early 1960s. Back then, seat belts existed but weren't universally required by law and many people didn't take them seriously.

If you don't wear a helmet while cycling, please reconsider. The next time you go for a ride, your life might depend on it. Ensure that your kids wear a helmet too. It not only enhances their safety, but it's also the law in many states.

Cycling is just one way to stay healthy. Call ECI Insurance Agency at (405) 373-2977 for more information on Oklahoma City health insurance.

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