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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Friday July 9th, 2010 :: 06:27 p.m. PDT


Bicycle Helmet Safety

Nature of Incident: Bicycle Helmet Safety

Location: City of Moorpark

Date & Time: Thursday, July 9, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

Unit Responsible: Moorpark Police Community Services


The Crash--You can expect to crash in your lifetime riding a bicycle! Head injuries cause 75% of our 700 annual bicycle deaths. Medical research shows that bike helmets can prevent 85% of cyclists' head injuries. You always need a helmet wherever you ride.

Even a low-speed fall on a bicycle path can cause significant injury.

Requirements-- Helmets are for all ages. The California Law and local Municipal Code require helmets to be worn buy all riders and skaters under the age of 18. We highly recommend that everyone wear helmets when riding or skating (skateboards too). Your local law enforcement agencies know the value of helmet safety and always wear helmets when they ride.

The right Fit--Make sure your helmet fits to get all the protection you are paying for. A good fit means level on your head, touching all around, comfortably snug but not tight. The helmet should not move more than about an inch in any direction, and must not pull off no matter how hard you try. The helmet must stay on your head even if you hit more than one object --usually a car first, and then the roadway, or perhaps several trees and rocks on a mountainside or trail. The helmet needs a strong strap and buckle. If it comes off or slips enough to leave large areas of your head unprotected, adjust the straps or try another helmet. Keep the strap comfortably snug when riding.

The purchase--When purchasing a helmet pick white or a bright color to enhance visibility to help ensure motorists and other cyclists can see you. Always check inside the helmet for a CPSC sticker (US Consumer Product Safety Commission). Avoid a helmet with points sticking out that may snag, a squared-off shell, inadequate vents, excessive vents, an extreme "aero" shape, dark colors, thin straps, complicated adjustments or a rigid visor that could snag in a fall.

When to replace--Replace any helmet if you crash. Impacts crush portions of the interior foam form, although no damage may be visible. Helmets usually work so well that you will need to carefully examine them for marks, cracks and/or dents to determine if they impacted an object. Most manufacturers recommend automatic replacement after five to ten years.

Bike Helmets for Skating-- The ASTM (American Society for Testing of Materials) standards for biking and inline skating are identical, but aggressive skating and skateboard helmets have their own ASTM standard. They are designed for multiple impacts with lesser impact severity than the intense impact often related to a bike crash. Skateboard helmets may not handle bicycle impacts. Do not use a skate helmet for bicycling unless it has a CPSC sticker!

Enjoy the warm weather and fun of riding your bicycle, but be safe by wearing the proper bicycle helmet.

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93009

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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