Consumer Reports looked at which helmets provide the best -- and worst -- protection for children and adults.
Brent Mather learned firsthand just how important it is to wear a bike helmet.
"I was hit by a car several years ago," he said. "And if it wasn't for the helmet, I'm pretty positive my injuries would have been far worse."
Consumer Reports tests bike helmets - both adult and youth sizes - to see how well they'll protect in an accident.
Because a helmet can't do any good if it doesn't stay in place, testers perform a test to assesses whether the chin straps will stretch, brea, or open upon impact.
All 13 bike helmets passed.
To see how well a helmet will protect your head upon impact, Consumer Reports performed another test to simulates what happens when a helmet impacts different surfaces. It included a flat surface like a street, a rounded triangle like a curb and a hemispherical surface, which simulates hitting a rock.
Two adult helmets did poorly - the Nutcase Street Sport 8 Ball and the Bern Brighton Thin Shell EPS for women.
On the plus side, two helmets rated very good for impact resistance. Those were the Specialized Echelon for adults - which costs $60 - and for children, the $45 Bontrager Solstice Youth.
But a helmet can only protect when it's worn properly.
Make sure it's level on your head, with no more than one or two fingers-width above the brow. The straps should form a "V" under each ear, with the buckle centered under the chin. Lastly, when you open your mouth, the helmet should pull down.
All this will help ensure your next ride is a safe one.
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