Helmet Safety


Each year, more than 3,360 pedestrians and bicyclists are hit by vehicles in North Carolina... representing over 15% of roadway fatalities last year. Helmets should be worn at all ages and worn during every ride, no matter how short. While there is no concussion-proof helmet, a helmet can help protect from a serious brain or head injury. For example, wearing a bike helmet reduces the risk of serious head and brain injury by 85%. Even with a helmet, it is important to avoid hits to the head. Many accidents happen near home. So it's important for a helmet to be well maintained, age appropriate, worn consistently/correctly, and appropriately certified for use. The same helmet can not be used for every activity and older helmets may not be approved for safety.

The Proper Fitting Helmet

Be sure to choose a helmet that meets the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
  • Snug - does not slide from side-to-side or front-to-back.
  • Level - is square on top of your head, covering the top of the forehead. It does not tilt in any direction.
  • Stable - chinstrap keeps the helmet from rocking in any direction and should be replaced if any part of the buckle breaks. Otherwise, a helmet may fly off in an accident.

When & Who?

Young children are particularly vulnerable to head injuries because they have proportionally larger heads and higher centers of gravity, and their coordination is not fully developed. That being said, adults should always wear helmets when doing activities that have potential for collision - think of it as teaching by example while maintaining your safety. Be aware that your child is more likely to wear a helmet if they like the way it looks. Here are just some activities that a helmet might be worn by all ages:

  • Hockey
  • Baseball/softball
  • Bicycle
  • Horseback riding/equestrian
  • Football
  • Skiing/Snowboarding
  • Skateboarding
  • In-line & Rollerskating
  • Lacrosse
  • Motorsports & vehicles such as dirtbikes, mopeds, motorcross, & ATVs
  • Electric scooters
  • Motorcycles
  • Snowmobiling
  • Sledding (children under 12)

Helmet Safety Infographic

Resources, References, & Links