A bicycle helmet must be safe and well-fitting to protect your face, skull, and brain. Under Florida law, every bicycle rider or passenger who is under the age of 16 must wear an approved helmet, but riders of all ages should wear helmets to prevent catastrophic injuries.
Approved Bicycle Helmets for Riders and Passengers
Only bicycle helmets qualify as “approved” for bicyclists. No matter how strong your football helmet might be, they did not design it for the type of impact you can have in a bicycle accident, which can involve:
- Motor vehicles
- Concrete or asphalt pavement
- Other structures
Also, all bike helmets must meet the current federal safety standards.
Find the Right Sized Helmet
Step one of choosing a well-fitting bicycle helmet is to get the correct size. Wrap a string or a flexible tape measure beginning an inch above your eyebrows and going all the way around your head. Measure the string’s length with a ruler or read the number on the tape measure.
Most people fit into a:
- Small – 20 – 21.75 inches
- Medium – 21.75 – 23.25 inches
- Large – 23.25 – 24.75 inches
Extra Small is for everyone below 20 inches, and Extra Large fits those over 24.75 inches.
How to Adjust a Bike Helmet
Step Two is to adjust the helmet for a good fit. Put the helmet on your head. It should be level as if you were going to try to balance something on top of your head. The helmet should not tilt to the front, back, or either side. It should ride no more than one inch above your eyebrows. The headgear should be snug but not too tight. Helmets rarely fit well without some adjustment.
Take off the helmet and fully loosen or expand the sizing wheel. The wheel should be on the back of the internal sizing ring. Put the headgear back on and tighten the sizing ring until the helmet fits snugly. You will have to reach behind your head to make this adjustment. With most helmets, you will twist a wheel at the back of the helmet to tighten the sizing ring.
If your helmet does not have a sizing wheel, you may need to adjust the sponge pads that came with the headgear to achieve a snug fit. With this style of helmet, you should change the rear straps if the helmet tilts to the front and adjust the front straps if the headgear tips toward the back.
Do Not Forget the Chin Strap
This part keeps the helmet on your head when you need it the most: during a crash. Wrap the side straps around both ears. Your helmet’s strap assembly should come to a V under each ear. If any of the straps or parts are uncomfortable on or around your ears, adjust them until they do not chafe or compress your ears.
Once your side straps fit well around your ears, buckle the chinstrap. Make sure you can fit one finger between the chinstrap and your chin. If the chinstrap fits correctly, your helmet and your head should push against each other when you open your mouth. If they do not, adjust the strap until they do. Take care not to overtighten any of the straps.
No matter how careful you are, sometimes accidents happen. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, please call the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500. We will give you a free consultation to evaluate whether you might be entitled to compensation.