Most people agree that it is very necessary to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, but few people acknowledge the fact that it is also of great importance to wear a helmet while riding bicycle. Though some might be aware of the necessity of wearing helmets for bicyclists, they think it is only necessary for those professional bicyclists, and citizens like us who just ride to do grocery shopping or relax can free from this. Believe it or not, no matter what kinds of bicycle you’re riding, and no matter where you’re going, wearing helmets is vital and essential.
So how does a helmet work? Can it really protect ourselves from injury? Let’s figure out together.
How Do Helmets Protect Your Head Physics?
Firstly, a helmet reduces the peak energy of a sharp impact, which requires a layer of stiff foam to cushion the blow.
Most bicycle helmets use crushable expanded polystyrene (EPS, a soft light plastic material that prevents heat or cold from passing through it, used especially for making containers), the picnic cooler foam. EPS works well, but it can’t recover when being crushed. Expanded polypropylene (EPP, a hard light plastic material) foam does recover, but is less common. Collapsible plastic liner materials recently appeared and offer promise. The spongy foam pads inside a helmet are for comfort and fitness, not for impact protection.
Secondly, the helmet must stay steadily on one’s head. When an accident happens, one might be hit more than once – usually a car first, and then the road, or perhaps trees on the side. So a helmet needs a strong strap and buckle to improve its stability. It should sit level on one’s head and cover as much as possible. If the helmet comes off or slips enough to leave large areas of one’s head unprotected, adjust the straps or try another helmet, because we all know that not everyone’s head shares the same size. Keep the strap comfortably snug when riding. The straps hold your helmet on, not the rear stabilizer.
10 Reasons Why You Should Wear Helmets While Riding Bicycle
Protect Your Head
According to the survey, the average careful bicyclist may still crash about every 4500 miles. Head injuries are one of the main causes for 75% of the bicyclists’ death, nearly 700 annually. Medical research shows that bike helmets mitigate most of the cyclists’ head injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicycle helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective in reducing head and brain injuries. It is worth noting that even a low-speed fall from a bicycle trail can scramble one’s brain.
the helmet after an accident
Keep Your Head Dry and Warm/Cool
Some people prefer to execute their riding tour at night when the surroundings are usually wet and chilly. Wearing a helmet may help to keep your head warm and dry, thus keeping you in good condition for cycling. If you ride on hot weathers, don’t worry, the vents on the helmet help your head to transfer heat.
cycling helmet with visor
Obey Legal Regulations
There is no federal law in American requiring bicycle helmets. However, the states and localities below began adopting laws in 1987. Most are limited to children under18, but there are 49 all- ages laws. At present, 22 states including the District of Columbia have statewide laws requiring helmet-wearing while riding bicycles.
Improve Your Visibility
When the weather is not that ideal, and precipitation si part of your bike ride, a helmet can improve your ability to see other drivers and cars on the road, as well as potential hazards. A helmet with a visor can keep your eyes away from snow, rain or sand etc. At the same time, it can mitigate the effects of sunlight to your eyes since it shades your face.
Improve Your Visibility For Others on The Road
Not only will a helmet help to improve your visibility (i.e. help you be able to see others), but wearing a helmet can also contribute to making you more visible to other drivers. When choosing a helmet, opt for a brightly colored one. Or, add reflective tape to your helmet to help drivers to see you when it is dark out.
The helmet with reflective visor
Protect Your Face
A helmet does not only protect your head and brain when you’re riding, but also protect your face. Although face injuries are not as horrible as brain injuries could be, it can be painful as much as it could. Want to maintain your handsome or beautiful look? Then forget your hair style and wear a helmet.
Avoid High Medical Charges
If you get involved in a bike accident, while you didn’t wear a helmet when the accident happened, your risk of having gigantic medical bills is much higher. These medical bills might not only be immediate—i.e. emergency room costs, costs of emergency surgeries, etc.—but also long-lasting. If you suffer a brain injury, you may be unable to function on your remaining years, or may require intensive and long-term therapy, which can be costly.
Set an Example For Others
If you have child or children, wearing a helmet is not only for your health and safety, but also for setting an example for your child or kids. By laying emphasis on the use of helmet at home, your kids’ life may be saved. According to The Childre’s Safety Network, in 2005, kids under 15 accounted for 53% of bicycle injuries treated in emergency room departments. At the same time, your behavior will influence more the other people, like your friends, family members, and neighbors, encouraging them the use of helmet.
Reduce Your Risk of Being Found Partially At-fault in a Claim for Damages
Just like the case that a pedestrian was hit by a car while crossing the road without using the zebra crossing, if an accident happened to you but you didn’t wear a helmet, and the fault was the other driver’s, you might still be partly responsible for the accident and you might have to pay for your lost. Always wearing a helmet may help you to reduce this risk.
Wearing a helmet does not have to be an unattractive or bland thing to do; you can show off your personal style by choosing a helmet that fits your personality, or adding stickers, decals, etc. to it. To incentivize your children to wear their helmets, let them choose their color, design, etc. as well.
Cool helmet with reflective visor