Importance of wearing a helmet

Riding a bicycle has always been a popular mode of transportation due to it being eco-friendly, reducing our carbon footprint, as well as a good way to exercise. While cycling is a great way to get around, it has its risks and dangers. Accidents while biking on the road or falling down can lead to serious head injuries, making it super important for cyclists to protect their heads when riding. The best way for cyclists to do this is to wear a helmet. 

Vulnerability of the Head

When a bicyclist is hit by a car while riding their bicycle, they usually get the full physical impact of the crash due to the bicycle not having any airbags, protection or restraints that cars normally do. It is common for a cyclist to sustain multiple injuries, with their head injury being more serious compared to their other injuries. 

Common Head Injuries

  • Traumatic Brain injury (TBI): Major injury to the brain from trauma of blunt force, severe shake, or even penetration. Causes cognitive, physical and/or behavioral impairments. 
  • Concussions: Mild TBI where symptoms can last for weeks or months. Causes temporary disruption of normal brain functions.  
  • Skull fracture: May involve depressions in the skull or cracks where pieces of the skull can crack off or even shift inwards. Shifting skull fractures may put pressure on your brain causing it to tear or bleed resulting in a TBI. 
  • Hematoma: Blood pooling and clotting on or inside the brain. It can increase pressure, which can be life threatening. 
  • Maxillofacial trauma: Fractures to your face such as cheekbones, eye sockets, nose, forehead and jaw.

If you experience any of these head injuries after a bike accident in Fresno, California, contact a local Fresno bike accident attorney for help recovering. 

two boys riding a bike

Helmet Effectiveness

A systematic review of five studies, published in the Cochrane Library, found that helmets reduced the risk by 63-88% for head, brain, and severe brain injury among bicyclists. This is important because when riding a bike, you can not control the external factors of a car hitting you, but you can control the type of protection you have in the event a crash occurs. 

Helmets are designed to protect your head and brain by absorbing the impact of a collision or fall, cushioning the head and preventing direct contact with hard surfaces. 

Choosing the Right Helmet

Bike helmets are designed to absorb a single impact, so if you’ve been involved in an accident, get a new helmet, even when yours looks ok. If you have not been in an accident, you should replace your helmet every 5 years, as pollution, the sun as well as weathering may weaken components. 

The most important thing to consider when buying a helmet is its fit on your head. A good fitting helmet should be snug, but not super tight. If you feel you are in between sizes, always opt for the smaller one. 

Three types of helmets to choose from to satisfy your type of biking.

  • Recreational bike helmets: basic impact protection for casual riding
  • Road bike helmets: designed to be lightweight. Well ventilated and aerodynamic.
  • Mountain bike helmets: well ventilated, extended rear head coverage as mountain bikers are more likely to fall backwards.

Fresno Helmet Mandates and Community Standards

According to California vehicle code 21212, anyone under the age of 18 must wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards of either the ASTM- American Society for Testing and Materials or CPSC- United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

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    Fresno is known as one of the top 30 best cities for bicycling, and because of this, it is also known for the dangers of biking. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office released a page full of bike safety for when you bike around town. 

    Education and Awareness

    It’s important to understand why we wear bicycle helmets rather than just knowing that “you are supposed to wear a helmet when riding.” People should be educated with information regarding choosing the correct helmet, how the mechanics of helmets work, and the potential consequences of neglecting to wear a bicycle helmet.

    Encouraging All Helmet Use

    While many people associate helmets as something that children wear, it is equally important for adults to wear these protective helmets as well. While the law for helmet wearing only applies to those 18 and younger, that is because children don’t understand the concept of how wearing a helmet can protect your life, while adults should already understand that wearing a helmet is for their safety and thus can make the choice for themselves. 

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    Importance of wearing a helmet — Bike Hacks