Bicycle helmets are an essential part of riding. They will protect your head in the unfortunate event of a fall. A head injury can mean brain injury. That’s why it’s so important to wear a bicycle helmet. Wearing one doesn’t mean you can be reckless, but a helmet will provide some benefits as follows:
- Protect your head: If the rider is wearing a helmet securely fitted and fastened, then in the case of any fall or crash, it will protect your head from any injury. Research shows that helmets reduce head injuries by up to 74 percent in crashes with motor vehicles. A bicycle helmet that is not correctly fitted and fastened does not provide enough protection in a crash.
- Visibility: Many times riding on the road in traffic accidents occur because drivers don’t see the cyclist. A bicycle helmet with reflective strips can make you more visible to motorists, especially in the pre-dawn or early evening hours. Choose a brightly colored helmet so drivers can see you better during the day as well.
- Weather Protection: Weather can be unpredictable, especially if you are riding a lengthy distance. Wearing a helmet also protects you from weather hazards, including intense sun and rain. Some manufacturers also sell winter helmets that help keep you warm if you ride in cold temperatures.
Wearing Helmet Correctly
Always wear a helmet when you ride and make sure you fit the helmet correctly.
- The helmet should fit comfortably and securely when the straps are fastened
- The straps should not be twisted, nor cover the ears.
- When done up correctly, the straps should provide a snug fit over the ears and under the chin.
Time to change, if:
- It’s been dropped onto a hard surface or involved in a crash or severe fall
- You see any cracks in the foam
- The straps look worn or frayed
There are no definite laws on wearing helmets around the world. In India, bicycle riders are exempted from wearing helmets. Helmets are not compulsory in the UK. Helmets are compulsory in Australia and parts of the US. All the governments around the world encourage cyclists to wear a helmet.
There is on-going scientific research into the degree of protection offered by bicycle helmets in the event of an accident, and on the effects of helmet wearing on cyclist and motor vehicle driver behavior. There is active debate over what can be concluded from available studies, and on whether the use of helmets by cyclists should be promoted or mandated, either just for children or for cyclists of all ages.