Since 2003, Texas Bicycle Coalition, in partnership with Bell Sports, has made bicycle helmets available through the Helmets by the Dozen program at a greatly discounted price to organizations and individuals wishing to provide helmets to cyclists who might not otherwise be able to afford one.
Thousands of helmets have been purchased through this program by local bicycle clubs, rehabilitation hospitals, shelters and individuals. They have also been given away to children and adults at bicycle events, bicycle give-away programs and holiday gift programs. This simple, inexpensive item has the potential to save lives and could be the single most useful piece of gear a bicyclist could receive.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 622 pedalcyclists were killed and an additional 46,000 were injured nationally in traffic crashes in 2003. In 2000, more than 373,000 children were treated for bicycle-related injuries at hospital emergency rooms.
Head injuries are the most common and severest form of injury. According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, NHTSA and the American Academy of Pediatrics, bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85 percent and permanent brain injury by 88 percent, while 75 percent of fatal bicycle crashes involving children and adolescents could have been prevented with the use of bicycle helmets.
This fall, Texas Bicycle Coalition and Bell Sports will also make multisport helmets (for skateboarding, inline skating and cycling) and EMS/police bike patrol helmets available at a discounted rate. The multisport helmet program will be similar to the Helmets by the Dozen program for bicycle helmets. The police and EMS bike patrol helmets will be available for law enforcement agencies only.
To participate in the Helmets by the Dozen program, visit the order form on the BikeTexas website. This year, save a life, give a helmet!