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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Helmet Guidelines

All too often I see helmets that leave the forehead exposed, are tilted to the side of the head, or are worn over a thick stocking cap. To better protect your head in a crash, here are some helmet guidelines:

1.Always wear a helmet while biking and make sure to replace it if it is cracked or broken.

2.It is best to purchase a new helmet to ensure that it will function properly.

3.Ensure that your helmet fits comfortably. Taking time to properly configure your helmet could save your life.

a.Your helmet should fit on the top of your head, not tipped back. One standard measure is to make sure your helmet sits roughly two fingers above your brow.

b.The straps should fit snugly under the jawbone. While a helmet strap should not be so tight as to restrict breathing, you should not be able to fit more than one finger between the strap and your skin.

4.If you are involved in a bike crash, always replace your helmet even if it is not visibly cracked or broken.

For more information, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides this resource: (http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/easystepsweb/images/easystepsengcolor.pdf).

This video, also a production of NHTSA, provides helpful guidelines for fitting bicycle helmets (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2WuVKyX8do).

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