When choosing a helmet it is better to choose the helmet that fits you correctly and offers the best protection rather than choosing one for its looks.

The SHARP (Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme) Scheme tests the energy absorption qualities of helmets and produces a five star rating. Research by the SHARP   scheme suggests that in 80% of fatal and 70% of serious collisions, head injuries were a significant factor. In the same study, in 14% of collisions, riders lost their helmets during impact. In order to give you the best protection your helmet needs to be a really good fit.

When you choose a helmet follow these five tips

1. Get Your Head Measured

Measure around the fullest part of your head just above the ears and choose a helmet in that size range. It may be tempting to buy the model you want in the wrong size but a helmet that is too small will be uncomfortable and a helmet that is too large may come off in a collision.

2. Try It On

Adjust the strap so that you can on fit two fingers between it and your jaw. You should be able to feel the helmet against all parts of your head without and pressure points. If not, the helmet may be the wrong shape for you.

3. Too Tight or Too Loose?

With the strap secured, try rotating the helmet form side to side. On a full face, your cheeks should follow the movement of the helmet and stay in contact with the cheek pads. Next, tilt the helmet forward and back. It should stay in position and not move.

4. Does It Come Off?

With the strap secured. Tilt your head forward and get someone to try to roll the helmet off your head by carefully applying upward force to the rear of the helmet. If it can be rolled off, it’s likely that it will come off in a collision.

5. Safety Standards

Ensure your helmet comes with either an ‘E’ or BSI approval marking.

For more information and to check helmet safety ratings go

to www.direct.gov.uk/sharp