In a recent study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)—in collaboration with engineers from Virginia Tech—have studied the level of protection offered by 30 popular brands and models of bicycle helmets. They have assigned these helmets a safety rating, ranking them from five stars (Best Available) to two stars (Adequate). You can read the full report here.
According to the study, 835 bicyclists died in collisions with motor vehicles in 2016—the highest number of bicyclist deaths recorded since 1991. They note that over half of those victims were not wearing helmets—and estimate that helmet use reduces the odds of a head injury by half.
While the U.S. government requires helmets pass certain tests before sale, the Virginia Tech and IIHS ratings rely on a realistic evaluation system built on years of experience evaluating other head protection—including football and hockey helmets—against concussion and other possible injuries.
The lab intends to test more helmets over time—including mountain bike, skateboard, BMX, and youth helmets—and plans to update the website with new ratings as they are available.
Bike Helmet Safety
Wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle is just as important as wearing a seat belt when you’re in a car. In fact, anyone under 16 years old is required to wear a bike helmet in North Carolina. Of course, a helmet only works if it’s properly fitted and worn correctly. According to the Bike Helmet Safety Institute:
- Always try on a helmet before buying one. It should sit level on your head and be comfortably snug, but not too tight. The helmet shouldn’t move more than about an inch in any direction.
- Check for a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sticker inside the helmet.
- Helmets that are white or a bright color increase your visibility to others on the road.
- Cyclists should choose a helmet with a smoothly rounded outer shell, with no sharp ribs or snag points.
- Consider a helmet’s ventilation. Air flow over the head determines coolness and larger front vents provide better air flow.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident through no fault of your own, call the experienced North Carolina Bicycle Accident lawyers at Henson Fuerst. We’re available 24/7. Just call (919) 781-1107 or fill out a free initial consultation form to get the representation you deserve, today.
When you call, you will speak with one of our experienced Raleigh Bicycle Accident attorneys. They will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you and fight hard to protect your rights. At Henson Fuerst, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front, and you owe us nothing unless we recover for you.