Each day, thousands of New Jersey residents rely on bicycles to get from one place to another, and each year a number of those are killed or injured in bicycle-related accidents. Riders who are committed to protecting their safety will take the time to invest in a properly fitted helmet that securely protects their head on impact.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides riders with guidelines to reference when the time comes for them to shop for a bicycle helmet. These include the following:
- Adjust: Riders will notice that helmets vary in how they fit based off of whether or not they have a universal ring inside or adjustable padding. Bicyclists should take their time to adjust the fit to their head shape and size before making a purchasing decision.
- Straps: All helmets are designed with a buckling system designed to fasten below a rider’s chin. Properly placed side straps will form a “V” shape just in front of and beneath a person’s ears. The buckle should be perfectly centered beneath the rider’s chin and secured for optimal protection. A good rule of thumb for cyclists to follow to assess whether or not their straps are secure is to yawn. They should feel the helmet pull downward. When properly fastened, the helmet will not budge in any direction.
- Hairstyle: Cyclists should wear appropriate hairstyles to guarantee that their helmet still fits correctly. Failure to modify the placement or adjustment of a helmet to accommodate alternating hairstyles can greatly impact the effectiveness of a cyclist’s helmet in protecting his or her head in an accident.
- Vision: A helmet should never obstruct a rider’s view of the road ahead. Cyclists should note that a good helmet will not rest on their neck and will always remain about two inches above their eyebrows.
Generally, cyclists can increase their safety and protection by selecting a helmet that does not have any space between the inside of the helmet and the head. The CDC reports that in 2013 alone, nearly 494,000 visits to the emergency room in the United States were the result of a bicycle accident.