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Cycle helmets

Head injuries, ranging from fatal skull fractures and brain damage to minor concussion and cuts, are very common injuries to cyclists. Hospital data shows that over 40% of cyclists, and 45% of child cyclists, suffer head injuries. *

*“Collisions Involving Cyclists on Britain's Roads: Establishing the Causes”, TRL Report PPR 445,

Choosing a helmet

Before choosing a cycle helmet, it’s important to know what to look for – use the checklist below to help you choose and correctly wear the right helmet for you or your child.

You should make sure that any helmet you buy has a “CE” mark and meets one of the following standards:

  • BS EN 1078:1997
  • BS 6863:1989
  • SNELL B.95

Helmets that also have a British Standard Kitemark are even better.

Wearing the helmet correctly

  • The helmet should be level, and sit just above the eyebrows.  It should not tilt backwards or forwards – the forehead should not be exposed, and your vision should not be restricted
  • The helmet should fit closely to your head and feel comfortable – when you shake or nod your head, your helmet should stay in place
  • The helmet should have an inner layer of polystyrene and either a hard plastic shell or a mesh cover
  • The helmet and straps should not cover your ears – the straps should go around the ears, forming a “V” shape under the ear lobe, and there should be no slack in the straps
  • Most helmets come with adjustment pads and instructions for fitting the helmet and adjusting the straps – make sure that you read these carefully to ensure that the helmet is fitted correctly.


Boy wearing a cycle helmet
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