Do you have the habit of wearing a helmet every time you ride your bike? Well, for 4 out of 5 people reading this, the answer is likely a no. But that's something that needs to change.
Bicycle helmets are like superheroes because they can save lives and keep you safe from harm. Wearing a helmet is the best thing you can do to protect your head and brain if you happen to fall off your bike.
So, let's check out some facts from a fancy study that looked at helmet use:
Still not sure if wearing a helmet is important for your short bike trips? Well, let's dive deeper into this topic with Dr. Thomas Waters, who's a super-smart doctor when it comes to emergencies.
Cruising on your bicycle is a liberating experience, but have you ever considered the importance of strapping on a helmet before you hit the road? It's not just a fashion statement – it's a crucial step toward protecting your noggin from potential harm. In this blog post, we'll delve into the compelling reasons why wearing a bicycle helmet is a non-negotiable practice for cyclists of all ages. From unveiling the alarming statistics to exploring helmet safety standards, we'll equip you with essential knowledge that can make a life-saving difference.
Every year in the United States, more than 130,000 people who ride bicycles get hurt in accidents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And even, almost 1,000 bike riders die each year.
But, these injuries are not just caused by high-speed collisions. Just imagine, even a slow fall from your bike, like when you're going around a small round street, can really hurt you. So, Dr. Waters says something really important: If you're riding a bike, you really should wear a helmet. It's not only about fast crashes. Sometimes, even if you fall and hit your head in a slow way, you could still get a serious hurt. Therefore, wearing a helmet is a smart choice to protect your head.
Across the globe, governments recognize the significance of helmet use. While 28 countries enforce helmet laws, many focus on younger riders. However, nine nations have regulations that span all age groups, emphasizing the universal importance of helmet safety. Moreover, approximately 250 jurisdictions have implemented helmet mandates at local levels, reinforcing the commitment to preserving cyclists' well-being.
Not all helmets are created equal, so it’s necessary to emphasize the importance of safety standards for bicycle helmets. To ensure optimal protection, opt for helmets certified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Look out for additional endorsements from organizations like the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the Snell Foundation. Seeking a higher level of safeguarding? Dr. Waters recommends helmets equipped with MIPS technology, designed to mitigate rotational forces and enhance impact absorption.
Wearing a helmet is more than just a snug cap atop your head.You also have to make sure the helmet fits right. Dr. Waters says, "If it doesn't fit well, it can't do its job."
Now, here are six tips to make sure your bike helmet fits safely:
2. The helmet should sit flat on your head, not tipped backward, and it should cover your forehead.
3. The edge of the helmet should be about one to two finger widths above your eyebrows.
4. Another way to check if it's in the right place: Look up and see if you can see the front rim of the helmet. Dr. Waters says it should barely show.
5. The straps of the helmet should be even and make a "Y" shape right where your earlobe is. They should be snug against your head.
6. When you buckle the chin strap, there should be only enough room for one finger between the buckle and your chin. When you open your mouth, you should feel the helmet pulling down on your head.
While helmets may appear durable, they don’t last forever. Sweaty rides and regular usage contribute to material degradation, rendering helmets less effective over the years. The CPSC advises replacing helmets within five to 10 years of purchase, with earlier replacements recommended based on manufacturer guidelines. Also, cracks, crushed foam liners, worn-out straps, or missing components are telltale signs that it's time to replace your helmet.
The allure of a second-hand bargain pales in comparison to the significance of a well-fitted helmet. Helmets conform to the wearer's unique head shape over time, rendering a used helmet ineffective for another cyclist. Dr. Waters underscores the importance of a personalized fit, advocating against sharing helmets even among siblings.
If you want your kid to wear a bike helmet, there's a simple way to start: be a good role model. Dr. Waters suggests, "You can't tell your 7-year-old how important helmets are and then ride your own bike without one."
Here are some more ideas:
2. Let Them Choose: Give your child the freedom to pick out their own helmet. Dr. Waters suggests, "Kids are more likely to wear a helmet if they picked it out or made it look cool." Just make sure the helmet fits well and is comfortable.
3. Explain Why: Have a conversation about why helmets are so important. Talk about safety and why it's a rule to wear a helmet every time you go for a bike ride. Understanding the reasons behind it can make a big difference.
In the past, not many cyclists wore helmets. But things have changed now. People are understanding that wearing a helmet while biking is really important. Dr. Waters talks about this change and how it's making cycling safer. As people's thoughts are changing, it's good to know that wearing a helmet doesn't make you look weird anymore. Therefore, let's have a safe and enjoyable biking journey.