Biking in North Carolina is a great way to get in some exercise while getting where you need to go. That said, you owe it to yourself to recognize the risk you take while traveling on two wheels instead of four.

Serious injuries can result from a bike crash. Bicycling magazine worked with an EMT to offer tips on staying safe after a bike accident. Learn how to protect yourself and potentially save your life.

Check your lungs after a crash

If you ever crash your bike and have trouble catching your breath, you could have more than just a cracked rib. Take a deep, careful breath. If you feel any pain or discomfort, it is a good idea to go to the emergency room. Sometimes, cracked ribs can puncture a lung, leaving you with another medical problem to quickly address.

Learn the effects of head injuries

 Wearing a helmet does not make you immune from head injuries. Headaches that worsen over time, blacking out and disorientation after an accident are common indicators of a head injury. Inspect your helmet after an accident. A crack in your headgear indicates the need for emergency services.

Rely on first aid for bleeding

If you sustain a cut in a crash, use a clean material to apply pressure to the wound and staunch the bleeding. Attempting to use a fancy tourniquet could cause more problems than it solves.

Check your gut

Crashes that send you slamming into your handlebars require a gut check. Press your fingers into your abdominal muscles. Tenderness may indicate internal bruising or other damage. Do not hesitate in seeking out medical attention if you feel something may be off.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.