WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

New Yorkers Urged to Wear Helmets When Bicycling


The New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection is reminding New Yorkers of all ages of the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bike. May is National Bike Safety Month, and as the weather begins to get warmer and individuals have more opportunities for outdoor activities, 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 not just for children, they are a vital piece of safety equipment that can save the lives of bikers of all ages,” said New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “As New Yorkers across the state begin to take advantage of the warmer weather by biking in one of our state’s many beautiful bike trails, parks, or streets, I urge all riders to put on their helmets and proper safety gear before beginning their adventures on two wheels.”

In 2021, according to preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, 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 at least one serious injury.

Stay Safe by Choosing and Wearing Helmets Safely:

  • Pair the activity to the helmet. 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.
  • Make sure it fits. Bike helmets should have a snug but comfortable fit on the rider’s head. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 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 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) oversees helmets for many activities, including bike riding. For instance, bicycle helmets must conform to five separate standards:
    • 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.
  • 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 are available here.

Ride Responsibly:

  • Follow the same rules and responsibilities as motorists.
  • Bicyclists should ride with the flow of traffic, while walkers should go against traffic.
  • Ride in a safe environment away from traffic in a path, park or trail.
  • Check out the full list of NYS Department of Motor Vehicle’s tips on how to share the road safely whether driving, biking, or walking.
Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.