With the number of bicycles on the road now approaching more than one billion, the number is getting harder to keep up with.
And that means the bicycle has become a popular activity among young people and the elderly.
In fact, according to a recent study by the National Center for Health Statistics, only about 30 percent of all Americans ages 15 to 44 were bicycle riders in 2015.
And as bike commuting grows, so does the demand for bike insurance.
“It’s really going to drive the insurance market for the next few years, with a lot of younger people and older people who are riding bicycles becoming bike owners,” says John Wiegert, president and CEO of the National Bicycle Coalition.
“There’s a lot more riding than there used to be, and you don’t have to worry about having the bike fall apart.”
Bicyclists are often asked about their bike insurance policies, but Wiegart says the majority of them are either unsure or don’t understand what they’re getting into.
The main risk factor for bike accidents is lack of visibility and lack of helmets, which often don’t cover all of the parts of the body, including the head, the neck and the arms.
And while there are some benefits to riding a bike, there are also some downsides.
Wiegert says most people don’t realize the risks that come with riding a heavy-duty bike, even if they know the benefits.
It’s no surprise, then, that when it comes to the number one most common cause of death for bicyclists, it’s the helmet.
A helmet is the best-known and most popular helmet on the market, but there are so many other factors to consider when buying one.
“The most common reasons for death are head injuries and neck injuries,” says Wiegarts insurance consultant, Bob Kiesling.
“People tend to think of a bicycle helmet as an accessory, not a helmet.”
There are a number of helmet manufacturers in the US, but some of them aren’t exactly high-end.
The best-selling brand, JL Sport, is best known for its helmets made in Japan, which are a lot less expensive than those made in the United States.
Other brands include the German-made Bontrager, which makes a lot safer, and the popular Raleigh model, which uses less material.
But the main concern for many bicyclists is whether they’ll be able to keep their helmet up in a crash.
Most of the time, the answer is yes, says Wiesling, but in some crashes the helmets can come apart in a matter of seconds.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly a quarter of children under the age of 10 are killed on bicycles.
A recent study in the Journal of Pediatric Emergency Medicine found that the majority (54 percent) of children ages 8 to 16 killed in crashes had injuries consistent with being hit by a car or a pedestrian.
And in one study, children ages 9 to 15 killed in car crashes had head injuries consistent.
That means a bicycle can kill you even if it’s not damaged.
It also means that it can’t help you if you fall off.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has put out some guidelines to help riders better prepare.
The guidelines suggest that bicyclists should wear a helmet and have a head protection device (such as a head shield) in addition to a helmet.
They also suggest that cyclists wear an approved, padded seat for extra protection, and wear a protective vest when pedaling.
But there’s a catch.
“There are no rules saying that all bicyclists wear helmets,” says Kieslings insurance consultant.
“So even if you’re wearing a helmet, you’re not necessarily protected by it.”
The most important thing to remember, Wiegetts insurance expert says, is to wear a head and neck protector when pedalling.
If you’re going to ride your bike at night, be sure you wear one with a brim or face shield.
But while the number and type of bike helmets are an important consideration, Wiesers advice for the average rider goes beyond simply putting on a helmet as a precaution.
You should also look into the bike’s insurance terms, says Kiestling, who adds that you should always look at your bike’s manufacturer’s policy, which is usually written in English.
When it comes time to buy a bike insurance policy, ask about the coverage limits and whether they include your helmet.
And if you need to buy an additional policy, be aware that some of the best rates are from the manufacturer.
While some bike manufacturers will give you a price quote and give you an estimate on what it will cost you, others may require a deposit upfront.
That can add up quickly, so be sure to call ahead before you make your purchase.
If you’re a regular cyclist and your insurance does not cover your helmet