A helmet can be weighty and uncool for most people, and for the daredevils, it encourages them to take risks when cycling. So, you may wonder, is it necessary to wear a helmet while riding a bike?
Yes, wearing a helmet when riding is necessary to protect your head from severe head injuries, cover your face against natural elements, and enjoy better bike control. Moreover, it’s illegal not to wear it in some states, and lets you set a good example for kids.
But still, though not necessary, a helmet can complement your outfit. While all these showcase how vital a bike helmet is, some don’t view it that way.
As I stated earlier, a bike helmet may tempt one to take more unnecessary risks. Others see it as uncool because it messes up their hair, while some find its weight on the head uncomfortable.
As the bike helmet debate continues, this guide will examine the importance of wearing a helmet and the reasons not to wear it. And for those convinced about putting on one, I will share some quick tips for finding one.
Let’s get started!
5 Reasons to Wear a Helmet
Let’s first look at the five most important reasons you should wear a bike helmet below.
1. Protects You from Severe Head Injuries
You will agree with me that one susceptible part to severe injury during a crash is the head. Imagine all the harm if you ride with your head exposed. You can suffer internal and external head trauma, which can harm your physical and mental health.
Well, when you put on the helmet, you minimize the risk. A helmet acts as an impact and shock absorber during the crash.
So, we can say that a bike helmet protects your head from severe injuries and saves your life.
2. Protects Your Face from Natural Elements
A helmet covers your head and face, especially when wearing a full-face helmet. Imagine this for a second, riding against the wind or during a heavy downpour without a helmet.
Your ears and eyes will likely be at a greater risk of distraction, and thus a fall or crash can happen. The same scenario is also evident when riding without a helmet during summer’s scorching sun.
So, putting on a bike helmet is wise to protect yourself from all these natural elements.
3. It Gives You Excellent Bike Control
Wearing a bike helmet shields you against natural elements like sun, rain, and wind. That, in turn, increases your visibility, translating to excellent bike control.
Wearing a helmet also boosts your riding attention, reducing the cases of a fall, crashes, or accidents.
4. It’s Unlawful Not to Wear a Helmet in Some States
Most countries forbid riding a bike without a helmet. For example, 22 US states, including California, Alabama, Delaware, Florida, and Connecticut, clearly state that anyone below 18 should wear a bike helmet when riding outdoors.
If your kid is caught riding without a bike helmet, you, as the parent, will be fined a minimum of $25.
Countries like New Zealand, Argentina, and Australia have laws that enforce the universal wearing of helmets.
On the other hand, countries including France and Canada have partial laws on bike helmets, while Denmark and Netherlands do not compel cyclists to put on bike helmets.
If we look at the United States Department of Transportation statistics, it’s clear that there has been a decline in death by about 88% of cyclists below the age of 20 years since 1995.
However, death rates have tripled from the same year to date for cyclists 20 years and above.
So, we can say that the legality of whether or not to wear a bike helmet depends on the state and individual choice.
5. An Example for the Kids
As we all know, kids copy what parents do or act. So, if you keep wearing a biking helmet habitually, they will likely realize the importance of putting on one at a tender age.
And as we have seen, even if the state or country you live in doesn’t have a law binding you to put on a helmet as a grown-up, all nations and states have a common law of kids below 18 years wearing a helmet when riding outdoors.
So, if the kid rides without a helmet outdoors, you, as a parent, cannot evade a fine. Like in Alaska, they charge about $25 or more.
Put on a helmet, and your kid will copy!
More – A Bike Helmet Compliments Your Outfit
A helmet compliments your biking outfit, thus making you look dressed up for the ride. That’s why we get inspired by road and mountain bike cyclists who wear matching helmets with their biking attire.
With the many colors and designs to choose from, you can decide on one that complements your style and personality. Even better, you can personalize your bike helmet using decals and stickers.
Reasons Not to Wear a Bike Helmet
Wearing or not wearing a bike helmet is a debate that will not end anytime soon. Having discussed the reasons to wear a bike helmet, let’s discuss why some people lack the need to wear helmets.
- Allows Riders to Take Risks
Some riders think wearing a helmet gives them complete protection during accidents and crashes. That makes the rider take more risks, like riding at a very high speed or recklessly.
Remember, when helmets reduce the risks significantly, they do not prevent accidents from happening, so you should take caution.
- Adds Extra Weight To The Head
Some argue that putting on a helmet adds unnecessary weight to your head, compromising speed. Others say that the added weight makes them feel uncomfortable. While this can be true, you can get a lighter helmet.
Again, if you look at a scenario where you reach your destination, you will need to carry your helmet with your hands as the bike lacks storage space for the bike helmet. For this reason, many see a bike helmet as a nuisance.
- Looks Uncool and Messes Your Hair
Well, wearing a bike helmet means tucking the hair into the helmet. That spoils the hairstyle, and some may find it uncool.
We are all made different, so we have to give space to those who like showing their hair and face. However, remember to prioritize your safety. So wearing a helmet remains an intelligent choice.
Top Considerations When Buying a Bike Helmet
Now that you don’t need any more convincing about putting on a bike helmet every time you go riding, let’s look at the things to look for when buying one.
1. Correct Fit
It must be a good fit if you want to enjoy your ride with a helmet on. An incorrect fit will compromise your safety.
But how do you go about it? Well, finding the right helmet size is an easy task. That is because bike helmets are gauged according to the circumference of the rider’s head.
So, to measure your head circumference, use a tape measure and measure the largest part of your head (one inch above the eyebrow).
Else, you can wrap a thread around this part of your head and then measure its length using a yardstick.
Use the table below to determine your right fit after determining your head circumference measurement.
|Helmet Size||Head Circumference in Inches||Head circumference in cm|
|Extra small||Below 20″||51 cm|
|Small||20″ – 21.75″||51 – 55 cm|
|Medium||21.75″ – 23.25″||55 – 59 cm|
|Large||23.25″ – 24.75″||59 – 63 cm|
|Extra large||Above 24.75″||63 cm +|
2. Riding style
Your biking style simplifies the process of selecting your ideal bike helmet. Most bike helmets usually fall within three distinctive types. They include
Mountain Bike Helmets
If you own a mountain bike and lean more towards off-road riding, you will need a mountain bike helmet.
Unlike road bike helmets, this helmet has more extended back head coverage and is well-ventilated. Most mountain bike helmets also have the added advantage of wearing them when riding on-road.
So, if you have both an MTB and a road bike, getting a mountain bike helmet like Giro Fixture MIPS Mountain Bike Helmet (Check On Amazon) is like killing two birds with one stone.
Road Bike Helmets
You should get a road bike helmet if you are a road cyclist. That is because road bike helmets need to be more aerodynamic, lightweight, and well-ventilated, and that’s what POC Omne Air Spin Road Bike Helmet (Check on Amazon) promises.
Recreational Bike Helmets
Lastly, casual riders aren’t left out. If you like cruising around the neighborhood, running errands in town, or just riding for fun, there is an ideal helmet for you, and that’s the recreational helmet.
These helmets are more affordable, but one thing is for sure, they provide impact protection. A better choice for recreational riders is the Giro Isode MIPS Recreation Cycling Helmet (Check on Amazon).
3. Specialized Features
Also, consider the kind of features you would like in your helmet. They include the technology, the designs, and unique features like the built-in mounts.
Nevertheless, all these features hike the prices of the helmet. So, you can overlook them if budget-tight.
People Also Ask
1. Why Is a Helmet Important While Riding a Bike?
Wearing a bike helmet has many advantages. A helmet protects your head from severe injuries, protects your face against natural elements, gives you excellent bike control, compliments your outfit, and is lawful in some states. As you wear a bike helmet, you set a perfect example for the younger ones.
2. What Are the Consequences of Not Wearing a Bicycle Helmet?
Though not all countries or states permit wearing a helmet, it’s a smart move to wear one. However, if you choose not to wear it, you may encounter detrimental physical, mental, and emotional changes if you crash or have an accident. You can also be fined if your kid rides outdoors without wearing a bike helmet.
Closing Remarks: Is It Illegal to Wear a Helmet When Riding a Bike?
As shared, wearing a helmet comes with a handful of benefits, including protection from head and face injuries and protection from natural elements, and it’s lawful in many states.
Though some countries and states don’t have laws binding their citizens to wear a cycling helmet, some see it as a reason for taking more unnecessary risks and being uncool, as it ruins their hairstyle.
Nonetheless, those concerns don’t outweigh a cycling helmet’s promising benefits.