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Summer Safety Tip: Protect Your Head While Biking

Sam Crabtree, tank mechanic, Exercise Support Division, speeds downhill during the Annual Earth Day Mountain Bike Ride April 13, 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Dave Flores)

June 20 officially marked the first day of the summer season. For many people, summer is the time to enjoy outdoor activities — whether jet skiing in the ocean on a hot day or navigating rough terrain during a bike ride through mountains. These activities and many others can be fun, but can also be potentially dangerous. Keeping your mind on safety can be life-preserving.

In the United States more than 40 million people participate in mountain biking annually, according to the International Mountain Bicycling Association. For the service members, veterans and their families who enjoy biking, A Head for the Future, a Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) initiative, created “Ride Right.” This printable resource offers five tips to help cyclists keep their heads in the game while blazing the trails:

  1. Always wear the proper helmet
  2. Check the weather often (in some regions, the weather can change quickly)
  3. Only ride on designated bike paths or trails
  4. Assess the risks and know your limitations
  5. Do not bike under the influence of drugs or alcohol

A Head for the Future is a Defense Department effort to raise awareness about traumatic brain injury (TBI). The initiative provides resources to help the military community prevent, recognize and recover from TBI.

Get Help if You Think You Have a Brain Injury

Even in the best conditions, preventative safety measures won’t always keep accidents from happening. If you think you may have a head injury, seek medical attention right away. Blurred vision, headaches, anxiety and slowed thinking are just some of the physical and mental symptoms of a concussion. A medical provider can provide a diagnosis and explain how to recover from a concussion. It’s important to rest and limit activity for as long as your doctor advises if you have a concussion; only return to normal activity after a doctor clears you; and stop to get checked out if your symptoms return.

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This page was last updated on: September 14, 2017.