Life is like a bicycle, you need balance. If you lean too far to one side, you will surely fall off. Learning to ride a bike can be difficult, but so rewarding when you finally master the two wheeled machine. However, one thing is certain, no matter how far or how fast you go, you are always at risk of getting injured. From hitting your leg off of the pedals to falling and scrapping your arms and legs, you should always be prepared and wear protective gear. While millions of Americans ride bikes, less than half of them wear helmets! What is even more alarming is that a survey conducted by the Center of Disease Control from 2001-2003 showed that only 48% of kids between the ages of 5-14 wore a helmet. Older children were more likely to not wear a helmet, for reasons that include it being too uncomfortable, not cool to wear in front of their friends, and it making them hot or sweaty.In 2010, 800 U.S. bicyclists were killed, and an estimated 515,000 sustained bicycle-related injuries that required emergency care. Roughly half of those cyclists were under the age of 20. To make matters worse, 26,000 of those injuries were traumatic brain injuries. An immediate protection you can add while riding your bike is wearing a helmet. It gives you the most protection for the most important area of your body: the head. Any bicyclist that does not wear a helmet puts themselves at risk for head injuries, which can be fatal. Do your brain a favor, and play it smart!Following the rules of the road can also be greatly beneficial while riding a bike. You should ride on the right side of the road. Never go against traffic. Obey traffic signs as if you were driving a car, and use your hands as turning signals for cars driving by you. Stop at all stop signs and red lights, and look both ways before entering a street. If you are riding while it is dark out, wearing reflective clothing and having a headlight on your bike can alert drivers to where you are riding and prevent injury.