How do you know if your helmet is up to par? It may seem simple and obvious how to wear a helmet, but make sure you don’t fall for any of these safety traps. To protect your brain, it is not only important to wear a helmet, but it must also fit properly and be designed to offer maximum protection. In this article, accident lawyer, Jeffrey Meldon discuses 11 important ways to protect your skull in a bicycle accident.
Although Florida only requires that bicyclists under the age of 16 wear a helmet, cyclists of all ages should wear a properly fitted helmet. Protect your most precious asset-your brain!
As an experienced accident injury attorney, I have seen the tragic consequences of traumatic brain injury resulting from cyclists’ failure to take this easy safety precaution.
So, how do you know if your helmet is up to par? Here are 11 ways to protect your head from injury in a bike accident:
- Achieve the “mushroom” look. Your goal is to find a rounded, padded helmet with a slick outer shell. Avoid the “aero tail” trend. An elongated aero tail can catch and snag on impact, leaving your skull unprotected. Did you know an aero tail won’t reduce air drag unless riding at more than 20 mph?
- Brighter colors are better. While black and sleek dark colors are fashionable, they are also least visible. Look for a white or brightly colored helmet. Add reflective tape for increased street visibility.
- A durable strap and buckle are essential. A strap must endure the primary impact (car or tree) and any subsequent collision (road). A metal “D” ring is still the best way to prevent loosening while riding. Replace broken buckles and avoid plastic buckles that may break.
- Ventilation is key, especially in Florida heat. However, too much ventilation is not best. Lots of ventilation means a helmet with less foam padding. Wear a sweat band if necessary.
- Mirrors, visors, and lights must snap off and break away on impact. A helmet should slide in a collision. Limit protrusions or ridges that may snag, catch, or gouge. Do not mount attachments with screws.
- New helmets must carry a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certification. A used helmet should have an ASTM, Snell, or ANSI certification. Look for stickers inside the helmet.
- Expensive does not mean better impact performance-just more money. Models may range from $10 at discount stores to $200 at specialty shops. As long as they carry the CPSC sticker, then they meet the same impact standard.
- Trash a helmet involved in a collision. Do not re-use a helmet that has been in a crash-it won’t be better the second time around. The foam is damaged even if undetectable to the naked eye.
- How does your helmet stack up? Review the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute’s annual recommendations from 1993 to present (2009).
- A helmet must be properly fitted! Even a helmet with excellent safety ratings won’t protect you if it isn’t properly fitted. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and see our tips to achieve a safe fitting.
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We at Meldon Law strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of an accident or in the recovery from one.
We are experienced personal injury attorneys, trial lawyers, negotiators, litigators, paralegals, and staff that have been proudly working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, and the rest of North Central Florida and North Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, and motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
Based on Jeffrey Meldon’s, founder of Meldon Law, over 40 years of helping accident victims get justice and a fair shake from the insurance companies, he has written the consumer guide book, Seven Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident Case. You can request your free, no obligation copy right now, or contact our office for your complimentary copy sent to you today.
Contact Meldon Law at (800) 373-8000 or (352) 373-8000 immediately if you have been involved in a serious auto, truck, or motorcycle accident. We are in your community, have the experience and resources required to work towards obtaining a fair settlement for you – we are here to help you.