Bike Helmet Safety Washington DC
Bailey'S Crossroads, VA
Bike Helmet Safety
The purpose and effectiveness of bike helmets are currently being debated. The pro-bike helmet sector insists that wearing helmets can reduce the chance of injuries during biking accidents; those against bike helmet use counter that most of the accidents occur due to vehicular crashes, hence limiting the use of helmets. Still, the number of bike related accidents is too alarming to leave everything to chance. Every year, more than 300,000 people went delivered to the emergency room due to bile-related accidents. Every year since 2002, not less than 500 people die due to bike related accidents. More than 100 of these deaths involve children less than 13 years old—which means these deaths do not only involve professional cyclists.
Although these statistics cannot be liked to the use of bike helmets, it is definite that they can certainly help. Helmets, at least the adequate ones, protect your head from head injuries—which could lead to serious consequences. With the use of other biking equipment, one can be protected from various biking injuries. At the very least, helmets and other biking equipment can reduce impact and injuries significantly (although that will naturally depend on the nature of the accident).
In any case, not all helmets are created equal. There are still some guidelines and consideration to factor in when on your helmet buying task.
Helmet buyers guide
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three things to consider during helmet buying: safety, fit, and visibility.
Naturally, the bike helmet you will buy should be safe. But how can you determine whether a bike helmet is safe or not? Due to the number of biking related accidents, the United States government has issued official standards regarding the production of bike helmets. You do not need to know these standards; it’s enough that you know a bike helmet passed these standards. This can be done by looking for a seal of approval from industry regulators such as the American National Standards Institute and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
It’s possible to find helmets that are cheaper but do not have an approval seal. Buying these helmets may be tempting—but consider the risk of doing so. Such biking equipment is not certified by the proper authorities, so you won’t be sure if they are sturdy enough to actually protect you from high impact accidents. At the very least, such helmets can protect the cyclist from head cuts and bruises. But when it comes to more serious situations, they probably won’t hold up.
The fit, of course, is always an important consideration when helmet buying, but not only because of the comfort a good fitting helmet can provide; the helmet should also be snug enough not to fall off or expose your head in anyway. To measure the fit of the bike helmet, wear the bike helmet and see if how much it will move from all directions. If it moves more than an inch in one or more directions, buy another one. This means the bike helmet isn’t fit enough to protect your head during accidents.
Lastly, the visibility. If the helmet hinders your eyesight in any way—even if the hindrance is minimal—buy another one; even the slightest blocking of your vision can lead to the most serious of accidents. Buying a bike helmet (and other biking equipment) that can help make you more visible (especially at night) is advisable too. Instead of buying black-colored biking equipment and protective gear, consider bright colored ones to make sure much easier to see at night.
Although this is a minor consider, do buy bike helmets that provide ventilation. You’d notice that motorcycle helmets are different compared to bike helmets because of this consideration. Most bike helmets have ventilation holes because biking is a form of exercise, hence the need for the helmet to have some source of ventilation. Motoring, on the other hand, isn’t.
Bike helmet do’s and don’ts
Of course, besides knowing how to use a bike helmet, you still need to practice proper helmet usage and biking protocols. For instance, remember that your helmet should not tilt forward or backward; proper helmet usage requires you to wear it flat. Otherwise, you’re leaving either the back or the front of your head vulnerable to injury in case of accidents.
Remember that helmet wearing procedures and protocol do not vary due to age. This means that both children and adults should wear their helmets the same way. Also, barring special needs (for the case of professional or serious cyclists, for instance), helmets for adults and children hardly differ. They usually have the same design and standards despite the common misconception that kids require less protection (since they won’t be exposed to as much danger as adults anyway). Here’s the truth: according to studies, people who use bikes tend to encounter crashes every 4,500 miles, at the very least. This figure does not differentiate between adult and child. The use of the bike helmet is to protect the biker during that situation. And regardless whether adult or child, the impact or gravity of the crash remains the same—hence the need of bile helmets.
If you have children who ride bikes, teach them proper biking equipment usage—especially when it comes to helmets. Teach them to wear protective gear every time they go biking. It doesn’t matter if they’re going for a mile run or if they’re simply going to a friend two blocks away. Accidents do not choose distance; it can happen the moment they step out of your house.
Once the bike helmet already figured in an accident, throw it our. Like most things, helmets deteriorate in quality after impact. You can’t expect the bike helmet (as well as your other biking gear) to be in top shape after the accident and to provide proper protection in case of another crash or situation. Buy a new one; the cost of the new bike helmet is nothing compared to the life you can save.