Pedestrian and Bike Safety
- Every year in the US there are 900 bicycle-related deaths and hospital emergency rooms treat more than 500,000 bicycle injuries.
- Every week 2,700 children suffer serious head injuries while bicycling.
- Every day 2 Americans die in crashes while riding bicycles.
In South Dakota, there were 105 bicycle-related injuries and 1 fatality in 2003. Head injuries are the leading cause of death in bicycle crashes and a major determinant of permanent disability. Wearing a helmet that fits correctly can reduce the risk of serious head and brain injury by as much as 85%.
Since 1994, Don't Thump Your Melon has actively promoted bicycle helmet use. DTYM provides educational materials to promote helmet and bicycle safety in South Dakota communities. It is a partnership involving the Department of Health, the SD Office of Highway Safety, Emergency Medical Services for Children, Rapid City Regional Hospital Systems of Care, Avera McKennan Hospital, and Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System.
Teach your child the value of wearing a helmet . . .
- Let your child pick out the helmet.
- Remind your child to always wear a helmet when bicycling.
- Praise and reward your child each time it's worn.
- Wear your own helmet.
- Begin the helmet habit with the first bicycle.
- Encourage other parents to buy helmets.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
How to Fit a Helmet
- Brain Injury Association of America
- National Safe Kids
Right fit means right protection. . .
First, get the right size by measuring the rider's head with a tape measure. Let your child try the helmet on. Helmets come in sizes from small to extra large. Each size fits a range of head sizes. Find one that fits comfortably and doesn't pinch. Then, use the foam sizing pads included with the helmet to fine tune the fit.
Adjust the straps for a snug fit. The helmet should cover the top of the forehead and not rock back and forth or from side to side. Helmets have adjustable straps to help you get them level and snug.
As of March 1999, all bicycle helmets made in or imported in the United States must meet a uniform safety standard issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Look for the CPSC label or sticker that says the helmet meets the new standard.
For more information...
Office of Highway Safety (605) 773-4949 or email
- 75% of all bicycling-related deaths are the result of head injuries
- 88% of all bicycling-related head injuries could be prevented by the proper use of a bike helmet
- SD Department of Public Safety Accident Records
- Don't Thump Your Melon Bicycle Rodeo Curriculum
- Sample news release - Bike Safety Month
- Surveys to measure helmet usage in a community
- Informational brochures:
- Safety tips for scooters
- South Dakota EMS for Children