Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce riders’ risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) by 88 percent, and laws requiring use have boosted the numbers of bikers wearing helmets. Head injuries account for about two-thirds of hospitalizations and about 75 percent of deaths in U.S. bicycle crashes. To further prevent some of these injuries, Seattle has created separate bike lanes and traffic lights on some roadways.
Start with the right size.
Every bike ride begins with putting on a helmet. But it’s equally important that you ensure a proper fit so your helmet can best protect you.
Size can vary between manufacturers. Follow the steps to fit a helmet properly. It may take time to ensure a proper helmet fit, but your life is worth it. It’s usually easier to look in the mirror or have someone else adjust the straps.
To find out the size of your head: Wrap a soft tape measure around your head, just above your eyebrows and ears. Make sure the tape measure stays level from front to back. (If you don’t have a soft tape measure, you can use a string and then measure it against a ruler.)
For the most comprehensive list of helmet sizes according to manufacturers, go the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI) website.
Make sure you can see your eyes, and that you can see straight-forward and side-to-side.
Replace any bike helmet that is damaged or has been involved in a crash
Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Washington State Department of Transportation, King County’s Regional Trails System (RTS), NHTSA and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission