Research shows most of the cycling fatalities are attributed to head injuries. In a severe accident, your skull may be fractured and your brain may be torn by penetrating objects and bone fragments. Brain injuries can also occur by violent impacts that leave the skull undamaged. To protect yourself against those head injuries, the Snell Memorial Foundation urges you to wear a helmet when you are riding.
Finding a good helmet is as easy as remembering the 4 S's: Size, Strap, Straight and Snell.
Technicians at two state-of-the-art laboratories, located in the United States and the United Kingdom, test helmets on two levels. First, helmet samples from manufacturers are tested to see if they meet Snell certification testing requirements. Then, once a helmet passes and receives the Snell certification sticker, it is subjected to random sample testing. These dual-testing procedures are designed to see that the product a consumer buys off the shelf is as protective as the one submitted for initial testing.
Once you've selected a helmet, remember that it must be worn correctly every time you ride a bike. A helmet should be replaced immediately if damaged, and at least every five years based on wear and tear.