Wearing a bike helmet when out cycling is the most important thing you will ever do, body armor and padding is optional depending on what sort of cycling you do, extreme cycling for example would warrant a strong case for using all. Regardless of what sort it is, even if its leisurely around a park, a helmet is always required.
Why Wear a Helmet
When falling off a bike and it can happen at whatever level you are at or what previous cycling experience you have, most of your body can handle a fall, sure you will be cut, grazed or possibly even have a broken bone or two. You cannot risk this impact however with your head, it can be the difference between life and death depending on how hard the impact is and what sort of fall it was. Your head is precious, it holds your brain, damage your head and you risk facing brain damage. The outcome from that happening could be anything from slight memory loss, to not being able to function properly, to the very ultimate, loss of life. All easily avoided if a bike helmet was applied.
What If I Am A Careful Cyclist
That's fantastic news to all who are and everyone should be when controlling any sort of vehicle, however accidents do and can happen at anytime.
Being careful when cycling does not mean other people are careful, most accidents happen due to another persons ignorance when cycling, this could be anything from a pedestrian walking, misplaced items on a route, another cyclist, or a person driving in a car.
Particularly when cycling on the road you are especially vulnerable, most motorbike accidents happen due to the car driver not spotting them, the same can be applied for cyclists and if anything they are even more vulnerable than a motorbike rider. So being a careful cyclist should not ever put you off wearing a helmet.
Don't be disillusioned either, mistakes can happen with your own bike, the brakes could stop working, a wheel could fall off, a pedal could come loose causing you to crash, if you are traveling at any sort of speed and something like this It happens, you will need a helmet on to avoid any permanent serious injury.
Not only should you be responsible to yourself, but be responsible if you are cycling with others, younger children or people with less experience have a far greater chance of falling or causing an accident, make sure that you, and all around you are protected. It only takes a minute to advise someone on the dangers they face due to them not being properly protected, and actively encourage them to purchase a helmet, or if it is your own family do it for them and ensure they wear one at all times.
Wearing it Properly
I have seen countless times people wearing a helmet but wrongly, they would just be as well not wearing one at all. The most common mistakes are not wearing a size that is properly fitted to your head, this can be from a small child wearing a growing adults helmet, to a person wearing a helmet but not securely attaching it around the face. If the helmet can slide back and forward on your head it is too big and needs replaced. An impact with a wrongly fitted helmet, to a helmet that is not correctly attached will most likely fall off when in hard contact before your head has connected with the ground or solid object. So not only wear one, but wear it correctly.