To say that there has been a rash of bicycle crashes in the Madison area this summer is a bit of an understatement. There’s been a bunch of them…there have been serious injuries…and there have been fatalities.
It’s one of the scary things about cycling | when you come up against a car or truck that weighs a few thousand pounds | you’re going to lose. Every time.
So, you need to do what you can to make yourself safe when you’re out on the road. While I don’t want to see helmets mandated for everyday riding, it does seem to be a fairly simple thing that you can do to protect yourself | kinda like wearing a seatbelt in the car | it takes about 3 seconds to put it on, and in a crash it just might save your life. There are a few things that you should keep in mind with your bicycle helmet…
â|º Buy from a reputable bike shop. The staff at the store can help you make sure the helmet that you are getting is the right helmet for your use, and they can help make sure that it fits you properly.
â|º Replace your helmet every couple years. The styrofoam breaks down over time and becomes less effective. Light and heat can also affect the usefulness of the helmet.
â|º Replace your helmet after a crash. This might seem obvious, but then again sometimes after a crash there are no visible signs of damage to the helmet. The helmet is designed to crack on impact | a much better option than your head cracking on impact. The cracks might not be obvious, they might be hidden in the styrofoam core. Once the helmet has cracked, it won’t perform the same in the future | so even if you don’t see any obvious damage after a crash, it’s best to get a new helmet.
â|º More expensive does not = safer. All helmets must meet safety guidelines set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission | regardless of price. What you get with more expensive helmets is lighter weight, more areodynamic design, better venting…and of course fashion. These are things that might be worth the money to you, but that money is probably not making you any safer.