5 Bicycle Helmet Safety Tips
The most important piece of safety equipment you have as a bicyclist is your helmet. For many bicyclists, a helmet is actually the only safety equipment they bring with them on a ride. In the event of a bicycle accident, especially one involving an automobile, wearing a helmet will dramatically reduce the chances of suffering a head or brain injury. It is estimated that 90% of bicyclist fatalities are suffered by those who do not wear a helmet and that more than 80% of fatal bicyclist head injuries could be prevented by a helmet.
Obviously, wearing a helmet as a bicyclist is important. But wearing the right helmet and at the right times is also important if you really want to prioritize safety whenever you set out on your bicycle.
Check out these 5 bicycle helmet safety tips and keep them in mind when you ride:
- DOT approval: Not all helmets are made equally. In fact, according to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), not all of them are even made well. When purchasing a new helmet, look for a certification on the packaging that the helmet has been approved either by the U.S. DOT or the Consumer Product Safety Committee (CPSC). Helmets with these certifications have been inspected by either group to ensure it meets acceptable safety and protection standards.
- Proper fit: Your helmet needs to fit snuggly and comfortably on your head. Side-to-side and up-or-down motions should be impossible with a helmet that is fitted properly. If there is an adjustable strap on your helmet, make adjustments until the helmet fits. There should also only be about 1 or 1.5 inches of space between the front edge of the helmet and your eyebrow.
- Bright colors: When riding a bicycle at any hour, making yourself as visible as possible to motorists is a must. You know that you should wear brightly colored clothing and use reflectors on your bicycle. But why stop there? Purchase a fun and bright helmet to further increase your visibility and reduce your chances of being in an accident.
- Easy access: How many times have you not worn a helmet while riding your bicycle just because you forgot to grab it on the way out? If you are like many other people who bicycle frequently, then the answer is probably more than you would like to admit. Make it easy for you to remember your helmet by storing it with your bicycle. If your bicycle is secured indoors, then you can loop the helmet on the handlebar. If you keep your bicycle outside and chained up, then you can chain the helmet with the bicycle or add a locking helmet storage box onto the back of your bicycle.
- Youth encouragement: Following bicycle helmet safety tips is only half of what you can do to help stop serious bicycle accidents. By encouraging children and teenagers to also wear their helmet, you will be helping protect them as well. Set the right example by always wearing a bright, properly-fitted, and DOT-approved helmet when you ride – no exceptions.
In a bicycle accident in Austin? You can contact Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP to see if you can file a claim against the other party. Initial consultations are free.