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Fake bike helmets putting riders in danger

In a collision between a car and a bicyclist or pedestrian, there is a far greater risk of injury for the person outside the vehicle. As such, it is crucial for all parties to practice safe habits that minimize the risk of an accident.

Unfortunately, even when people try to make safe decisions, they can wind up suffering serious injuries when other parties are negligent or reckless. For instance, you might buy a bicycle helmet to stay safe while riding your bike, but it may provide little or no protection if it is fake or defective.

The issue of fake or defective helmets is serious, and one that affects many consumers that likely don't realize it. In fact, you might even have one sitting in your garage right now.

Often, people wind up inadvertently buying fake helmets from e-commerce websites like eBay or Amazon. They find a helmet with a brand name they like and often see it offered for less money than other stores or sites and figure they are getting a deal.

However, saving some money can wind up costing people a lot more when their helmet cracks, shatters or falls off in an accident.

As this NPR article on fake bike helmets notes, identifying a dangerous helmet can be difficult. They often look just like real helmets, though they do not provide the same amount of protection.

The article suggests some tips to avoid buying an unsafe helmet. These tips include:

  • Purchasing helmets from reputable sellers
  • Paying close attention to safety standards logos and looking for stickers that prove a helmet meets the standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Comparing the weight against the weight of authentic helmets
  • Assuming helmets sold by third parties for steep discounts are fake

These tips can help people identify and avoid buying unsafe helmets, which is crucial in keeping cyclists safe.

Unfortunately, some people don't learn the ugly truth about their gear until after a catastrophic accident in which the helmet failed to provide adequate protection. In these cases, victims and their families can consider consulting an attorney and taking legal action against the manufacturer or seller of a defective or unsafe helmet. 

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