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Helmet Safety
Facts, Figures & General Information
The correct – and properly fitting – helmet helps to reduce the risk of serious brain injury for many recreational activities. A helmet can even save your life. Helmets protect our brains by absorbing most of the impact energy instead of our heads and brains.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Facts – 2009 Data (released in 2010):
  • 630 bicyclists died on U.S. roads (718 in 2008; 1003 in 1975)
  • 74 were 14 years old or younger, which is a reduction of 58% from the 178 killed in 2000
  • Bicyclist deaths represented 2% of all 2009 traffic fatalities
  • 51,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic (up sharply from 43,000 in 2007)

The Children’s Safety Network adds these statistics from 2005:
  • 44% of nonfatal bicycle injuries occurred in children and youth, ages 5 – 20 years old
  • 23.4% of bicycle fatalities were children and youth ages 0 – 20 years old
  • Children under 15 years old accounted for 53% of bicycle injuries treated in emergency departments
  • Young cyclists are more likely than adults to die of head injuries, most of which are caused by motor vehicle collisions.

Safety Tips (a partial list)
  • Bicycle helmets must comply with mandatory federal safety standards.
  • Helmets specifically marketed for exclusive use in an activity other than bicycling (i.e., go-carting, horseback riding, lacrosse and skiing) do not have to meet the federal safety standards.
  • Do not wear a helmet while playing on playgrounds as the helmet’s chin strap can get caught on the equipment or tree and pose a strangulation risk. The helmet itself may pose an entrapment hazard.
  • Be sure the helmet fits properly:
    • it should be both comfortable and snug
    • it should sit level on your head – not tilted back on the top of the head or pulled too low over your forehead
    • it should not move in any direction (back-to-front or side-to-side)
    • the chin strap should be securely buckled so the helmet doesn’t move or fall off during a fall or collision
    • for more information see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publication “Easy Steps to Properly Fit a Bicycle Helmet.”
    • Replace helmets in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
For more important safety information on this topic, visit the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

For information regarding “Which Helmet for Which Activity,” visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547
10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547