Beware fake bicycle helmets: They could lead to injury

You’ve probably heard of people selling fake designer watches and fake luxury purses on street corners, or on remote corners of the internet. However, there is a new type of counterfeit that could cause much worse damage than simply wasting your money. Counterfeit bicycle helmets have entered the online market, and they could cause serious injury to you or the cyclists in your life.

Why are counterfeit helmets dangerous?

Some people inadvertently receive counterfeits when they shop online and think they purchase a name-brand helmet. Others deliberately buy counterfeits, believing that they are buying a product of similar quality for a lower price. But counterfeit helmets are not subject to the strict regulations that name-brand helmets are. The quality is much poorer, the materials are weaker and they are not tested for safety before being sold.

How to avoid buying counterfeits

There are several ways to identify counterfeits. The fit retention foam used in counterfeits is much thinner than in authentic helmets. The fakes also do not have a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sticker on their interior, like real helmets do. Counterfeits also lack a reinforcement roll cage, which is a plastic device that holds the helmet stable in case of impact.

To avoid buying a counterfeit, don’t buy helmets online that are suspiciously cheap. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Purchase your helmet in person from a brick-and-mortar store or a bike specialty shop. If you still prefer to shop online, buy your helmet from a reputable retailer.

What if I have already bought a fake?

If you believe you have bought a counterfeit helmet, do not wear it. You may be tempted to get some use out of it after having spent the money, but your safety should always come first. Some people who were injured while using a counterfeit helmet may wish to learn their legal options and take action to recover compensation for their damages.