Bike helmets save lives: Learn how to get the right fit
Consumer Reports has a special August feature on the importance of bike helmets noting that, “More head injuries occur in biking than in any other sport—and bike helmets can save your life.” They cite data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: 60% of people who died in a bike accident in 2014 were not wearing a helmet. See our prior post on biking fatalities. The Consumer Reports article talk about some of the newer bicycle helmets and the protection they offer, along with ratings of 35 helmets.
But it’s not just enough to get a helmet, to ensure maximum protection, it’s important to get the right bike helmet fit. Consumer Reports offers the following tips for finding the right bike helmet fit:
- The helmet must be level on your head.
- The front edge should be no more than an inch or so above your eyebrows.
- The strap should fit closely under your chin.
- Straps should meet just below your jaw and in front of your ears, forming a V under your earlobes.
A fabulous resource for everything bicycle-helmet related is Helmets.org, a non-profit consumer-funded helmet advocacy program of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. It includes the latest research, innovations in helmet safety – pretty much anything you could ever want to know about helmets. They offer a great page on how to fit a bicycle helmet. Below, we feature a short clip on how to fit and secure bike helmets for kids.
No state laws require adults to wear bicycle helmets, but many states have requirements for children – see your state bicycle helmet law. Even if there is no state law, you might also want to check local ordinances.