Anyone who bikes knows how important a helmet is, mainly to protect our fragile egg-like skulls from any misfortune that could occur — especially for those of us who live and work in the city.
You can’t just slap a helmet on, either; it’s not something you can do halfway. There are rules, people. Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to wear a helmet, both for you and for the kiddies. For the love of God, this isn’t a fashion accessory. Make sure you put it on properly.
1. The helmet needs to sit squarely on the head, with the front of the helmet low on the brow, protecting the forehead. But it can’t be too far forward (like you’re trying to avoid the teacher’s gaze behind a hat brim) or too far backwards (like when half of the person’s head is showing).
2. A good rule is the “two finger” rule: your index and middle fingers should be able to fit between your eyebrows and the start of the helmet.
3. Side straps should be fastened securely. Think of them as a frame for your ears, with one side of the strap in front and the other behind.
4. There should be no slack when the chin strap is fastened. If a helmet is worn too loosely, it slides back (exposing the forehead) or falls off in a crash. Terrifying. And it renders the helmet pointless.
5. Check your helmet position and fit by looking in a mirror. Ignore how nerdy you look in the helmet (hey, this is about safety, guys), and gently rotate the helmet on your head, front to back and side to side, noticing the skin in your brow area. If the fit is comfortable, and the skin moves with the helmet, you have a proper fit. If not, your helmet is too loose – try the adjustment steps again.
6. The helmet should also sit parallel to the ground. Just try to envision the helmet as an extension of your body. Wherever you go, it goes. And remember: If you crash in the helmet, it’s toast. Never reuse a damaged helmet. The rule of thumb is to replace it every year.
After all, this is your life we’re talking about here. Ride safe!