EMSA Offers Bike Safety Tips After Fatal Tulsa Accident

Friday, May 9th 2014, 7:28 pm
By: News On 6

Thursday night's deadly accident prompted paramedics to remind riders and drivers about bike safety. EMSA responds to an average of 120 bicycle accidents each year, and they have advice on how to stay safe.

Paramedics say it's important to equip your bike with tools that will help drivers notice you, like reflectors and a horn or bell, to alert people, if necessary, and check for cars over your shoulders. Adding side mirrors can also help you react fast and prevent an accident.

With spring in full swing, paramedics are reminding people to follow basic traffic laws, whether your are driving or riding.

Jason Whitlow with EMSA, said, "The rules apply to bicycles the same way they do to cars. You need to travel with the direction of traffic, stop at red lights, stop at stop signs. You shouldn't cross the road in the middle of the street somewhere."

Of the 120 bike accidents Tulsa police and paramedics respond annually, they say many of them are preventable.

Police say Garry Domres was riding his bike in the grass, then, suddenly, turned onto the road.

5/8/2014 Related Story: Tulsa Police Identify Rider Killed In Crash On Riverside Drive

"I never ride on the street. I mean, I think it's scary enough just driving down the street, I wouldn't dare ride. Wow, yeah, that's scary to hear," said bicyclist Taylor Spears.

Cyclist Mark Haynes said, "The signal light right here, I always cross. I don't ever cross straight across. I always go to the stop light and hang to the left, wait until my walking sign."

Making the transition from waiting at the cross walk to riding the bicycle is easier if you pick the right bike. Experts say you should be able to sit on the seat with your feet flat to the ground.

They also say the most important tip is to protect your head.

"You can heal road rash, scrapes and bruises, but if you hit your head you may never heal from that," Whitlow said.

Helmets reduce injury crashes by 85 percent, but more than half of bike riders don't wear one, even though they know they should.

"Oh, I do worry about it, yeah. I told my sons I definitely need to get a helmet because anything can happen, you know," Haynes said.

Spears said, "I've seen so many helmets today and I'm like, ‘man I really need to put mine back on.'"

EMSA said to get into a helmet habit, even when it's hot. Make sure it fits snuggly and is snapped under your chin so riding is fun and safe.