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Road bike

Buckle Up Your Brain

Posted by Sandra Beggs on

Here's a smart law. Wearing a helmet is mandatory while riding a bicycle in British Columbia. In 1996, BC became the first province or state in North America to make the wearing of certified helmets mandatory for all riders. A helmet will protect your noggin from a world of grief which is good because bicyclists engage in dangerous activities. According to Police reports, head trauma is one of the most commonly reported cyclist injuries and 75% of all cyclist fatalities involved head trauma.

In terms of safety, there's not much of a difference between helmets. That's because as of about 5 years ago, all helmets manufactured in or imported into Canada were required to meet minimum CSA (Canadian Standards Association) standards. The standards are written, not to ensure compliance in terms of wearing helmets, but to guarantee the integrity of the helmets that are actually sold and worn. Additionally, CSA recognized that a child's tolerance to a head impact is different from adults so Canada has separate (more stringent) helmet performance criteria for children five years and under.

Helmets are still made out of foam, but now, rather than the foam being taped to the protective shell the foam is fused. If you have an old taped foam shell kicking, replace it. If your helmet is over 5 years old, replace it. The foam deteriorates over time and will no longer protect your head. If your helmet has protected your head in even one crash, replace it. The integrity of the helmet has been compromised and will no longer protect your head.

An excellent helmet will cost about $50.00. Costs increase after that due to lighter weight, the number of air vents, more comfortable retention systems, and snazzy styles and designs.

Public support for wearing helmets is increasing but if we want to reduce head trauma in ourselves and our children we must set an example, comply with the law and wear helmets while cycling and ensure our children do the same.

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