The use of bicycle helmets save lives. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2010 there were 523 reports of bicycle crashes resulting in death to the bicycle rider. Of those, 429 were not wearing a helmet. These statistics are not unique but a repeated year after year.
If you want to increase your chances or your child’s chances of surviving a bicycle accident, a properly fitted bicycle helmet is the first step you should take. Below are some tips on how to make sure you have a properly fitted helmet.
Measure your head and match the size to the helmet. If you are unclear, check the manufacturer’s specifications to be sure they match. There should be pads that can be inserted to ensure a snug fit. When fitting your helmet, remember it should sit roughly a half inch to an inch above the eyebrows. They are designed to sit low on the forehead to protect all of your head.
The straps should be tight. Adjust the chin strap so that the buckle sits under the chin. The side strap buckle should be in front of the ears (toward the face) with the lower strap running under the ears. The buckle under the chin should fit snug.
If your straps are properly fitted, the helmet should fit snug and should not slip back and forth on the head more than a few centimeters. If you open your jaw wide, this should force the helmet to pull down onto your forehead. If it does not, your straps are not properly adjusted.
Unfortunately, wearing the helmet may not guarantee that you are never in a bicycle accident and never need the help of a bicycle accident lawyer. However, a properly sized and fitted helmet is the first step towards a safer bicycle ride and drastically increases your chance of surviving a bike wreck. Be sure to review and go over bicycle safety rules, signals and awareness so that hopefully, the helmet will never be required to save your life.