You might have heard that wearing a helmet while riding your bike is just for kids. Or you may have seen people on bikes without helmets and thought nothing of it. But the truth is, head injuries can happen at any age even if it’s your first time riding a bike.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over 400 cyclist deaths occur in the U.S each year, with about half of those fatalities involving head injuries to cyclists who weren’t wearing helmets at the time of their accidents. And these are only reported cases!
Here are eight reasons why you should always wear a helmet when cycling:
- Wearing one is never too inconvenient
- They’re affordable and come in many different styles
- You can still hear and see as well with a helmet on
- Helmets are required by law in some states
- A helmet can help prevent long-term injuries in the event of an accident
What Is a Bike Helmet and Why Do I Need One?
A bike helmet is a type of helmet specifically designed to be worn when riding a bicycle. It is made out of hard plastic or other sturdy materials and has thick padding inside to protect your head in the event of an accident.
Most bike helmets also have a visor to protect your eyes from the sun and debris, as well as vents to allow air to circulate and keep your head cool.
Bike helmets are required by law in some states, but even if they’re not required where you live it’s still a good idea to wear one. They’re affordable, come in many different styles, and can save your life or someone else’s.
How to Choose the Right Size
How do you know what size bike helmet or brand will fit your head properly? It’s best to measure the circumference of your head with a cloth tape measure. Wrap it around your forehead about one inch above your eyebrows, being careful not to keep it too tight. You can also use a string instead, making sure it is as tight as possible without hurting you.
Once you’ve determined the circumference of your head, use this measurement to choose a bike helmet size that corresponds with your height and weight. If you fall between two shoe sizes, for example, it’s best to go with the larger option so there is more room in the helmet. You can also measure the length of your children’s heads and buy a helmet accordingly.
How to Wear a Bike Helmet
There are a few different ways to wear your bike helmet, but the most common is with the straps going around your chin and ears. Make sure the helmet is positioned squarely on your head and that the front is level with your eyebrows. The side straps should be close to your ears and the back strap should fit snugly against your head. You can adjust them by sliding or pushing the hooks together at the buckle. When you’re wearing it correctly, you shouldn’t feel too tight or too loose on your head.
Why It’s Important to Wear Your Helmet Snugly
Your helmet must fit snugly on your head to ensure that it will stay in place in the event of an accident. If it’s too loose, the helmet could fly off your head and offer you no protection. If it’s too tight, it will be uncomfortable to wear and could cause headaches or other problems. The best way to know for sure is to try it on in person at a store, which should offer you the opportunity to test different sizes. If you don’t have time to go into a store, you can purchase your helmet online and then take it to the shop nearest to you when you’ve made your final decision.
How to Care for Your Bike Helmet
You should never put your bike helmet in the washing machine because it can damage the material, potentially causing it to tear apart. Instead, use mild soap and warm water to wipe off any dirt or sweat which could otherwise irritate your skin. If your helmet is very dirty you may need to let it soak in some soapy water for 30 minutes or so before carefully removing it from the water and gently scrubbing away any dirt. You can also buy a special helmet cleaner to help get rid of any bacteria on the surface.
Make sure you air-dry your helmet out fully before storing it in a cool, dark place where it won’t be exposed to direct sunlight. A dirty or wet helmet can become a breeding ground for bacteria so it’s important to clean it regularly.
The Benefits of Wearing a Bike Helmet (safety, Social Responsibility)
Most people know that wearing a bike helmet is important for safety reasons, but many don’t realize the social responsibility aspect of it. By wearing a bike helmet, you’re not only protecting yourself but also other cyclists on the road. If you’re in an accident and aren’t wearing a helmet, you could end up causing serious injury to someone else.
Helmets also come with several other benefits, such as reducing the amount of wind noise you hear while riding and keeping your head cool in warm weather. They can also help you to see better on wet or dark roads.
So next time you go for a bike ride, don’t forget to bring your helmet along! It could save your life.