Prevention is vital when it comes to avoiding a crash while riding your bicycle. It is up to you to take the necessary precautions, like to wear a helmet to ensure you stay safe on the road or along a trail riding a bike. However,
Is It Necessary To Wear A Helmet While Riding A Bike?
A helmet is necessary when riding a bike because it can minimize the risk of suffering head injuries by up to 85% from a bicycle crash accident. In fact, newer designs incorporate technologies like MIPS and use sturdy materials for the ultimate shock absorption, preventing severe head injuries.
Increase your chances of walking away unhurt from a crash by putting on the proper gear and observing the safety tips.
Why Should You Wear A Bicycle Helmet? (5 Reasons)
All cyclists, whether beginners, experienced, adults, or kids, should wear bike helmets for their safety. Cycling can be a dangerous activity that can cause grave injuries and even fatalities.
Besides safety, bike helmets also have certain benefits that I will discuss in this section.
1. It Protects Your Face And Head
Your head and face are most susceptible to injuries when riding a bicycle, and helmets help mitigate the severity if any, if you get into an accident. You wouldn’t want your head hitting a stone or your face getting shoved on the pavement in case you fall off your bike or hit something.
Protect yourself by wearing a bike helmet whenever you go riding. Your helmet will absorb the impact, making it an effective means to avoid or lessen the effects of an accident.
2. Increases Visibility
Riding in adverse weather conditions like blistering sun, rain, or snow can be challenging because of reduced visibility. This is risky because to ride your bicycle properly; you need to see what’s in front of you to make proper decisions.
A helmet with a visor keeps the sun glare, snow, rain, and blinding headlights when riding at night, ensuring your visibility isn’t compromised.
In addition, a helmet with a built-in reflector comes in handy when cycling at night or along poorly lit trails because it allows motorists to see you quickly.
When shopping for a bike helmet, go for a brightly colored option like the Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet available in multiple colors, including blue, green camo, blue/purple, red, teal, and pink/white.
It has a removable visor, adjustable chin, side straps, and is excellent for children, youths, and adults.
3. Barrier Against Bad Weather
Your helmet will offer a certain level of protection if you get caught cycling in harsh weather. For example, it will ensure the sun’s UV rays won’t get to your face or head and function as a shield against hail, snow, or heavy downpour.
It will also trap heat, preventing it from escaping, thus keeping you warm when cold.
4. It’s Aesthetically Appealing
A bike helmet brings together your entire biking outfit, making you look the part. With abundant options at your disposal, you can pick a design and colors that suit your personality and style.
Your helmet doesn’t have to look dull because you can personalize it by putting stickers and decals. You can even paint your bike helmet if you want specific colors and patterns on it.
5. Set An Example For Kids
Although the importance of bike helmets is widely known, not everyone is keen on wearing them when going for a ride. You may not change the mind of other grownups, but kids learning by watching what adults do.
If your kid sees you wearing a helmet every time you ride your bicycle, they will realize its importance and start wearing theirs. Additionally, letting your children choose the bike helmet designs, patterns, and colors incentivizes them to wear helmets.
Why Do People Not Wear Cycle Helmets?
The debate for and against wearing bike helmets is controversial, with both sides putting across their reasons. Having covered the bases to wear helmets, let’s also explore what makes some people choose not to wear bike helmets.
Some people don’t wear helmets because helmets can make riders take more risks, are hard to carry, uncool, mess up the hair, obstruct your vision, and add weight.
1. Helmets Make Riders Take More Risk
You may think you are completely protected when cycling with a helmet on, and that may make you cycle at higher speeds that could put you in danger.
However, it’s essential to remember that while bike helmets offer protection, they shouldn’t give you a reason to ride recklessly.
You can still ride your bicycle carefully while wearing a bike helmet.
2. They Can Obstruct Your Vision
Some people argue that bike helmets are restrictive and can bar your vision. This makes looking over your shoulder to look at the traffic behind you or making a sharp turn effectively tricky.
3. Helmets Are Hard To Carry
Since bikes are not made with places to store helmets, you have to find a place to keep yours once you get to your destination or carry it wherever you go, which can be a nuisance. This makes some people prefer to ride without wearing it.
Alternatively, you can go for a foldable bike helmet which you can easily keep in your bag because it’s compact.
4. Helmets Mess Your Hair
Your helmet is bound to spoil your hairstyle because you have to tuck your hair in the helmet or hold it in a ponytail.
This is a drawback of wearing a bike helmet that many people wrestle with and why some cyclists don’t wear helmets.
5. Helmets Can Feel Bulky
You may feel the added weight on your head when wearing a bike helmet, making you feel uncomfortable.
6. They Look Uncool
While some riders feel great wearing bike helmets, others want to show their whole face and hair when riding their bicycles. Therefore, they may feel uncool in a bike helmet.
These reasons are enough to deter some cyclists from wearing helmets, preferring to go with the freedom and convenience of hitting the trail or road without one. However, your safety should come first, so choose to wear a bike helmet.
Is It Illegal Not To Wear Cycle Helmet? (Important Facts)
It’s hard to keep with the laws surrounding bike helmets in the United States because they are strange and scattered.
Most states don’t bother enacting these laws and often leave the choice to pass or not to municipalities, leading to huge disparities.
There are no comprehensive federal laws on bike helmets and pretty little commonality among states. Currently, 22 states, including Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, and Florida, have bike helmet laws, while the remaining 38, such as Arizona, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, and Nevada, don’t.
However, towns, counties, and cities in the states without bike helmet laws can enact their bicycle helmet laws. For instance, Alaska doesn’t have any bike helmet laws, but riders under 15 years old must wear bike helmets when riding in public areas in Anchorage, Alaska, or incur a $25 fine after getting a warning.
Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia enforce universal helmet use by cyclists, while countries like Canada and France apply partial laws. On the other hand, Netherlands and Denmark, the two countries with solid cycling cultures, don’t compel cyclists to wear a bike helmet and have the lowest level of use.
1. Do Bike Helmets Make A Difference?
Bike helmets minimize the risks of suffering a skull fracture or severe brain injury in the event of an accident that causes brain injury.
The American Journal of Surgery report also indicated that riders wearing bike helmets are less likely to succumb to injury by 44% and less likely to break their facial bones by 31%.
2. Is It Worth Wearing A Bicycle Helmet?
Wearing a bike helmet is beneficial before it gives the protection you require not to suffer serious facial and head injuries and reduce fatality rates. Additionally, it shields you from weather elements like rain, hail, snow, and the sweltering sun, allowing you to ride much comfortably, see the road, and enjoy your ride.
3. Why Do Dutch Cyclists Not Wear Helmets?
Dutch cyclists don’t wear helmets because the country has developed a safe environment for cycling; hence their roads are safe for cyclists. In addition, road users are aware of the presence of cyclists because motorists are used to sharing the road with bicycle riders.
In addition, traffic lessons in the Netherlands begin early, so adhering to traffic regulations is instilled in them at a tender age.
4. Do Bicycle Helmets Really Help?
Bike helmets help mitigate the severity of head and facial injuries among cyclists. You are better off wearing a bike helmet because it could be the difference between suffering a life-threatening head injury or walking away with a few bruises if you get into an accident with your bicycle.
5. Should I Wear A Helmet While Riding A Bike?
You should wear a bike helmet regardless of your cycling prowess or age because the possibilities of fatalities or serious injuries are high among riders without helmets than those with helmets. It’s not worth risking your life just to look cool or keep your hair looking fabulous.
6. Is It OK To Not Wear A Helmet While Biking?
Not wearing a helmet isn’t ok if you want to increase your chances of walking or limping away with minor injuries or even injury-free from a cycling-related accident. However, ultimately, the choice is yours, especially if bike helmets aren’t mandatory in your location.
Final Thoughts on is it necessary to wear a helmet while riding a bike?
Bike helmets are helpful to cyclists, making them an essential and worthwhile biking accessory to own.
However, while deciding to wear a bike helmet is a vital step, you must wear it appropriately to be effective in an accident.
Make sure it fits you nicely and feels snug in your head. In addition, it’s paramount that the helmet sits level, not tilted backward, and it needs to rest low on your forehead.
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