As kids, we were always told to wear a helmet when riding our awesome new bicycle or skateboard around the block; but chances are, we thought we were too cool for helmets.
Now that we’re older, we don’t feel the need to look cool and live dangerously anymore. We are more concerned with our safety and our loved one’s safety. Wearing helmets is so crucial and can save your life. According to two studies, helmets were estimated to reduce these injuries for cyclists across all ages:
– Head and brain injuries by 58% to 69%
– Severe brain injuries by 74%
– Facial injuries by 47% to 65%
– Fatal accidents by 73%
We’re sure we can speak for everyone when we say that we want to avoid serious or fatal injuries at all costs while riding our bikes; whether for leisure or as a means of transportation. In Montreal, there are nearly 650 collisions annually between vehicles and bicycles. For that reason, the first step in avoiding serious injury starts with a good helmet.
Buying a new helmet
If you are looking to buy a new helmet, it is extremely important to look for a CPSC, ASTM or Snell sticker inside. This means they are certified helmets and are quality assured. Secondly, it is also essential that you do not buy a used helmet! We can’t be sure if it has already been impacted or dropped; therefore, it is not worth the risk to spend money on a defective helmet. Lastly, make sure it is a good fit. You don’t want your helmet to be too loose or too tight but rather, firm and comfortable. The straps should adjust properly underneath your chin to hold the helmet in place.
Replacing your helmet
Helmets, just like our favourite foods, also have expiry dates! Unfortunately, they don’t last forever. Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to know if it’s time to replace your helmet.
– Did you crash it? Helmets are only rated for one impact.
– Was it dropped hard enough for the foam and/or plastic to crack?
– Is it older than 5 years? Check with your manufacturer as helmets do “expire”.
– Can you not adjust it to fit correctly?
– Does it lack a CPSC, ASTM or Snell sticker inside?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to change your helmet! No matter how great you look in it, or how recently you purchased it, it is a worthwhile investment towards your safety. It can be a life-changing decision.
Additional ways to stay safe while bike riding
Other than helmets, there are so many precautionary measures that can be taken to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you while bike riding. These are basic things such as respecting the rules of the road, bike reflectors and maintenance, wearing reflective clothing and/or stickers, not listening to music, and paying attention to your surroundings. These are all important factors that maximize your safety and that of those around you.
For more information on the safety of cycling, refer to the SAAQ website.
The advantages of biking
Bike riding is a great activity to stay active, get around, or even just to spend quality time with your favourite people outdoors. Running and jogging might take a toll on your legs, feet and knees; but biking is a great alternative to get your legs moving without that pressure pushing down on your joints. It also improves joint mobility, your balance and coordination. And like all exercise, it decreases stress levels. Biking is an all-around great form of exercise that’s doable and fun at almost any age!
Cardiogenix wishes you happy and safe riding!