Protect yourself on the road with a bike helmet

Wearing a helmet is one of the important steps you can take to prevent serious injury if you get hit by a car while riding a bike. According to data reported by the National Safety Council, the bike rider did not wear a helmet in 54% of 2015’s auto accident fatalities.

Explore the facts about bike helmet use and learn how to choose the right helmet for your needs.

Reducing the risk of head injury

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 80,000 cyclists receive emergency room treatment each year for head or brain injuries. The agency notes that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of traumatic brain injury by 80%. Despite these statistics, more than half of American adults surveyed said they never wear a bike helmet.

Choosing a helmet

To protect you effectively, the helmet must fit properly. Try on several styles from different brands to see what type of bike helmet is most comfortable. The helmet should fit snugly, but not too tightly. If you can fit a finger between the foam of the helmet and your head, the helmet is too large.

The front of the helmet should rest about two finger-widths above the eyebrows. The back of the helmet should not fall lower than the nape of the neck. When wearing the helmet, you should be able to see clearly both forward and to the sides. The side straps should fall just in front of the ears. When you buckle and tighten the chin strap, you should only be able to fit two fingers under it. When you have adjusted all straps, the helmet should not move when you move your head around.

Shop for a helmet that has undergone testing from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Some helmets also have safety certification from ANSI, Snell or ASTM. If you have a crash while wearing your helmet or if the device cracks or breaks, you should replace it right away.