Bicycle helmets are now a common sight, to such an extent that it is often more unusual to see someone not wearing a helmet than it is to see a helmeted rider. This applies not just to racing cyclists or mountain bikers, but to casual street riders and even children. Safety is the obvious advantage of wearing a bike helmet, but hardly the only one.
The fundamental purpose of a bike helmet is to protect the wearer from a head injury in the event of a crash, and statistically speaking a cyclist can expect one crash every 4,500 miles. Roughly 3/4s of the people who are killed in bicycle accidents die as a result of head injuries. Bike injuries are also among the most frequently cited causes of death for children who die as a result of injuries. Of all the bike accidents in the United States that send people to the emergency room, about 12 percent of cases include head injuries. These statistics make wearing a bicycle helmet, especially for children, a wise step. Wearing a helmet is almost 90 percent effective in preventing brain injuries during a crash.
It's the Law
Wearing a bike helmet is the law in many states and municipalities. At least 22 U.S. states and 192 towns and cities have laws requiring cyclists to wear a helmet. Not doing so is a civil rather than a criminal offense, but it can carry a hefty fine.
Hair can produce a lot of drag. The smooth surface of a normal bike helmet, even with all of its ventilation openings, is more aerodynamic than the head of anyone who isn't bald. Keep in mind that racing cyclists have been shaving their legs to reduce drag for decades. Specialized helmets that are designed to work with air flow are more aerodynamic still. Such a helmet confers an aerodynamic advantage of 5.2 percent. A helmet can become that edge that squeezes out that extra little bit of speed in a close contest.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.