As a Dallas-Fort Worth personal injury lawyer, I know that the injuries sustained in a typical bicycle accident can often be catastrophic to the cyclist. Vehicle collisions invvolving bicycles are often threatening, and one of the biggest hazards bike riders face include serious injuries to the head as a blunt force impact to the skull can cause traumatic brain injury.
To protect your brain, it is not only important to wear a helmet, but it must also fit properly and be designed to offer maximum protection.
1. Achieve the "mushroom" look. Find a rounded, padded helmet with a slick outer shell. An elongated aero tail can catch and snag on impact, leaving your skull unprotected, so avoid a helmet with an “aero tail”.
2. Brighter colors are better. Even though black and dark colors may be fashionable, they are also least visible. Look for a white or brightly colored helmet. Reflective tape also increases street visibility.
3. A durable strap and buckle are essential. A strap must endure the primary impact and any subsequent collision. Replace broken or plastic buckles that may break. A metal ring is still the best way to prevent loosening while riding.
4. Ventilation is key, especially in the humid Texas heat. Make sure there is not too much ventilation though because lots of ventilation means a helmet with less foam padding.
5. Mirrors, visors, and lights must snap off and break away on impact. A helmet with these accessories can be dangerous. A helmet should slide in a collision so limit protrusions or ridges that may snag, catch, or gouge. Do not mount attachments with screws.
6. New helmets must carry a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certification. A used helmet should have an ASTM, Snell, or ANSI certification. Stickers can be found inside the helmet.
7. Expensive does not mean better. Models may range from $10 at discount stores to $200 at specialty shops. As long as they carry the CPSC sticker, then they meet the same impact standard.
8. Throw away a helmet involved in a collision. It won't be better the second time around. The foam is damaged even if undetectable to the naked eye.
9. Check for CPSC recalls. Go to http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prerel.html to get updates on helmet recalls.
10. A helmet must be properly fitted! Even a helmet with excellent safety ratings won't protect you if it isn't properly fitted. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and see our tips to achieve a safe fitting.
If you or a cyclist you love has been hurt in a bicycle accident which was caused by a negligent driver, call us today for a no fee, no obligation consultation on your personal situation. We have the experience and the skill to get you the compensation you deserve.
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