Bicycle Helmets and Safety Suggestions

Welcome to Fall and Season’s Greeting

From the Offices of Roger Light, Ph.d., ABPP/Cn

 The Offices of Dr. Light would like to extend to you the warmest wishes for the upcoming holiday season.

 As the days grow shorter a few reminders on the bicycle safety is in order.  Remember to wear light obvious attire at all times while riding, even in daylight hours.  Inattentive or impaired drivers need all the cues possible to increase the odds of them seeing you and your family.  While there is no federal law regarding bicycle helmet use, 22 states including California have laws mandating the use of helmets for at least some riders.  California law states that all those under 18 years of age must not operate [nor ride as a passenger on] a bicycle, a non-motorized scooter, a skateboard, or in-line or roller skates unless they are wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards of either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), or standards subsequently established by those entities.  This also applies to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat that is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by the bicycle.  Some municipalities in California mandate helmet use for all cyclists regardless of age.  A helmet is the best protection of the brain from injury in an accident and all individuals regardless of age should never ride without one!

A few tips on helmet safety.  When purchasing a helmet make sure that it meets the standards of the organizations noted above.  While California law prohibits the sale of non-approved helmets, not all states have these requirements.  Never buy nor use a second hand helmet, as you cannot know the helmet’s history.   Read the manual that comes with the helmet and only clean your helmet via approved methods and with appropriate cleaning solutions.  Some soaps and solvents may weaken the integrity of the helmet.  Always replace a helmet if you are in an accident since they protect your brain by absorbing the force of impact within the helmet material and damage is often not evident to the naked eye.  Some manufactures will replace a damaged helmet either free of charge or at a reduced rate after an accident. A damaged helmet provides reduced protection.  Even if you are never in an accident it is a good idea to replace your helmet every few years to ensure full protect is provided as the materials may lose efficacy with age.  Make sure the helmet you use fits your head well and learn how to securely fasten the straps to ensure optimal protection.  If you are uncertain about the appropriate fit and fastening, check with you local bicycle shop expert.

Always follow the rules of the road while riding.  You have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles.  Pedestrians have the right of way while on a bike path so make sure that they know you are coming.  A brief “I’m on your left” warning or use of a bell or other-noise making device will help keep you and others safe while passing.  Make sure that you are on the inside of the lane travelling the direction of traffic at all times including intersections and do not block right turn lanes.  Do not assume that a driver will stop at intersections, stoplights or stop signs.  Ride defensively.

Always have your identification information with you while riding and it is a good idea to carry a copy of your health insurance card.  Never ride with wearing headphones and do not use a cell phone or text while riding.   Stay attentive to uneven surfaces and obstacles on the roadway.  If possible ride with others but in single file while on all streets and paths.

STAY BRAIN SAFE.  You have only one brain. Use (and protect) it wisely.

The offices of Dr. Light remind you that we are available for free telephone consultations to determine whether our services would be of benefit to you or your clients.  Dr. Light is a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist with specialties in children and adolescents, head injury and rehabilitation neuropsychology.  Dr. Light offers a full range of assessment services, including medical legal/forensic psychological and neuropsychological evaluations, evaluations for accommodations for ADHD, learning disabilities or other disabling conditions, and individual educational evaluations.

 

Dr. Light and his staff also offer cognitive rehabilitation, psychotherapy treatment services and consultation.  Dr. Light is also available to present to you and your staff on various topics including the medical-legal neuropsychological examination, cognitive rehabilitation, memory improvement, sleep hygiene and many other topics.  Please see Dr. Light’s website at www.rogerlightphd.com for a complete listing of topics present and other services available.  We look forward to working together with you.

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