Putting on a bike helmet may seem like a piece of cake, but many cyclists don’t wear it correctly. If you don’t adjust the straps or secure the clips under your chin, the helmet may fall off your head in the middle of a challenging bike ride. This could lead to a head injury or even death.
This article will tell you how to wear a bike helmet correctly. We’ll also cover the most common helmet mistakes cyclists make.
How to Wear a Bike Helmet Properly
As fun as riding a bike can be, it’s also dangerous. In the U.S., up to 500,000 cyclists end up in the emergency room due to bicycle accidents. Not only that, but around 800 cyclists die in these accidents. Most cyclists who get hurt in bike accidents suffer from a head injury, which can usually be prevented with a helmet. In fact, the risk of head injury can be reduced by 85% by wearing a bike helmet.
Many bike owners realize the importance of bike helmet safety and wear them regularly. However, some make the mistake of buying a helmet that doesn’t fit. Some may not even know how to wear a bike helmet properly. Not wearing a bike helmet correctly can be just as dangerous as not wearing one. That’s why not wearing a bike helmet is illegal in 22 states and 202 localities in the U.S.
Wearing a bike helmet is necessary because the padding is inserted between the helmet and your head. It’s usually placed on the front and back of the helmet’s inside and sides. Not only do helmets protect you from possible accidents and head injury, but they also shield your head from the weather and low branches you may encounter.
Once you figure out how to wear a bike helmet correctly the first time, you’ll be able to put it on in less than 10 seconds.
Firstly, loosen the straps on the helmet before you put it on your head. The next step is to put the helmet on the top of your head. The helmet should be placed to cover most of your head and forehead. Finally, buckle the chin strap and any other clips.
Make sure the helmet is secured correctly before sitting on your bike. You haven’t put it on the right way if it’s too tight or too loose. To ensure it fits properly, move it with your hands to see if it shifts or stays in place. At this point, the helmet shouldn’t move up and down or side to side. Then, make any necessary adjustments for a perfect fit. You should be able to fit one finger between the buckle strap and your chin.
Not all helmets have the same securing system, but they’re more or less similar and easy to use. Some also come with straps that should go behind your ears. It’s essential to place them securely behind your earlobes.
Choosing the Right Helmet
Bike helmets are available in various sizes, designs, and price ranges. Popular bike helmet brands like Bern, Lazer, Smith, Scott, Giro, Bell, Schwinn, and Garneau can be found at bicycle shops, sports equipment stores, and online.
The first thing to look for when buying a bike helmet is a Consumer Product Safety Committee (CPSC) sticker, as all bike helmets sold in the U.S. must have this sticker. You’ll find it on the inside of the helmet.
The most crucial factor when looking for a bike helmet is how well it fits your head. It’s supposed to sit comfortably on your head, and it mustn’t be too tight, small, loose, or large. Next, place two fingers above your eyebrows horizontally to ensure the helmet offers the right fit. That’s the space between your eyebrows and the bottom edge of the helmet.
Another way to see if the helmet is the perfect fit is to look up. If it’s the right fit, you’ll be able to see the bottom edge of the helmet.
When it comes to the chin buckle strap, it needs to be pushed back near your throat. It might slip above your mouth if positioned directly below your chin.
The final helmet test is to try to pull or twist the helmet off your head. If it’s not budging, you’re good to go.
Other features are comfort, ventilation, adjustment options, and ease of use. Of course, if you’re unsure which helmet to pick, you can always ask the shop assistant to help you choose.
Common Helmet Mistakes
When buying a bike helmet for the first time, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Many people make the mistake of choosing a bike helmet based on its appearance. You may pick a helmet just because you like the color or because it matches your bike.
Do not tilt the helmet back when you put it on your head. Many cyclists do this believing the helmet will bother them or they won’t be able to see. However, if you tilt the helmet back, your forehead won’t be protected, increasing your chances of head injury in case of an accident.
If you’re buying a helmet for a child, it needs to fit them perfectly. Unfortunately, parents sometimes think they need to get a bigger size so their child can grow into it, as they do with shoes. When it comes to helmets, it’s best to avoid this practice.
If your helmet is cracked or chipped, you should replace it with a new one. Even though a crack on the helmet might seem minor, the helmet may be damaged on the inside.
Another common mistake bike riders make is not checking how their helmets fit before they go on their bike. Therefore, the helmet must fit properly before you go anywhere near your bike.
Although you can buy a bike helmet online, it’s highly recommended you do it in person. Even though you’ll be able to see the exact measurements of the bike helmet on the website, it’s still better to try it on and see if it fits.
Another common helmet mistake is to wear a hat under the helmet. You might think this will increase its protection, but it will just make the helmet too tight or slide around, and you won’t be able to wear it without adjusting it the next time you wear it without a hat.
The Importance of Wearing a Bike Helmet the Right Way
Not wearing a helmet when riding a bike is the same as not wearing a seat belt when driving. Not only do many cyclists avoid wearing helmets, but some aren’t even sure how to wear a bike helmet. Putting on a bike helmet is a simple but necessary step every cyclist should take before they get on their bike.