According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emergency rooms across the country treat about 600,000 people every year for bicycle-related injuries.
Many bicycle riders see the overall value of helmets, but the type of helmet you wear is important—and may just save your life.
Of the 600,000 people injured in bicycle-related crashes annually, the CDC reports that 824 die. The major cause of death in such cases is a head injury. In fact, irreversible brain damage is common in bicycle crashes and often results in lifelong disability.
A good fit
In West Virginia, the law calls for bicycle riders below the age of 15 to wear helmets. And although helmets are not mandatory for adults, many wear them—but what about fit? Proper fit is essential. Here are some pointers from a 2018 Consumer Reports article:
- The front edge of the helmet should rest above your eyebrows no more than an inch
- The skin at your temples should wrinkle when you move the helmet from side to side and front to back
- Open your mouth halfway—your chin strap is tight enough if the helmet presses down on your head
- The helmet’s front and back straps should meet in a “V” below and in front of the ear
According to the article, “When it’s on your head correctly, it could save your life.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) confirms that most of the bicycle-related injuries that emergency room personnel treat every year are brain injuries. Treating them can become enormously expensive, but the victim of such an injury has a right to expect compensation to cover current and future medical costs, pain and suffering and more.