New Yorkers: Wear your bike helmets



Helmets reduce the risk of severe head injury and can save lives

Bike helmets reduce the risk of severe head injury


The New York State Division ofConsumer Protection (DCP) and the New York State Governor's Traffic SafetyCommittee (GTSC) alert New Yorkers, of all ages, the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bike. The warmer weather provides individuals more opportunities for outdoor activities. During National Bike Safety month, New Yorkers are urged to make safety a priority by wearing helmets which will reduce the risk of severe head injury and save lives.

“Helmets are vital safety gear that saves lives, when we are exercising and enjoying a bike ride with family and friends,” said New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “As the summertime is upon us and we enjoy the warm weather biking in New York’s many beautiful bike trails, parks and on the streets, I urge all New Yorkers to be smart while having adventures on two-wheels by wearing a helmet and proper gear while riding a bike.” 

In 2021, according to preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), there were 1,455 police-reported bicycle crashes statewide in which a helmet was used. Of those, seven crashes resulted in at least one fatality, and 121 crashes resulted in at least one serious injury. In comparison, there were 3,946 police-reported bicycle crashes statewide in which a helmet was not used. Of those, 32 crashes resulted in at least one fatality, and 378 crashes resulted in in at least one serious injury.


“The statistics clearly show that wearing a helmet while bicycling significantly reduces the chances of death or serious injury in the event of a crash,” said GTSC Chair and NYS DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder. “Please wear a helmet every time you ride a bicycle. It could save your life.” 

Consumers stay safe by choosing and wearing their helmets safely:

  • Pair the activity to the helmet. You shouldn’t wear any helmet to go bike riding. Different activities can result in different impact to your head. Use a helmet that fits the activity, so if an accident occurs, you are better protected.
  • Read the directions. With helmets, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Every helmet can fit and operate differently.
  • Make sure it fits. Bike helmets should have a snug but comfortable fit on the rider's head. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also has a guide on properly fitting bicycle helmets, helmet certifications and laws, and more.
  • Buckle up! A helmet only works when it is worn properly for the duration of an activity. Make sure your helmet has a chin strap and buckle that lays flat and stays fastened. Wear your helmet level on your forehead, not tilted back.
  • Conform to regulations. The CPSC oversees helmets for many activities, including bike riding. For instance, bicycle helmets must conform to five separate standards[1]. When buying a bike helmet, look for the label that reads: “Complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standards for Bicycle Helmet.” Don’t add anything to the helmet, such as stickers, coverings, or other attachments, that didn’t come with the helmet upon purchase. These could affect the helmet’s performance.
  • After a crash or injury, replace. Once a helmet protects a person from a fall, it should no longer be used. Any damage to a helmet can reduce its effectiveness. Replace it before the next ride.
  • Replace your helmet when needed. You should follow the manufacturer’s guide for when to replace your helmet. If no guidance is provided, helmets should generally be replaced within 5-10 years of purchase if properly cared for and stored. If there are cracks in the shell, worn foam lining, or other such imperfections that may occur during regular use, you should consider replacing it.

More details and tips from the CPSC here.

The New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee coordinates traffic safety activities in the state and shares useful, timely information about traffic safety and the state's highway safety grant program. 

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection provides resources and education materials to consumers on product safety, as well as voluntary mediation services between consumers and businesses. The Consumer Assistance Helpline 1-800-697-1220 is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, excluding State Holidays, and consumer complaints can be filed at any time at www.dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.

For more consumer protection tips, follow the Division on social media at Twitter: @NYSConsumer and Facebook: www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.

[1] ASTM F1447, F18981 (A helmet that complies with this standard is designed for use by infants and toddlers in activities involving non-motorized wheeled vehicles.); Snell B-90A, B-95, N-942 (A helmet that complies with this standard is designed to withstand more than one moderate impact, but protection is provided for only a limited number of impacts. Replace if visibly damaged (e.g., a cracked shell or crushed liner) and/or when directed by the manufacturer.)



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • 5 tips to help you land a new job

    A solid interview can help you close the deal

    With so many job openings these days, you may think you’ll have an easy time sliding into a new role. Not so fast. Because of the huge number of options available and plenty of workers contemplating changes, you’re likely to encounter some competition to land the job you want. read more »
  • 5 tips to help families manage holiday stress

    The holiday season can make everyone feel a little overwhelmed

    ’Tis the season for holiday parties, travel, hosting and more. While it is a joyous time of year, the never-ending to-do lists and school being out of session can make everyone feel a little overwhelmed, children included. read more »
  • A foil packet meal for sweet fall simplicity

    Delicious and easy dinner with sweet potatoes

    Fall provides almost endless opportunities to gather friends and family around great food. From tailgates and family events to those precious last outdoor meals before winter sets in, the scenery of autumn is a perfect backdrop for sharing meals together. read more »
  • 5 steps for better meal prep

    Eat healthier and save time

    Eating healthier and saving time around the house are common goals for many families, and there’s one solution that can help attain both: meal-prepping. By planning and preparing meals in advance of each week, you can practice better portion control while creating free time for normally hectic mornings, afternoons and evenings. read more »
  • How to keep pets happy and healthy this holiday season

    7 tips to help you spot potential hazards for your furbaby

    The holiday season means fun and festivities for all, but getting wrapped up in all the excitement and celebrations can lead to forgetting about safety and precautions, especially for pets. read more »
  • Thanksgiving traditions and memory-making meals

    2 mouth-watering recipes everyone will love

    Starting with parades and ending with family meals, Thanksgiving provides all-day opportunities for celebrating life’s special moments with those nearest and dearest to your heart. read more »
  • How to protect your home and valuables this holiday travel season

    Protect your assets when you hit the road

    Whether you’re visiting your in-laws or taking a tropical vacation over the holidays, you’ll likely be leaving your house and the majority of your belongings unattended while you’re gone. Recent research suggests that if you’re like many Americans, you may not be doing enough to protect your assets when you hit the road. read more »
  • Webinar on nicotine and stress

    From NYS Smoker's Quitline

    Panel of national and state experts elucidates the "vicious cycle" as a result of regularly using tobacco and vape products read more »
  • Elevate a family-favorite side dish to a flavorful, protein-packed meal

    Turn an easy, everyday side dish into a full-blown dinner

    Taking the stress out of family meals at home can be as simple as turning your attention toward recipes that pack plenty of flavor without complicated prep. In fact, you can even turn an easy, everyday side dish into a full-blown dinner by simply adding your favorite protein. read more »
  • Put a plant-based twist on holiday baking

    Try these delectable holiday desserts

    Flavorful desserts are a staple of the holidays and the exciting, appetizing allure of new recipes can help elevate seasonal gatherings and create sweet memories. With near-endless options for celebrating the season, putting a plant-based twist on traditional recipes offers everyone the opportunity to indulge with decadent treats. read more »