Bicycle helmets - How does the bicycle helmet protect against head injury?

A bicycle helmet ensures that in case of a fall from the bicycle the impact force on the head is absorbed and delayed and the force of an impact is spread over a broader area. The helmet also prevents the head from direct contact with the ground or an object. The bicycle helmet consists of a hard plastic exterior with an interior of polystyrene (styrofoam) and weighs about 250 grams.

Bicycle helmets that are sold within the European Union must comply with the European standards EN-1078 (helmets for adults) and EN-1080 (helmets for children). The difference is in the way the chin strap is attached to the helmet: children's helmets have a chin strap that snaps off in case the helmet snags, which prevents them from choking (Kemler et al., 2009). For the best result, it is important that the helmet fits properly and is fastened correctly. It is also important that the helmet is undamaged and not history of previous impacts.


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