Helmets seem easy enough to wear. People just put their helmets on their head and fasten the buckle. However, what many people do not realize is that the fit of their helmet is just as important as wearing one.
People with ill-fitting helmets may have a higher risk of injury if they crash. Wobbly, loose or improperly adjusted headwear may not only cause discomfort but fail to optimally protect riders who have an accident.
Adjust for safety
When people go to buy a new helmet, they should plan plenty of time to try on different styles and find the right one. Depending on their riding style, the shape of their head and their personal preferences, they may want to compare options to find one that meets all of their expectations. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a properly fitted helmet should meet certain criteria including the following:
- The left buckle should line up with the center of the chin
- Chin straps fastened to allow no more than two fingers to fit underneath
- The helmet should sit level and approximately two finger-lengths from the eyebrow
- The interior sizing ring should fit snugly around the head
- Sliders for both side straps should adjust to form a “V” under and slightly in front of the ears
Dress to ride
A helmet is arguably the most important piece of safety gear a cyclist can wear. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a head injury happens in three out of every four bicycle accidents. In conjunction with a helmet, people should also wear bright, reflective clothing. They should wear sunglasses if it is bright outside. Proper footwear, gloves and seat padding can also protect cyclists and make their ride more comfortable and enjoyable.