NCDOT Executes Annual Bicycle Helmet Initiative

bike helmets

With little protection, bicycle accidents can result in quite serious injuries and even death. The results of a meta-analysis conducted on the effects of bike helmets found that helmet usage reduces head injury by 48%, serious head injury by 60%, traumatic brain injury by 53%, face injury by 23%, and the total number of killed or seriously injured cyclists by 34%.

In an effort to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to bicycle accidents, the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is executing its annual initiative for people to receive free bike helmets.

NCDOT’s Bicycle Helmet Initiative, run by its Bicycle and Pedestrian Division, utilizes funds acquired from the sale of all “Share the Road” specialty license plates. NCDOT distributes these helmets to both government and non-government agencies that are conducting bike safety events, with bike helmets being provided to underprivileged children.

Partners of NCDOT’s initiative include:

  • Police departments
  • Fire departments
  • Health departments
  • Parks & Recreation departments
  • Churches
  • Community centers
  • Non-governmental organizations

Less than half of all children usually wear a helmet while biking, despite the fact that they can reduce the risk for severe brain injuries by almost 90 percent.

This year, the state Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Division to provide an additional $75,000 in state funds. In addition to the helmets provided to low-income children, these additional funds will help provide helmets to low-income adults.

Those government and non-government agencies that will be conducting bicycle safety events and are interested in applying can submit an application by 5 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2020. Applicants may request 25, 50, 75, or 100 helmets, and those awarded will receive their helmets by April 30, 2020. Applicants are encouraged to partner with groups in the community to extend the awareness of bicycle safety and the use of helmets. For more information and to download the application, visit the NCDOT Bicycle Helmet Initiative webpage.