Yellow lines are on bike paths and roads, telling us where to ride and where not to go. But while yellow lines can give you a helpful reminder, they don’t actually protect your head from a collision with another cyclist, or worse, a vehicle.

There are no yellow lines telling you to put on a bike helmet, so it’s up to you. We can find lots of reasons for not wearing a helmet before cycling: “I’m not going to fall”, “Helmets mess up my hair,” or “I just forgot to wear it” are common excuses. But without a helmet, cyclists young and old—even experienced ones—are vulnerable to head injuries.

When fitted and worn correctly, bike helmets act as a cushion to reduce the force of the impact and can reduce your risk of a serious head injury by up to 80%.1 So let’s pause before getting on a bike. Putting on a helmet could be the difference between a major injury and a close call.

A simple way to remember the proper way to wear a helmet is the “2 V 1” rule: Two fingers between your helmet and eyebrows, the side straps in a “V” around your ears, and one finger between your chin and the strap.

Preventing serious head injuries is up to us. Injuries can happen when you least expect them. The trouble is, too many of us only think about injuries once they happen, instead of before they do. So whenever you’re biking, rock that messy hair and put on a helmet. Let’s draw a yellow line before we hop on a bike, and keep serious head injuries preventable.

1. Parachute. Helmets. Available from: