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The type of helmet you wear might reduce the potential for injury

Bicycle riders abound in Southern California. In addition to riding for the fun of it, many people use their bicycles as alternative transportation to get to work.

Some bicyclists put on helmets they have owned for years. However, the type you wear could minimize an injury or even prevent one if you should crash.

A little background

According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, CPSC, brain injuries represent most of the 80,000 bicycle-related injuries seen each year in hospital emergency rooms. The state of California requires any rider under the age of 18 to wear a helmet and it must be properly fitted and fastened. A note about this even deserved mention in a Consumer Reports article: “…when it’s sitting on your head correctly, it could save your life.”

Better design

The Institute for Highway Safety partnered with Virginia Tech for research that led to the development of a helmet ratings program. The goal was to help cyclists make informed decisions that could help reduce the potential for injuries. Their findings showed that helmet style is important. Road helmets with their elongated, aerodynamic shape performed better than round helmets with thicker shells and fewer vents.

Safety first

Consumer Reports encourages care in selecting a bicycle helmet since a proper fit can help in preventing a serious head injury, such as a skull fracture. It is also pointed out that helmets are only designed to withstand an impact once and replacement should follow a crash. No matter how much time you spend on your bicycle, avoiding injury is mission number one, and wearing the correct helmet could make all the difference in terms of a safe ride.