Bicycle safety starts with a well-fitting helmet. Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of severe injuries and fatalities and should be worn by all bicycle riders, and usage should not be determined by age, ability, or bicycle trip duration or purpose. A recent study on the safety effects of bicycle helmets suggests that wearing a helmet when bicycling is highly recommended. The use of bicycle helmets was found to reduce head injury by 48%, serious head injury by 60%, traumatic brain injury by 53%, and the total number of killed or seriously injured bicyclists by 34%.

Most bicycle and health advocacy organizations strongly encourage the use of bicycle helmets and recommend that helmets are properly fitted to the rider and meet the bicycle helmet standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Society of Testing and Materials, or the Snell Memorial Foundation. Although there is no federal law in the United States requiring bicycling helmets, a number of states and localities have passed mandatory helmet requirement laws and these vary by age.

Resources

Countermeasures That Work summarizes strategies and countermeasures including bicycle helmets for both children and adults.

Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute provides information about statistics and laws relating to helmets as well as standards and manufacturers.

Bicycle Safer Journey helps educators, parents, and others who care about bicycle safety, including helmets, start the conversation with children and youth and provides videos, resources, and quizzes.

Fitting Your Bike Helmet provides a step by step guide for proper helmet fit.

The League of American Bicyclists states organization position to encourage bicyclists to wear helmets and maintain and replace with manufacturers' recommendations.

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Examples

Demonstration of Promising Practices to Increase Proper Bicycle Helmet Use in Middle School Youth shares behavioral strategies to increase the helmet use of middle school children.

Ideas to Promote Bicycle Safety offers educational materials to reinforce safety messages and behaviors.

Bicycle Helmet Initiative distributes helmets to children in North Carolina through a state program that is funded by proceeds from a specialty licenses plate.

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Related Webinars

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