I wear a helmet because I believe that a helmet can make the difference between life and death in the event of a crash. When I was hit by car (see My Biggest Challenge) the last thing I remember, just before everything went black, was that my helmet hit the road really hard. While I suffered some very serious injuries, my only head injury was bruising to my face.
I’m not saying that just because I wear wear a helmet, you should too. Wearing a helmet is a personal decision. However, if you are in the market for a new bicycle helmet,
you might be surprised to learn that buying the most expensive helmet doesn’t mean you will get the most protection.
A joint project with Virginia Tech and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated 180 bicycle helmets using the STAR evaluation system. They found that while all helmets meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standard, bicycle helmets do not provide the same protection and that price is not a good guide for buying a helmet.
In fact, after review their evaluation of road style helmets, I didn’t see much correlation between the price of a helmet and the protection it provides. The helmets with the top ratings (five stars) range in price from $50 to $325. So before buying a new helmet checkout Bicycle Helmet Ratings and get the best protection you can find, in a style you like, that is within your budget.