The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership recommends that cyclists wear a helmet that meets a recognised safety standard. Cycle helmets, when correctly worn, are effective in reducing the risk of receiving major head or brain injuries in an accident.
A cycle helmet cushions the head in a fall, providing the last line of defence between your head and the ground.
There is a significant body of research available on both sides of the helmet debate.
The Department for Transport released a report of particular interest which states that:
“… cycle helmets would be expected to be effective at reducing the frequency and severity of injury in a range of accident conditions, particularly the most common accidents that do not involve a collision with another vehicle.”
RoSPA summarises 54 different research papers, and much of the evidence comes out in favour of using a cycle helmet – you can download the form below. Medical evidence, specifically from the USA, supports injury reduction from helmet use.
In light of the evidence, we suggest that you wear a helmet whether you’re cycling on or off the road- but it is your choice.
Helmets must be correctly sized and worn if they are to be effective.
Tips when choosing a cycle helmet:
- Try the helmet on before buying it
- Make sure you like the type and style
- Check it has a CE mark and meets at least one recognised Standard: BS EN1078:1997 (European Standard) Snell B.95 (American Standard)
- Make sure it fits comfortably and securely
- Check that the straps are easy to do up and adjust
- Ensure it stays in place on the head when the straps are fastened
- Make sure it does not obstruct vision
- Ensure it does not cover the ears
- Check that it is well ventilated
- Ensure it comes with clear advice for the user
Remember: Helmets are designed to absorb only one impact. If you drop your helmet, or have an accident whilst wearing it, you should replace it. Check for cracks and chips before each use. A damaged helmet may not protect you in a collision.