A Pennsylvania Biker’s Guide to Choosing a Safety Helmet

helmetIn Pennsylvania, children age 12 and under must wear a helmet when riding a bike. Adult are not required to wear a helmet, but wearing a helmet is a good idea for any bicyclist. Head injury is the leading cause of bicycle accident death in Pennsylvania. A helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent.

Helmets don’t prevent bicycle accidents, but the right bicycle helmet can be an important source of protection in a crash and it can reduce the severity of injuries. However, choosing a bike helmet isn’t easy. Bike helmets are available in wide variety of styles and price ranges. How do you know that the helmet you choose will provide the protection you need?

How to choose a bike helmet

You want a bicycle helmet that fits well and will provide plenty of protection in an accident. To choose a safe helmet, follow these tips from the bicycle accident attorneys at Petrelli Law.

  1. Choose a helmet that is certified to meet minimum safety standards. Choose a helmet that has been certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the Snell Memorial Foundation (higher standards). Certified helmets will have a sticker inside.
  2. Try the helmet on. Helmets come in many sizes. Don’t buy a bicycle helmet until you know that it fits properly. The helmet should fit snugly and cover the top of your forehead. The straps should make a V shape under each ear and the chin strap should fasten below your chin. The helmet should not move more than one inch in any direction when fastened. You may have to use sizing pads to adjust the fit.
  3. Make sure the helmet allows you to see. Take a good look around in all directions. If the bike helmet blocks your vision, it isn’t the right helmet for you.
  4. Choose a helmet that will help you be seen. We recommend a bright colored helmet with reflective trim.

A bike helmet is an investment in your safety.  If properly cared for, a bike helmet will last five years. However, you should throw out your bicycle helmet and replace it with a new one after a bike accident. While the helmet may look undamaged, the impact of the accident can affect the internal structure. The helmet may not be able to protect you in a second crash.

Petrelli Law represents injured bicyclists in Pennsylvania. Please call (215) 309-4034 to schedule your free case evaluation. There is no obligation.