If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a crash on your bicycle, one of the things you’ll likely need to do before you ride again is get a new helmet. Helmets are no longer effective in protecting the head once they’ve had an impact with the ground or another hard object. Even if the shell only has a few scratches, the cushioning material inside has been compromised.
Depending on when you last purchased a helmet, you may find that there have been some significant improvements in the safety they provide against serious brain injury. How do you know which ones are safest? While helmet manufacturers do their own tests, you want a more impartial source of information. Government tests don’t always keep up with the newest helmets on the market.
Why bike helmets need to have unique technology
A good source of information is the Helmet Lab at Virginia Tech. Researchers there test all kinds of helmets and rank them for their effectiveness in preventing brain injuries.
The most effective bicycle helmets are those that use rotational technology. That’s because when a cyclist is moving horizontally when they’re riding. However, they fall vertically when they’re hit by a car or another bike. That means their head usually hits the ground at an angle. A helmet that is designed to rotate in a fall will help offset rotational forces that can lead to a more serious brain injury.
Of course, a new helmet is just one of many expenses you’ll need to deal with as you recover from your crash. Medical bills, lost income and more can add up. If you were struck by a driver, don’t settle with their insurance company or them for less than you need and deserve for short-term and long-term expenses and damages. It’s wise to have legal guidance to protect your rights.