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Bicycle Helmet Related Resources and Bike Helmet Offers





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Note:  A helmet is not a substitute for learning on how to bike ride safely and learning how to keep your bicycle in good repair.  Bicycle helmets can reduce injuries, while good bicycle practices can avoid injuries. Avoiding crashes is a lot more fun.

IBF Bicycle Helmet Essay: A look at bicycle helmets and head injuries.

Free Bicycle Helmet Giveaway Program Liability

Multilingual "Wear A Helmet" Brochure

Discount Bicycle Helmet Offers

Bicycle Safety Helmet Institute: Clearinghouse for bicycle helmet literature.

Bicycle Helmet Infographic Challenges the effectiveness of helmets. [Note: The first graph show the USA has a higher fatality rate than Netherlands, which was also true before helmets were broadly used in the USA.  Could something other than helmets account for the fatality rate?]

Cyclist Rights Action Group Link page primarily addressing helmet laws.

Snell Memorial Foundation: Set standards for helmet performance.

Wikipedia: Bicycle Helmets

World Health Organization Helmet Initiative

Free Bicycle Helmet Giveaway Program Liability

The issue of liability on a free bicycle helmet giveaway program came up. First the disclaimer that we are not a lawyer and laws vary from location to location, so at some point you might want to talk to a local attorney.

We haven't learned of any distinction on liability between selling a helmet at full price, programs that subsidize the price of the helmet and programs that distribute bicycle helmets for free.

The main issues involved might be product liability and negligence.

Generally, any product liability issue that might arise in the future should be directed at manufacturer. The programs  responsibility is:

  1. To use a helmet designed for bicycling that meet a recognized standard for bicycle helmets (e.g. ANSI, ASTM, CPSC, Snell).
  2. Search for recalls on the helmet.  In the U.S. this can be done at the Consumer Products Safety Commission website,  Search for "bicycle helmet" and make sure there are no recalls on the helmet.
  3. Don't alter the helmet in any way.

To address the possible issue of negligence:

  1. Train the people involved in the program on the proper use and fitting a bicycle helmet.
  2. Show recipients how to wear the helmet properly (not backwards).
  3. It doesn't hurt to use a fitting checklist to document that you have done due diligence.

The potential benefits of getting people to wear a helmet while bicycle completely dwarfs the chance of anyone being sued for enabling them to wear one.

Even with this, it is best to run the program through a properly structured organization which can shield its volunteers. Ideally the organization will have liability insurance.

Multilingual "Wear A Helmet" Brochure

The Snell Memorial Foundation is producing their brochure "Use Your Head, Wear A Helmet" in Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Italian and English. It is free. For more information write to the foundation at: PO Box 493, St. James, NY 11780, USA. Or, Unit 4 Farnham Business Centre, Dogflud Way, Garnham, Surrey GU9 7UP, UK.

Discount Bicycle Helmet Offers

Several organizations have low cost helmets for retail purchase and offer bulk buying programs to make quality bicycle helmets available to non-profit organizations for under US$15. For more information contact:

For local discount and free bicycle helmet programs, for individuals, check with your local bike club, police department and health department.

Safety Educations Homepage / Other Bicycle Safety Literature, Materials & Resources


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The International Bicycle Fund is an independent, non-profit organization. Its primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. Most IBF projects and activities fall into one of  four categories: planning and engineering, safety education, economic development assistance and promoting international understanding. IBF's objective is to create a sustainable, people-friendly environment by creating opportunities of the highest practicable quality for bicycle transportation. IBF is funded by private donation. Contributions are always welcome and are U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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