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by Staff Writer
Although cycling is something most people learn to do at a young age, it can be dangerous, and riders should wear a cycling helmet every time they ride a bicycle. Though wearing a cycling helmet will not prevent an accident, one of the following facts about wearing a helmet while cycling may be the one that saves your life.
Wearing a helmet helps protect against serious head injuries and death. The risk of a head injury is far greater if an accident occurs when the cyclist is not wearing a cycling helmet. Wearing a helmet while cycling decreases the chance of head and brain injury by over 80 percent.
Over 90 percent of cycling deaths occur with cyclists who do not wear helmets. Less than 10 percent of cyclists who wear them are killed.
Adults wear helmets more often than children do. Children are starting to wear cycling helmets more because of parental guidance.
Children have more injuries on bicycles than adults do. The possibility of death and irreversible damage is greater when head injuries happen in children.
Crashes involving cars are particularly deadly. The force of impact increases depending on the speed and weight of objects in motion.
Cycling accidents usually occur within a mile of home. They occur most often on side streets rather than main roads, at intersections and at early and late times of the day, when there is not as much daylight.
Multiple-impact helmets are for minor low-speed impacts and have a construction that easily returns to its original shape, but they are not as good at absorbing high-speed impacts. High-impact helmets offer single-use protection: They will crush on impact, absorbing the force of the blow. As a rule, whether or not damage is visible, replace your helmet after any significant impact.
The way a helmet fits is crucial. If not worn properly, it will not protect as well as it is designed to. Wear a helmet far enough forward to cover the forehead while still allowing you to see the path ahead as you ride your bicycle. A helmet should be level on your head, with the straps fastened and snug.
Only wear a helmet that meets the safety standards created by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The approval should be clearly marked on the helmet.
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