Bicycling is an excellent way for both children and adults to get exercise. However, of the millions of Americans who ride bicycles, less than half wear bicycle helmets.
In 2015, 818 people lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes, more than two people every day of the year in the U.S. This represents a 6 percent increase in bicyclist fatalities since 2006 and a 12.2 percent increase from the previous year (2014).
These numbers represent just over two percent of the total number of people killed and injured in traffic crashes in 2015.
The number of estimated bicyclist injuries dropped to 45,000 in 2015, down from 50,000 in 2014. However, like pedestrian injury estimates, research into hospital records shows that only a fraction of bicycle crashes causing injury are ever recorded by the police, possibly as low as ten percent.
A properly-fitted bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by as much at 85 percent. Children and adults need to wear helmets every time they ride. Remember, adults serve as important role models so they need to wear their helmets too.
Proper helmet fitting
- A good-fitting helmet should be snug.
- The helmet should sit level on the head (not tilted back) with the front edge no more than 1" (approximately two fingers) above the eyebrows to protect the forehead.
- If the helmet shifts 1" or more when pushed, adjust the sizing wheel (or pads) to tighten the fit.
- With chinstrap buckled, push up on the front edge of the helmet, then up on the back edge. If the helmet moves more than 1", tighten the chinstrap.
- The straps should form a "V" as they rest under each ear. Adjust the straps around both ears for a comfortable fit.
- With the chinstrap buckled, the helmet should press against the forehead when the person’s mouth is opened.