While 21 states require minors to wear helmets when riding a bike, there is no state law that requires adults to do so. Sadly, the latest traffic safety facts published by the US Department of Transportation reveals an astounding 45,000 cyclists were injured in traffic with 818 reported fatalities in just one year. One way to protect yourself from injury is to wear a helmet whenever you ride, whether the law requires you to do so or not.
The number one reason to wear a helmet when riding your bike is to protect your head and brain - The US department of Transportation points out that, over the course of the past few years, only 17 percent of fatally injured cyclist we actually wearing helmets - What??? why so low? They go on to say that if a cyclist wears a helmet, they reduce the chance of head injury by 50 percent and their chance of head, face and neck injury by 33 percent. So, why are so my riders not wearing helmets? Vanity, comfort or they just don't think they will be the one to get hit because they ride on the offense. Cars and drivers do not care if you think you're riding on the offense it only takes 1 person, 1 rock, 1 text or sand to cause you to go down and seriously injure yourself or die.
The fast few years new technology has emerged and almost everyone has certainly heard about MIPS. The Stockholm, Sweden based company with the same name was founded in 2001 and has one product: the MIPS Brain Protection System, which separates a helmet's shell and liner with a low friction layer that's designed to reduce rotational forces on the brain caused by angled impacts to the head during a crash. More and more brands like Fox, Bell and Giro are increasingly using MIPS in all their helmets from kids, to mountain, road and full faced helmets.
What is MIPS? MIPs stands for - Multi-Directional Impact Protection System - In a crash, the outer shell of a MIPS helmet absorbs linear impact, while the inner layer rotates up to 5mm, absorbing rotational impact. This small rotation of the liner relative to the shell results in a reduction of impact to the brain, which will reduce the possibility of a concussion and other brain injuries.
Keep in mind although cars will be able to see you during the day, you'll be almost invisible to them at night. Some helmets come with built in reflectors that will help oncoming traffic see you from a distance, others helmets are designed to mount a headlight on them or they will come with built in lights. Be sure to have as much reflective items, bright lights on your head, bike and your body. Make it easy for motorists to see you - After reading these stats I will be wearing a helmet on every ride for sure. Be safe!