Bicycle Helmet Safety: The Right Helmet For You

Riding a bicycle can be a fun and fast way to travel.  However if you ride a bike without a helmet, you run the risk of a serious head injury.  Over 91 percent of bicyclists killed in 2008 reportedly weren’t wearing helmets.  Wearing a helmet does not mean you can be careless, but a helmet will at least provide some protection for your face, head, and brain in case of injury.

Here are some tips in choosing the right helmet for you:

1. Your bicycle helmet should fit.

Don’t let it be too loose or too tight.  It should be comfortably snug and fit the contours of your head.  If you are unsure, you should bring it to a bike store to be evaluated and adjust with sizing pads for a better fit.

2. Wear your helmet correctly.

According to the NTHSA, to correctly wear a bicycle helmet it should:

  • Lay flat on top of your head, and not rock side-to-side.
  • Sit level and low on your forehead, approximately two fingers above your eyebrows.
  • Adjust the side straps to form a “V” shape under the ears.
  • Tighten the chin strap so that no more than one or two fingers can fit.

3. Wear a helmet every time you are on a bicycle, even if it is a short ride.

A quick ride around the block can be unpredictable, and even low speed collisions can have serious consequences.

4. Stay visible.

As a bicyclist, it is always important to stay visible to other motorists.  You can do so by wearing a white or brightly colored helmet.  Some helmets include reflective stickers or lights on them.

5. Purchase a CPSC-Approved helmet.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved helmets will have stickers on it that says it meets the safety standards set by the government.