Wearing a bike helmet can dramatically reduce your risk of traumatic brain injury in a crash. Helmets certified by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission meet federal standards for safety.
In addition to looking for safety certification, review these tips to choose a helmet that offers a high level of protection against traumatic brain injury.
Try it on
Never buy a helmet you have not actually tried. You should place it on your head and make sure it fits snugly, but not uncomfortably. You should not be able to fit your finger between the foam and your head. If you have long hair, wear it in the style you will wear when cycling so you can accurately assess the fit.
The back of the helmet should fall above the nape of your neck. The front of the helmet should be no more than two finger-widths above your eyebrows. The side straps should fall just in front of the ears.
Review safety certifications
In addition to federal certification, many helmets have certification from ASTM, Snell or ANSI. These labels indicate that the helmet passed safety tests by these industry organizations.
The style of the helmet will vary depending on your preferred type of riding and design. You might want a mount that holds a light or camera, face protection for mountain biking, a visor to shield your eyes from the sun or ventilation to cool you off as you ride.
Once you find the right helmet, store it away from heat, cold and direct sunlight. If you get in a bike accident that involves head impact, replace your helmet before wearing it again.