Summary: Helmet and bike safety links. Please check our links policy before proposing a new one.
The sections below: - or you can just page down
- Helmet Information Sites
- Promotion Campaigns and Resources
- Injury Prevention Sites
- Helmets and related products and add-ons
- Helmet Covers
- Sites We Disagree With
If we are too serious for you, this might be your site! Sponsored by an HMO in California, this site is totally cool and absolutely graphic. There is a whole 20-page comic book there as a .pdf file, and this YouTube video.
Helmet Information Sites
SafetyLit produces a weekly digest with hundreds of journal articles abstracted every week. A search using the phrase "bicycle helmet" finds more than 300 journal articles and reports on the topic. A goldmine for researchers provided by the Center for Injury Prevention Policy & Practice at San Diego State University. You can subscribe for the weekly report, one of the most useful ways to keep current on journal articles in the helmet field.
You can research transportation-related journal articles on bicycle helmets (and other subjects) on the TRIS Search Page. TRIS has more than 400,000 books, journal articles, and technical reports on transportation research from the 1960's to the present. Put "bicycle helmet" (without quotes) in the search window and it will return more than 145 references. The abstracts are sometimes disappointing, but the citations are very useful.
Snell's site has info on their standards and publications. They develop standards and test helmets to them in their own labs, issuing a certification if the helmet passes. They have a list up of Snell-certified helmets. They also have the first published reports from the Harborview research that Snell funded.
NOCSAE sets standards for helmets for football, lacrosse, baseball and softball batters. Their headear is all for multiple hits and usually provides for replacement of the interior at regular intervals. They use an "anthropomorphic" headform designed to respond to impact like a human head.
SEI's page has info on their safety equipment certification programs. Their helmet certification
program tests helmets to the ASTM standard and verifies the manufacturer's quality control
procedures. They include a list of certified helmets.
CPSC has a page up with information on their helmet standard, product recalls and hazards,
research, and the agency's current calendar of meetings. Here is the page with their listing of recalls including helmets. (We have a page of just their helmet recalls.) They have other material you can find by doing a search on "helmet." You can also subscribe to their press release by email service and receive recall notifications.
A private for-profit source of copies of the bicycle helmet standards we discuss.
The famed consumer magazine has a website that is part free, part paid subscription. We have summaries of their helmet articles. They mentioned us in their Blog in 2007.
Helmet Promotion Campaigns and Resources
The Minnesota State Bicycle Advisory Committee in collaboration with Injury Prevention Specialists of the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Twin Cities Bicycling Club presents a "Train the Trainer" Workshop on Bicycle Helmet Safety. The workshop teaches instructors how to run a class on selecting and fitting a helmet. Check the web, or this page with the email they send out to publicize the workshop.
Safe Kids Worldwide is a movement to prevent unintentional childhood injury. They have more than 300 state and local coalitions running community-based campaigns on child occupant protection, bicycle safety, residential fire detection, and scald burn prevention. They ran the most extensive and most effective helmet promotion campaign anyone has ever mounted in the US in 1989,and continue to have an active interest in helmets. Safe Kids provides inexpensive helmets to their chapters and to other non-profits through Bell, one of their sponsors. We have contact information for that on our page on inexpensive helmets. In addition, some of their local coalitions have helmet information up.
Train the Trainer Helmet Workshop
Ride Safe was a for-profit program supplying helmets at very low cost for helmet promotion campaigns. Though they are out of business now, they have given us permission to post the fine series of instructions they had developed for running a bike rodeo.
DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a website up with materials for teaching kids to ride safely, including a bike safety web page. It links to pamphlets and materials available for campaigns, and classroom materials for teachers.
Stanford University's program for bicycle safety.
This very useful page features the author's observations of the ten worst situations for cyclists getting hit by cars, and his suggestions for how to handle them. Includes clear illustrations of the bad situations.
David Scott is a teacher at Jiangnan University in Wuxi. He has launched a local helmet initiative, beginning with his students. He is working on getting some statistics and information together about helmets and head injuries in China. He has produced this well-done video to promote helmets there.
Stakki Stikka is an Australian program using unique helmet stickers.
Home of the famous Thompson, Rivara and Thompson studies on helmet effectiveness. Summarizes major studies of helmet effectiveness, with estimates of the protection helmets offer and more. Their page on helmet effectiveness, which charts the findings of a number of studies. Equally useful is their page on the effectiveness of helmet education interventions. In February 2018 they were redoing their web page.
Injury Prevention Sites
Two decades ago this was the national campaign to address all of the problems that discourage bicycling in the US. The Steering Committee is the National Bicycle Safety Network, a committee that used to meet periodically in Washington, DC, to coordinate bicycle safety promotion activities among members. The Strategies are sponsored primarily by NHTSA and by the members of the Network, including BHSI. If you wonder why you have never heard of it, the NBSN has been somewhat less than dynamic in pushing the program.
This project of the University of North Carolina is funded by the US Department of Transportation. It provides resources primarily to officials who serve as bicycle planners in localities all over the US, but the website has injury prevention info, research data, statistics and other resources available for all.
This website has access to many CDC documents on injury prevention, including helmets. For helmets the most interesting document is their 1995 Injury-Control Recommendations: Bicycle Helmets. (Also available in .pdf format.) We have one page of the Recommendations in our page on bicycle helmet laws, a compilation of evaluations done on helmet law effectiveness. CDC also has an interesting page on head injury and concussion. Since their resources move, you may need to use this search link.
The Cycle-Smart Foundation is committed to saving young people's lives by promoting all aspects of safer cycling and, in particular, the use of cycle helmets. (Previously The Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust)
Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation
Sites We Disagree With
"Updated 2020-08-29 to reflect the current status of this website. Below is an archive of the original page. Currently the site is mainly an archive, to preserve links that site articles. Not much has been added since about 2016, efforts are currently underway to renew the editorial direction and add new content."
Helmets and related products
Every vehicle on the road needs a mirror. Most helmet mirrors are tiny. They are close to the eye and actually show you most of what you need to see. But if you prefer a larger one, check out the Safezone Helmet Mirror. This one is 2.25" (57mm). That seems huge, but it does not block vision very much. It is geeky-looking, not stylish. It is well made and seems heavy at 1.5 oz/43 gr. We recommend you not use the very strong mounting zip ties provided, but use hook and loop on the part that lies against the helmet so it will detach in a crash, even though the plastic ball-and-socket pieces in the arm will also detach. It seems expensive at $40, about twice what most small mirrors cost. We would mount any mirror with hook-and-loop to be sure it will readily detach in a fall.
The Octoplus Kit is a starfish-shaped foam kit to replace helmet pads that claims to be universal fit. We don't quite believe that, but if your pads have disintegrated it may be worth checking out.
Bicycle helmet stickers in graphic designs to add either reflectivity or florescent color to your helmet. There is one warning bystanders not to remove the helmet after a crash. We have examined a PET-shell helmet with their graphics on it for a year and found no evidence that the adhesive had damaged the shell. The reflectivity seemed decent to us but their florescent colors are not reflective.
Strip lights you can attach to your helmet or bike. We have never seen one in the field and don't know if they would help or not. Our sample self-destructed in about 12 minutes of operating time. See our page on the ideal helmet for our cautionary ideas on attaching anything to the outside of your helmet.
Da Brim makes very large helmet visors and all-around brims for really good sun protection. Probably a little flappy in high winds or if you ride too fast, but they also have a front stabilizer for riding on a recumbent bike.
This info is stale! We don't find the IceDot site on the web any more.
Ice Dot is a crash sensor mounted on the exterior of a helmet that attempts to sense when the wearer has crashed. It records helmet motion, not the impact to the head, but it senses velocity, torque and impact severity. When an impact sets it off, the rider has time to deactivate it. If not deactivated it uses the rider's phone to send a text message with GPS coordinates to the Ice Dot website reporting the crash, and the website passes the SOS along to your pre-entered contacts. There is an info sticker on the helmet with your unique identifier pointing EMT crews to medical info that you have loaded on the Ice Dot web page. The initial cost is $150 for the sensor and setup, and $10 per year after that. For those who just want to use a wristband, Ice Dot sells those along with the helmet stickers for $20, with a URL that EMT's can use to access your emergency data on the Ice Dot site. That service also has the $10 annual fee. The site is icedot.org. The sensor must be charged from a charger or USB port, and will run for 24 hours on a charge. Some riders who often ride solo in remote areas--that still have cell coverage--welcomed the announcement. Field reports will be needed to determine the ability of the crash sensor to react appropriately to real life crashes.
Helmet-mounted lights are often used for offroad riding at night. Jet Lites responded to a letter from us about snagging hazards by developing a mount that breaks away with a 5 lb force, and won't let that overhanging limb break your neck. There are many other lights designed for helmet mounting, but make sure you find one that has a breakaway mount.
O-Tus makes small near-ear speakers that attach to the helmet near your ears. We have not heard the sound quality. They would still inevitably affect your hearing what happens around you, a sense that we think is critical to safe bicycling. Not recommended, particularly because their mounting video recommends shaving some foam off the edge of your helmet so the adhesive on the mount will stick. To our shock, the technician actually takes a knife and shaves off some foam to make a more level mount, and to remove dirty foam that will not give a good adhesive surface. Since our message is "never modify your helmet liner" and nobody knows how much foam a user might take off, we would avoid this product.
Plum Enterprises makes protective headgear for anyone from babies to adults in need of head protection around the house after head injury, surgery, during epileptic seizures, etc. These are protective caps not designed for the heavy impacts seen in bicycling.
This South African company has ear covers that attach to helmet straps. They can be used for protecting ears against wind, but they can also be used to mount ear buds to listen to music or whatever. That can be a dangerous way to ride, since it deprives the rider of essential feedback about vehicles approaching from the rear. Slipstreamz says their product places the earbud outside the ear canal and retains some ambient feedback, but we do not recommend using it that way. As a wind protector it compares to the Buschman Technologies product above. Whatever you do, don't emulate the Slip-Streamz website photo with the eyeglasses under the helmet strap. That presses the glasses into the side of your head, and creates a gap between strap and head that may have caused the rider to look for a wind spoiler in the first place.
Streetglo has reflective stickers and vinyl decals in at least nine colors and a large variety of designs, mostly intended for motorcycle helmets. The larger ones cover a full helmet. There is one warning bystanders not to remove the helmet after a crash. Some of their reflective materials come from 3m. Others come from Nippon Carbide Industries (USA), who certify that the material will not damage motorcycle helmet shells made of PET, Lexan and other plastics. They have now added bicycle kits, and their web page has some good photos of the results. That much material tends to be expensive.
Helmet Covers and Add-ons
Helmet covers and other add-ons are a special category. The lycra covers that are held on with elastic bands around the bottom are probably ok, since research years ago showed that they just slip off in a crash, and are actually beneficial for sliding for the first inch or so. But we have never seen any lab tests of the ones with horns or other projections, so we would not use one, and you are on you own with those. We have a page up on helmet covers.
Helmet covers, with reflective trim.