Bicycling is growing more popular, partially due to dockless bike-share operators (LimeBike, ofo, Spin, VBikes and MoBike) making bicycles more available to the public, so much so that in recent news the city of Dallas has had issues with these companies not picking up the bicycles left behind from renting cyclists. The “bicycle litter” has caused obstructions on sidewalks and curb ramps causing the Dallas City Manager to write a letter to these companies, asking them to move the bikes that violate a new set of rules recently issued to amend these hazards. However, just because bicycles have become more accessible, doesn’t mean safety takes a back seat. You should still wear a helmet.
If you know you’re going to be riding a bicycle, carry a helmet with you. There are many different types available, from traditional low-tech helmets to smart helmets that have built-in microphones, speakers and rear-facing cameras. No matter the style, you should still follow a few tips on how to find the right helmet for you or for someone else.
The Correct Helmet Fit:
The first thing you must look for when purchasing a helmet is the fit. The goal is to find a helmet that fits snug (not tight), is stable and level. Make sure the pads touch your head evenly all the way around. The helmet should be level all the way around your head, with the front of the helmet lying just above your eyebrows. Adjust the chin strap so it is comfortably snug. When you think you’ve got the proper fit make sure the helmet does not move more than an inch. If it does, tighten your straps.
Buying a Helmet:
As of 1999, all helmets sold in the U.S. must meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. Look for the CPSC sticker which should be located on the inside of the helmet. When buying a helmet, make sure its shell is smooth and brightly colored. Brightly colored helmets make the bicyclist more visible to traffic. Helmets sold in bike shops run around $20 and up but you can find them cheaper in discount stores. A bike shop will help you fit the helmet correctly. If you choose to buy your helmet from a discount store, take the time to find one that fits correctly.
Important Note: Children should remove their helmet before they climb trees or play on a playground. There is a risk the helmet strap can get caught and strangle a child. To get additional information regarding bicycle helmet safety, you can go to the non-profit website https://helmets.org/, which is published by members of the National Bicycle Safety Network.
Steve Kuzmich is a Board Certified – Personal Injury Trial Lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The Kuzmich Law Firms’ focus practice areas are auto and trucking accidents, wrongful death and other serious injuries, injuries caused by drunk drivers, child injury cases, (slip and fall accidents) premises liability, and dog bite cases.
For further information about personal injury litigation, call as at 972.434.1555 and ask us why board certification matters.