Did you know that bicycle helmets can prevent up to 88 % of brain injuries when used properly? Sadly, Ottawa bicycle accidents can happen anywhere, anytime.
Earlier this month, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced June 5, 2011 as Helmet Day in the City of Ottawa to support the avoidance of personal injuries and to emphasize the importance of wearing proper safety head gear while being active.
“We are very fortunate in Ottawa to have an environment that is well-suited to cycling and in-line skating,” said the Mayor . He made it clear how supportive he was of an active, but safe lifestyle. “We are encouraging all residents to purchase an appropriate helmet before enjoying their favourite summer activities.”
We all know how important it is whether we are riding a bicycle or strapping on in-line skates to take safety precautions to protect ourselves; however, we don’t always do. The awareness is there and still coming , but not everyone is strapping on a helmet and some are strapping on helmets that are inadequate and would not protect them. The City of Ottawa continues to make efforts to keep residents safe and raise awareness of helmet safety in the hopes of preventing severe head injuries.
How do help reduce your chances of a severe head injury- Ottawa bicycle accidents
1-Make sure there is a CSA or CPSC certification on the helmet.
2-All helmets should fit level and square on the head, and the front should be 2 fingers distance from the helmet to eyebrows. The helmet straps should be adjusted to meet just below the ear in a V shape, and fastened comfortably.
3-All helmets should have a snug fit, allowing only one finger between the chin strap and your chin.
4-Proper helmets must be worn by all cyclists who are under the age of 18. I recommend that EVERYONE should wear a helmet to protect themselves from serious head injuries.
Each year, approximately 5,700 Ottawa area children under the age of 20 visit Ottawa hospital emergency rooms for serious head injuries. Sport activities make up a large percentage of head injuries among children and youth.
As an Ontario injury lawyer, I meet regularly with Ontario accident victims who have suffered severe head injuries and their lives have been altered forever. I urge everyone to please equip themselves with a proper helmet. It could save your life !
The weather is still okay and many are out and about with their bicycles on our roads here in Ottawa. Sadly, Ottawa cycling accidents continue to occur and people are injured everyday day in our communities. There has been talk for years regarding the implementation of a “safe cycling educational” campaign or program here in Ottawa, but I think that we need to make progress more quickly. Consider the tragedies:
Ottawa Bicycle Accident
Just consider the serious injuries and deaths in the last little while here in Ottawa. This month, a 71-year-old cyclist fought for his life in hospital secondary to a collision with an automobile on Hawthorne Road. Alex Hayes, another tragic story, an innocent high school student, killed by a vehicle while riding his bicycle. . Another tragedy involved a 48-year-old cyclist, killed due to head and neck injuries on Somerset St at night. John Barton, 53, another cyclist killed recently while on the road. And finally, 16-year-old Robin Freeman killed while cyclist after contact with a motorcycle (both motorcyclist and Freeman were killed).
There are steps you can take to protect you and your loved ones from injury and death while bicycling. Overall, if you decide to cycle, make it a lifestyle decision. This means opening your mind to the requirements of bicycle culture and bicycle safety. Avoiding collisions with vehicles is never a guarantee, but you can take certain steps to reduce your chance of injury. For example, using a bicycle or helmet headlight, wearing protective and reflective clothing, and enhancing your bicycle can make you more visible. Buying a horn can give you the attention you need when you need it. Slow down and paying attention to your surroundings is key. Choosing wide, slower streets, and on weekends, back streets because they can be safer on Saturday and Sundays, for example, because of the increase in drunk vehicle traffic on main streets. You can’t control other people’s driving but please do everything you can to protect yourself. Thanks for reading everyone, and please ride safely!