As we continue to find ways to be active and outside during the pandemic, many people have turned to cycling. Dusting off that old bike in the garage or storage unit might seem like a great idea, but there are some things that you should know about car accident and bike helmet safety.
According to a recent article from Forbes, helmet maker Giro, a leader in helmet safety, has warned people who are getting out on bikes to remember that helmets aren’t necessarily made for protection against the impact from cars.
As demand for bikes and helmets surge, it’s important to remember that “bicycle helmets are not designed to mitigate against impacts from motor vehicles.”
Most people think that when they put on a helmet, or when they put a helmet on a child who is going for a bike ride, that the helmet protects them or their child from the impact of a car accident. Unfortunately, that just isn’t true.
Helmets are, according to Eric Richter, senior brand development manager at Giro, not designed to
“specifically reduce chances or severity of injury when impacts involve a car. The number of variables is too great to calculate–the speed of the car, the mass, the angle of impact, the rider, the surface, the speed of the rider, did the driver swerve a little or hit the brakes before impact. All of these variables and more are unique in every instance, and there is no way to accurately predict what is going to happen or the forces involved.”
But even if every aspect of a bike-to-car accident can’t be accounted for, aren’t there tests in place to make sure that the amount of damage to a bike rider’s brain is limited by a helmet?
Unfortunately, helmet testing to find out whether or not helmets can withstand the force and speed of a car are rather “rudimentary.” Testing of helmets simply means that they are dropped from various heights at different angles, says the car company Volvo, who runs helmet-versus-car tests.
Testing does not take into account bicycle accidents involving cars.
So what can be done? Many industry experts are calling for more rigorous testing and testing standards to protect the rider. They also suggest that salespeople who sell helmets should conduct a proper fitting on the rider and make sure that the rider knows what the helmet can protect him or her from.
This, however, doesn’t seem like enough for the millions of people who put their lives in the hands of helmet companies every time they go out for a ride.
Wearing a helmet is not up for debate, as they protect bike riders from brain-related injuries during a fall and could potentially save the rider’s life.
However, as the Forbes article shows, there needs to be stronger testing in place and subsequent greater protection for riders against accidents involving cars.
Your helmet should protect you–even from car accidents!