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Bike and Helmet Safety Policy Brief
By the Numbers
- Bike helmets reduce head injuries by 85 percent, brain injury by 88 percent.
- In 2010, approximately 81,101 nonfatal injuries among child cyclists were traffic-related.
- Each year, skateboarding injuries cause about 50,000 visits to emergency rooms; 1,500 children and adolescents are hospitalized.
- More children ages 5 to 14 are seen in ERs for injuries related to biking than any other sport.
- A 25 percent reduction in childhood bike injuries and deaths could lead to savings of over $500 million in societal costs (health care and productivity losses.)
Advocacy at Work
Bike Helmet Laws
Safe Kids coalitions work to pass strong bike helmet laws throughout the nation. You can look at our model law here. In addition, Safe Kids opposes efforts in some jurisdictions to repeal bike helmet laws.
Bike Sharing Programs
It salutes cities developing bike share programs, but Safe Kids encourages this innovation to occur with effective means to provide participants with helmets.
Babies on Bikes
Carrying a small child on a bike in a bike trailer, child seat or sidecar can be dangerous. New York State became the first state to ban the carrying of children under the age of 1 on a bike. Safe Kids supports similar legislation in other states.
There are laws requiring kids to wear helmets in 21 states and the District of Columbia.
Helmet Mandatory Standards
By law, bicycle helmets must meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards to be sold in the U.S. market. But a mandatory standard does not apply to helmets used for skateboarding. Safe Kids supports a federal mandatory standard for helmets marketed for skateboarding as well.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) law moved the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program to the side of the road in terms of its status and funding. Over the next two years, Safe Kids will fight to return SRTS to its former, more vigorous status with its own dedicated source of funding. Safe Kids will run a grassroots campaign to encourage states to devote resources and funding to continue the SRTS momentum.