Editorial on helmet safety

Helmet safety is vital, but the truth of the matter is that some people still take helmet safety for granted.

Helmet safety is vital, but the truth of the matter is that some people still take helmet safety for granted.

As winter biking becomes more and more popular in the Elk Valley, it’s important that residents remember to gear up properly.

This past week I visited a few bike shops in Fernie and spoke with the sales associates to get some more information on helmet safety. They noted that while more people are purchasing winter bikes this season, especially with recent skiing/snowboarding conditions being unfavourable, some people are still neglecting to wear their helmets.

No matter what level biker you are, wearing a helmet is necessary. They are meant to protect you from accidents. Accidents can happen to anyone, despite how safely you think you’re riding.

Especially during the wintertime when road conditions are poor and snow is piled as far as the eye can see, bikers need to be extra cautious.

Last week, a Fernie cyclist was hit at 13th Street near the 7-11 and the RCMP noted that it was believed he was not wearing a helmet during the incident. This shocked me, to say the least.

As one of the sales associates at GearHub said, if you’re already investing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars into a sport, why would you not spend the extra money required to keep yourself safe?

These days the majority of helmets have an adjustable dial system on them making it even easier to find a helmet that will properly fit your head. Many parents find it to be more cost efficient to buy a helmet that is a little bit too big for their child’s head so they will ‘grow into it’ but the truth is that finding the proper fitting helmet is vital. You can tell if a helmet fits properly if you can shake your head without the helmet falling off when it’s undone. If it does fall off, your helmet’s too big.

Another thing that came up when I was visiting these shops was that many parents purchase helmets for their children without wearing one themselves. Parents are the ones setting an example for their children and it’s important that they understand how essential helmets truly are. Lead by example and protect your noggin!

One other thing to remember is that if you fall off your bicycle and hit your helmet first, that helmet needs to be replaced immediately. There is no way of telling how much damage the foam inside the helmet has sustained and it is likely that helmet can no longer do its job properly.

So next time you’re out and about on your bicycle, please remember to strap on that helmet because one of these days it could save your life.