It's not enough to buy a helmet-it should fit properly, adjusted and worn each time you ride. A helmet can protect your head and brain ONLY if worn every time!

Easy Steps to Properly Fit a Bicycle Helmet | Bellevue Washington Bicycle Injury Attorney

Andrew Kim
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To select and properly fit for a bicycle helmet, follow these helmet fitting instructions provided by The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration:

Step One: SIZE
Try the helmet on to ensure it fits snuggly. While it is sitting flat on top of your head, make sure the helmet doesn't rock side to side. Sizing pads come with new helmets; use these pads to securely fit to your head. Mix or match the sizing pads for the greatest comfort. If the helmet has a universal fit ring instead of sizing pads, adjust the ring size to fit the head.

The helmet should sit level on your head and low on your forehead - one or two finger-widths above your eyebrow.

Step Three: BUCKLES
Center the left buckle under the chin. On most helmets, the straps can be pulled from the back of the helmet to lengthen or shorten the chin straps. This task is easier if you take the helmet off to make these adjustments.

Adjust the slider on both straps to form a "V" shape under, and slightly in front of, the ears. Lock the slider if possible.

Buckle your chin strap. Tighten the strap until it is snug, so that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap.

a) Open your mouth wide. The helmet should pull down on the head. If not, retighten the chin strap and test again.
b) Does your helmet rock back more than two fingers above the eyebrows? If so, unbuckle, shorten the front strap by moving the slider forward. Buckle, retighten the chin strap and test again.
c) Does your helmet rock forward into your eyes? If so, unbuckle, tighten the back strap by moving the slider back toward the ear. Buckle, retighten the chin strap and test again.
d) Roll the rubber band down to the buckle. All four straps must go through the rubber band and be close to the buckle to prevent the buckle from slipping.

Some other tips to ensure proper use of you helmet:

- Replace any helmet that has been involved in a crash or is damaged.
- Buy a helmet that fits your head now, not a helmet to "grow into."
- Select a helmet brand and size that fits well prior to any adjustments. If it feels small, put in the thinner sizing pads or purchase a larger helmet. If you buy a helmet that you find comfortable and attractive, you are more likely to wear it.
- The helmet must cover your forehead.
- The chin strap must be tight and properly adjusted.
- The helmet should not rock forward or backward on your head.

Many States and local jurisdictions have bicycle helmet laws; please refer to your State or local jurisdiction. To find this information, go to

A bicycle crash can happen at any time. A properly fitted helmet reduces the risk of head injury by as much as 85% and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88%. More children age 5-14 go to hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with bicycles more than any other sport. Many of the injuries involve the head. Everyone- adult and children- should wear bicycle helmets each time they ride. Helmets are the single most effective way to prevent head injuries resulting from bicycle crashes. Wearing a helmet each time you ride a bicycle can encourage the same smart behaviors in others.

If you've been injured in a bicycle crash or accident due to the negligence of another or due to a defective part on the bicycle, call the Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC at (425) 289-1990 in Bellevue or Seattle and King County and (253) 682-2000 in Tacoma or Pierce County and we can let you know whether you have a possible claim for injuries or damage to your bike.

Category: Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents

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