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Information Bulletin - Bicycle Safety

May 18, 2007

Protect yourself by wearing a helmet when cycling

Edmonton… Head injury is the leading cause of death from bicycle crashes. Bicyclists who do not wear helmets are three times more likely to suffer head injuries in a crash and 20 times more likely to die. Survivors of brain injury may suffer seizures, intellectual and memory impairment, and personality changes.

In Alberta, 85 per cent of children under 14 ride bikes. During 2005, bicyclists between 10 and 14 were the group most frequently involved in bike crash casualties. These crashes are the leading cause of brain injury among school children.

The majority of bike crashes do not involve motor vehicles. About 95 per cent of bike injuries take place when a cyclist falls or runs into something such as a pothole, post, pedestrian or another bike. Most serious bicycle crashes happen close to home on quiet streets.

Bicycle helmets are light, cool, attractive, easy to wear and affordable. Children should be allowed to choose their own bike helmets as they are more likely to wear a helmet they picked out themselves.

A bicycle helmet:

  • must be approved for biking;
  • be snug but not too tight;
  • must have no more than the width of one finger of space between the chinstrap and the chin;
  • must not move in any direction;
  • can be fitted properly by using the sizing pads;
  • should fit properly by adjusting the straps to form a `Y’ just below and in front of the ears so it fits snugly and comfortably;
  • must be replaced if it has been involved in a crash, even if it doesn’t look damaged; and
  • should be replaced every three to five years as normal wear and tear can cause breakage.

For more information about traffic safety, contact the Office of Traffic Safety at (780) 422-8839 or visit http://www.saferoads.com/.

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Media enquiries may be directed to:

Jeanette Espie
Office of Traffic Safety
Alberta Transportation
(780) 427-6588
Eileen McDonald
Alberta Transportation
(780) 422-0842 Cell: 422-0842

To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310-0000.