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To some people, helmets might seem like a hassle. But if you enjoy bike riding, own a motorcycle or play certain sports like football and skateboarding, you should know that a helmet is crucial in preventing brain or spinal cord injuries. Studies have shown that helmets worn properly reduce the risk of severe, lifelong injuries.
If You Cycle, Wear A Helmet
In a recent Cyclist Safety Report by the city of Boston, MA, it was cited that helmets have reduced the risk of head injury of up to 85% and reduce the risk of brain injury by up to 88%. In the study, it was found that men between the ages of 25 and 35 are more likely to be involved in a bicycle crash. Ten percent of crashes ended with the cyclist going to the hospital.
What Are Helmet Laws?
Many states have laws that require motorcyclists and cyclists to wear helmets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities and injuries decline when helmet laws are enacted. Consequently, when helmet laws are repealed, fatalities increase. Not all states have laws that require riders to wear helmets. None of the fifty states require everyone to wear helmets while riding a bicycle (21 states require riders under a certain age to wear helmets), according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Nineteen states require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, while Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire have no helmet laws for motorcyclists at all.
What Are The Best Helmets To Buy?
According to the New York State Department of Health, effective helmets should be made of polystyrene, a sturdy material that absorbs the impact of a fall or collision. Foam pads will not effectively prevent brain injury like polystyrene can. Make sure the helmet fits your head snugly, and can be adjusted with straps to prevent it from moving around. Bicycle helmets are required by law to meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards for safety (they should have a CPSC sticker to show that they meet these requirements).