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Consumer alert: NYS DCP reminds New Yorkers to wear their bike helmets


Tue, May 7th 2024 01:15 pm

During National Bike Safety Month this May, New Yorkers are urged to wear helmets to reduce risk of severe head injury and save lives

Submitted by the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection

For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips,” 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.

“New Yorkers are always on the move. Whether for transportation or for recreation, wearing a helmet is one of the most effective ways a cyclist of any age can reduce the risk of serious injury,” New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said. “The NYS Division of Consumer Protection encourages all New Yorkers to bike safely by wearing and buckling a properly fitted helmet.

DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Mark J.F. Schroeder said, “Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect yourself when you are riding a bicycle. No matter how short or long a ride you are taking, whether it is along one of New York’s beautiful bike paths, on a roadway commuting to work, or simply riding around your neighborhood, always wear your helmet and protect your head from the risk of a serious head injury.”

NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Pro Tempore Randy Simons said, “New York state offers exceptional trails and landscapes for bicycling adventures of all kinds. I encourage New Yorkers to safely enjoy these adventures by always wearing a helmet, staying alert and riding smart.”

Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “With cycling tours and events, the longest multiuse trail in the United States, and other scenic byways traversing the state, New York is a great destination for those who love to bike as part of their vacation. Doing so safely is imperative, so I LOVE NY encourages cyclists to experience the state with properly worn helmets and following the rules of the road so that they can see for themselves just how easy it is to love New York state.”

In New York state in 2022, there were 7,523 bicycle crashes and 50 fatalities. In more than half of these crashes, the bicyclist was not wearing a helmet. Twenty-eight of those bicyclists who were killed were not wearing proper headgear.

Stay safe by choosing & wearing helmets safely

•Pair the activity to the helmet. Different activities can result in different impacts 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 chinstrap and buckle that lays flat and stays fastened. Wear your helmet level on your forehead, not tilted back.

•Wear helmets that conform to regulations. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) oversees standards for helmets used for many activities, including bike riding. When buying a bicycle helmet, look for a label that says it is certified by the CPSC or meets CPSC safety standards. 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 five-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.

Explore New York’s bicycle trails

Learn more about New York state’s bicycle trails. New York state has a wide variety of cycling opportunities and information available for New Yorkers. Learn more about our state's extensive network of both on- and off-road bicycle facilities and educational resources.

√ Check out the New York State Department of Transportation's bicycle program website, a gateway for everyone to discover the wide variety of cycling opportunities and additional bike safety information.

√ Read the latest blog from ILoveNY.com, which highlights “12 Amazing Trails for Every Level of Cyclist.”

√ Explore the Empire State Trail, the longest statewide multiuse trail in the country, spanning 750 miles from Buffalo to Albany, and from New York City through the Hudson and Champlain Valleys to Canada.

√ Visit the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation website for information on trails in state forests, wildlife management areas, unique areas and forest preserve land in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks.

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