Bicycle and Motorcycle Helmet Safety
Bikes and motorcycles are a fun and enjoyable way to travel, explore our beautiful city, and soak
up the summer sun. But, severe injury can occur if you do not protect yourself. It is important to
wear a helmet every time you climb on a bike or a motorcycle. You need to protect yourself
from a brain injury. This information will help you to understand the importance of helmet
safety. It will show you how to avoid common helmet mistakes.
Bicycle Helmet Safety
Did you know?
o Head injuries account for 62.6% of bike deaths.
o Bike injuries and deaths affect children and young
people more often than any other age group.
o In 2008, 714 people died from bike accidents.
Ninety-one per cent of these people were not
wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
o Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a serious
head injury and save your life. During a fall or
collision, most of the impact is absorbed by the
helmet, rather than your head.
Are all bike helmets safe?
o Bike helmets must pass a government safety test. If
they don’t, they are not safe to use.
o Look for a seal of approval on the helmet box. It should be approved by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), or
Snell Memorial Foundation.
How can I tell if my helmet fits right?
o The helmet should feel snug and not move from side to side when the chinstrap is
o If you have long hair, think about buying a helmet with a ponytail port.
o If the bike helmet straps block your vision, even a little, find a different helmet.
o Wear the helmet flat on top of your head.
o Make sure the helmet covers the front and back of your head without tilting it. The straps
should form a V over your ears.
Other bicycle helmet tips
o To keep the helmet flat on your head, tighten the chinstrap. If the helmet tips forward or
back, you may need a smaller helmet.
o Teach your children to remove their bike helmets before climbing on playground
equipment or running around. The chinstrap of a helmet poses a choking hazard when
not used properly.
o If you are in an accident, throw away your helmet. Buy a new one. It may not be strong
enough to withstand another accident.
Motorcycle Helmet Safety
Did you know?
o Motorcycle helmets have been shown to save lives and prevent serious brain injuries.
o Motorcyclists are about 21 times more likely than car passengers to die in a traffic
accident. They are four times more likely to be injured.
o Helmets reduce the risk of death by 29%. They are 67% effective in preventing brain
injuries to riders.
How do I choose the right motorcycle helmet for me?
o When you choose a helmet, look for the Department of Transportation (DOT) or Snell
sticker on the helmet. This means the helmet meets the minimum safety standards.
o Your helmet should fit snugly like a baseball cap. Most companies that sell helmets will
measure your head and help you find the right fit.
o Find a helmet that fits snugly but does not leave your head feeling sore after taking it off.
Motorcycle helmet myths
o People have said helmets can cause riders to break their necks. They say a helmet blocks
vision and impairs hearing. These myths are not true. They have been disproved over
and over again.
o In fact, a good helmet makes riding more pleasant. It cuts down on wind noise roaring by
your ears. A helmet stops windblast to your face and eyes. It deflects bugs and other
object in the air. It protects you from the weather. A helmet reduces rider fatigue. Not
to mention it can save your life!
More motorcycle safety tips
o Every rider should wear over-the-ankle footwear, long pants, long sleeved jacket, and
full-fingered motorcycle gloves.
o You must have a proper license to ride a motorcycle. A driver’s license is not enough.
o Set an example for other riders. Help keep yourself and your friends safe. Helmets save
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©4/2014. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7202.