Do you put on a helmet everytime you journey a motorbike? For 4 out of 5 individuals studying this, the reply might be no. That’s a truth that should change.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit educational medical middle. Advertising on our website helps assist our mission. We don’t endorse non-Cleveland Clinic services or products. Policy

Bicycle helmets save lives and stop accidents. Using the security gear is taken into account the single most effective way to forestall head and mind accidents should you ought to one way or the other tumble off your two-wheeler.

Consider these information from a meta-analysis that discovered utilizing bicycle helmets:

  • Reduces severe head accidents by 60%.
  • Reduces traumatic mind harm by 53%.
  • Reduces the variety of cyclists killed or significantly injured by 34%.

Still not satisfied that it’s good to helmet up on your subsequent journey across the neighborhood? Then, let’s take a look at the difficulty somewhat extra carefully with emergency drugs specialist Thomas Waters, MD.

The want for bike helmets

More than 130,000 bicycle riders are injured yearly within the United States following crashes, reviews the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even extra alarming? Nearly 1,000 cyclists die yearly.

But don’t assume these accidents come solely from high-speed collisions. Just falling off of a motorbike on a sluggish journey — equivalent to circling a cul-de-sac — can go away you fairly banged up.

“If you’re on a bike, there’s a need to wear a helmet,” states Dr. Waters. “You don’t have to be in a high-speed crash to cause significant damage. If you land wrong on your head and you don’t have a helmet on, there’s a chance you could get a serious injury.”

Bicycle helmet legal guidelines

A worldwide review of bicycle helmet laws just a few years in the past famous that 28 international locations have helmet-wearing necessities on the books. Many goal youthful riders, however 9 nations have legal guidelines that apply to all ages.

In addition, about 250 smaller jurisdictions (equivalent to states and cities) have handed legal guidelines calling for helmets to be worn.

Bike helmet security requirements

All bike helmets aren’t created equal. That’s why it’s essential to pick out a helmet that’s met established safety standards. Look for a sticker or label that claims the gear is licensed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Additional labels could point out whether or not the helmet handed security assessments to get the seal of approval from organizations equivalent to:

MIPS helmets

Want to take the safety of your noggin to a different degree? Then, search for a helmet utilizing MIPS know-how, advises Dr. Waters.

MIPS is an acronym for “multi-direction impact protection system.” The security system presents safety towards rotational forces should you fall. “There’s a little give between layers that helps to absorb the force,” he says.

How to correctly match a helmet

Just plopping a helmet in your noggin isn’t sufficient to forestall harm. You additionally want to ensure your helmet matches correctly. “If it doesn’t fit right, it won’t be able to do its job,” notes Dr. Waters.

Here are six tips for getting a protected match on your bike helmet:

  1. When the chin strap is buckled, a bicycle helmet ought to have a comfortable however comfy match. You shouldn’t have the ability to transfer the helmet backward and forward or up and down.
  2. The helmet ought to sit degree in your head (not tilted again) and relaxation low in your brow.
  3. The backside fringe of the helmet ought to be one to 2 finger widths above your eyebrow.
  4. Another method to examine correct positioning: Your eyes ought to have the ability to see the sting of the helmet when wanting upward. “The front rim should be barely visible to your eyes,” says Dr. Waters.
  5. The straps of the helmet have to be even and may kind a “Y” that comes collectively proper on the backside of your earlobe. The straps ought to be cosy towards your head.
  6. The buckled chin strap ought to go away solely sufficient room for a single finger to be inserted between the buckle and chin. When opening your mouth, you must have the ability to really feel the helmet pull down in your head.

Do bike helmets expire or go unhealthy?

Bicycle helmets could also be sturdy, however they don’t final endlessly. Materials naturally degrade over time with each sweaty mile you pedal. How you take care of your helmet and the place you retailer it makes a distinction, too.

The CPSC recommends changing bicycle helmets inside 5 to 10 years after buy or sooner relying on producer pointers.

Replacements additionally ought to be bought should you see proof of:

  • Cracks within the shell or liner. A helmet that’s been by way of a severe fall or crash ought to be retired from use given the chance that it might have sustained hidden structural injury.
  • A crushed or cracked foam liner. Some foam liners are designed for a single onerous affect. Like an airbag in a automobile, they gained’t do the identical job protecting twice.
  • Worn-out straps. A strap that doesn’t … effectively, strap the helmet down securely is a bit problematic. Replacing straps additionally isn’t suggested.
  • Missing pads are different elements. 100% security requires 100% of the elements.

“The industry is constantly improving, so if you have an older helmet, odds are, there is better technology available now,” says Dr. Waters. “If you have any questions about your helmet, look to buy another one to upgrade.”

Are used bike helmets OK?

It’s finest to keep away from shopping for a used bike helmet and even passing a helmet down from one sibling to a different. “Helmets adapt to the head that they’re on,” says Dr. Waters. “What fits someone else well probably won’t protect you as it should.”

Tips to encourage kids to put on a motorbike helmet

Want your child to put on a motorbike helmet? Start by setting instance. “You can’t tell your 7-year-old how important it is to wear a helmet and then get on your own bike without one,” says Dr. Waters.

In addition:

  • Start the helmet-wearing behavior early. “Behaviors are learned,” he provides. “Put a helmet on your child when they start riding a tricycle. Let them grow up knowing it’s the right thing to do.”
  • Allow your youngster to decide on their helmet. “Kids are more likely to wear a helmet if they picked it out or decorated it.” Just be sure it matches proper and appears cool.
  • Talk about why helmets are essential. Explain the security the reason why a helmet ought to be worn each time you go on a journey.

Can bike helmets be used for different functions?

Bicycle helmets are designed particularly for impacts that would happen falling off a motorbike. But multisport helmets could also be used to guard your head should you’re biking or doing actions equivalent to in-line skating, curler skating or driving a kick scooter.

In common, bike helmets shouldn’t be used as a catch-all piece of security gear. (Want to be taught extra? Check out this CPSD information on really helpful helmets for various actions.)

Riding off: Final ideas

There was a time when only a few individuals wore bike helmets. But that’s altering. Although it’s extra frequent to see helmets on cyclists, utilization numbers nonetheless stay far too low.

“It has become more socially acceptable to wear a helmet,” says Dr. Waters. “It doesn’t look unusual anymore — and that’s a good and safe change.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *