September 08, 2016, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
Don’t Use your Head
Why Helmet Safety doesn’t end with a bike or a motorcycle
Wearing a helmet is common knowledge, although not everybody uses one. Using a helmet while participating in any activity where a head injury is at risk can help lower the risk of a permanent damage or death. Helmets help to distribute the force of a hit evenly to make a fatal blow to the head survivable. In Ontario, anyone under the age of 18 should use a helmet while cycling. Parents must make sure that their children if they are under 16 years of age are wearing helmets. Failing to do so can result in a fine of $75. While it is important to wear a helmet, it is even more crucial that the helmet being worn fits properly. The Ministry of Transportation in Ontario stresses that a helmet be properly fitted in person (no online purchases) and taken care of in order to provide the best protection.
For cyclists, a helmet will fit properly when it feels snug against the head, and covers the forehead leaving two-fingers worth of space above the eyebrows. Besides the feel, the helmet straps should below the ears in a V-shape with one finger being able to fit between the chin and the chinstrap. Helmets should be replaced every five years due to damage or aging.
Motorcycle helmets face different kinds of laws and regulations. All motorcycle helmets manufactured must have the logo of the company that made the helmet, or the mark of the standards authority. Look-wise, all motorcycle helmets should be designed with a smooth, outer shell. The inside of the helmet should have protective padding, and come with a chin strap. To see if a motorcycle fits properly, people should try on a helmet and leave it on for five to ten minutes to check for pressure points, as the pressure points indicate a tight fit which is desired. Like bicycle helmets, motorcycle helmets should also be replaced every five years for aging and damage.
To get the most use out of a motorcycle helmet, the Snell Foundation states to keep helmets in a safe location where the inner liner will not get damaged, and to only clean a helmet with soap and water. Chemicals could potentially damage the inside liner. The Snell Foundation, which aims to improve helmets designs and development while advocating for helmet use, also recommends not painting over a helmet unless the paint brand is authorized by the manufacturer.
Helmets are important pieces of safety equipment that can be used to prevent life-threatening injuries; however in order to prevent them from happening, it is up to people to make sure that their helmet fits their head properly and is being taken care of, whether a bicycle or motorcycle helmet. By doing these things, people receive the best protection for their head. Happy riding!
Prepared by Ariel Deutschmann
All information and more about helmet laws and regulations can be found in the following links: