Here are some tips on how to choose a helmet, wear it and take care of it.
1. You don’t have to buy the best bike helmet money can buy to protect yourself. If it complies with Safety Standards like CPSC, Snell, or the CE (Europe), you’re good to go. A sticker on the inside of the helmet will tell you about its compliance. Don’t remove the stickers if you ever plan on participating in a race. The race organizers sometimes demand that you show them those stickers.
2. Before buying, make sure your bike helmet fits snugly. It’s important that you feel comfortable in it. A helmet shouldn’t feel too tight nor too loose. Fasten the straps tightly and try taking the helmet off your head by pulling and twisting. If it comes off, put it aside and try another one. The helmet should stay fastened even if a car hits you. Getting hit by a car usually is a 2 step process. The car hits you, then you fall on the ground. So that helmet better stay on your head!
3. Take good care of your bike helmet. Throwing it around might damage it without you noticing it. A damaged helmet won’t protect you when you need protection the most!
4. Avoid wearing a dark helmet, especially at night. Pick a brightly colored one that can be seen by car drivers at dusk and at night. And if you want to buy stickers for your bicycle helmet, why not make them reflective and boost your safety? Also consider sticking some lights on your helmet and always leave them on while riding.
5. Replace it if you fall off your bike or after an accident. It could be damaged and might fail you the next time.
6. Replace your bike helmet every 5-10 years. You can keep using it for a lot more than 5 years if you don’t ride your bike a lot. You can extend the life of your helmet if you store it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Again, don’t throw your helmet around a lot!
7. Fasten the helmet straps when bicycling! It WILL fall off the first chance it gets if you don’t.
8. Wear it so that it lies flat on your head, not tilted back. Your forehead should be covered by the helmet, but it shouldn’t obstruct your field of vision.
9. Wear your bike helmet every single time you ride a bike. Even if it’s a 2-minute ride!
10. Avoid buying one of those helmets with aerodynamic, teardrop shape. They tend to shift and rotate the biker’s head in case of a rear impact. They might even get removed from your head, leaving it unprotected.
I hope those tips were useful to you. If you have something to add, please comment!