Why Even Wear a Helmet?

…if you’re not going to wear it the right way? I’m not really sure. But this has been bothering me lately. I’m seeing more and more cyclists out wearing helmets that aren’t on properly. I guess I just don’t get it. To err in their credit maybe they just haven’t been taught how to wear it properly. So shame on whoever sold them the helmet, or those who ride with them. So many people I see out just slap on the helmet and let it slip to the back of their heads. In the event they were in a rear end accident and landed on the back of their head they would be VERY well protected. But if they were projected forward (think about the momentum of the device they’re riding) it could be catastrophic because there would be zero to minimal protection.

This winter I had the privilege of joining ACA, Social Cycling and other groups out at a local elementary school to kick off their Freiker program. As part of it ACA donated helmets for all the kids. Not only that, but we properly fitted them, and taught them the correct way to wear them. So I thought I’d recap on my blog here to help the folks out I keep seeing. So for you, guy who commutes everyday around Round Rock with it improperly on your head and to the whole family of 4 I saw this weekend all with helmets on incorrectly, this is for you-

  1. Wear the helmet flat on the top of your head. You should be able to look up and see the brim of the helmet. Make sure the helmet covers the top of your forehead without tilting forward or backward.
  2. The straps form a V shape under each ear. You can easily check this by making a ‘peace’ sign with your hand.
  3. Fasten the chin strap below your chin — not to the side or along your jaw. There should be room for a couple of fingers, but you DO want it snug. Take a big yawn, the helmet should pull down on your head, if not, repeat step 2.
  4. If the bicycle helmet rocks from side to side or front to back, use the sizing pads that came with the helmet to get a better fit. Some of the newer helmets have an adjustable back which makes it easy to get the helmet snug without additional padding.

There are lots of great resources online that go into greater detail if needed, but that’s the gist. I really hope that the cycling community will continue to rally together and encourage cycling education, one part of which is safety. And especially if you’re a parent or older sibling please pass this information on and set a good example by wearing a helmet yourself. A well-designed and properly fitting bike helmet can prevent up to 88 percent of bicycle-related brain injuries, according to an industry estimate. I won’t go into the ins & outs of buying a helmet, there’s a lot to choose from. Just look for the certification sticker from ASTM, Snell, or ANSI. You don’t have to spend more to be protected more, all have to adhere to the safety standards. The more $$ you spend the lighter it can be, more aerodynamic, more airflow, warranty etc. My final thought is this, if you’re in an accident replace your helmet ASAP. Stay safe out there peeps, there’s a lot at stake.

  1. Oh my goodness, I JUST saw this and almost blogged the same thing. A family of four out to ride and dad was wearing his like a yamaka. I wanted to roll down my window…

    Great post!

    • Tim
    • June 3rd, 2010

    Great post.

  2. Have you ever seen people wearing the helmet backwards? I have. Great post.

  3. Excellent way of explaining, and good piece of
    writing to obtain data regarding my presentation subject, which i am going to convey in school.

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