Kids Speak Out on Bike Helmets

In investigating why kids do or don't wear bike helmets, we went straight to the source. AAA asked 282 kids, ages 8 to 13, about their habits and attitudes when it comes to wearing bike helmets.

More than half of the young bike riders we surveyed do not consistently wear helmets – and usage in our group was higher than the national average of 15 percent. This is a troubling statistic because each year, more than 500,000 children go to hospital emergency rooms or doctors' offices due to bicycle injuries.

Collisions happen most frequently on neighborhood streets, sidewalks, or playgrounds. Children between 5 and 14 have the highest rate of injury for all bicycle riders.

The young riders surveyed were asked why they wore helmets, how often, and how they might persuade friends to wear their helmets. Based on their responses, it seems that overall they do understand the potential for serious injury if they did not wear helmets. To get friends to wear helmets, their suggestions included celebrity endorsements and redesigns to helmets to make them more comfortable and fashionable.

AAA also shared some ideas to create strong community support for bike helmets, as well as a review of important safety tips for cyclists.

Ten Tips to Keep Cyclists Safer

  1. Always wear a bike helmet.
  2. Stop and check traffic before riding into a street.
  3. Don't ride at night.
  4. Obey traffic signs and signals.
  5. Ride on the right-hand side of the street.
  6. Check your brakes before riding.
  7. Give cars and pedestrians the right-of-way.
  8. Wear light or bright-colored clothing so that motorists can see you.
  9. Be extra careful turning left – motorists don't expect it.
  10. Avoid broken pavement, loose gravel and leaves – all of which can cause you to lose control of your bike. aware of surrounding traffic.

Want More Information?

  • Your AAA club can provide additional information about bicycle safety and bicycle helmets.