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SPD Home / Safety & Prevention / Bicycle Safety

Bicycle Safety


To avoid a dangerous situation like this one, before you head out on your bike, check to make sure everything is adjusted and the chains are working property.


A wealth of information about all things bicycle can be found at the Seattle Department of Transportation website:

Regulations for Bicycling in Seattle:

Bicycle helmet regulation

As of August 17, 2003 the King County Helmet Regulation mandates:

    • Helmet use by persons of all ages in all parts of the County, including the City of Seattle.

    • Helmets meet current U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Snell safety standards.

    • Helmets be fastened while riding.

Bicyclists throughout King County can be cited for not wearing a helmet.

More information available at:

Bicycle helmet effectiveness

Head injuries account for:

    • 60% of bicycle-related deaths

    • Two-thirds of bicycle related hospitalizations

    • One-third of bicycle related hospital ER visits
      (-NSKC, 2004)

Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85% and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88%:(-NEJM, 1989)

    • Wear a bicycle helmet every time you ride.

    • Make sure your bicycle helmet has a "CPSC" or "Snell" sticker inside. This is your guarantee that it has met the most rigorous safety standards.

    • Purchase a new helmet after a crash, or after 5 years of use.


King County medical and health experts concluded that, between 1998-2002, 3 out of the 5 young people who die from bike-related injuries would have survived if they were wearing helmets. (-King County Medical Examiners Office)

Approximately 75% of all bicycle-related injuries occur among children ages 14 and under. (-NSKC, 2004)

    • Make sure your kids wear a helmet every time they ride.
    • Teach your children about the rules of the road and traffic laws.
    • Children under the age of 10 need adult supervision while riding.
    • Purchase a new helmet for your child after a crash, after 5 years of use, and when your child outgrows it.
    • Make sure the helmet fits correctly. One study found that children whose helmets fit poorly are at twice the risk of a head injury in a crash compared with children whose helmet fit is excellent.
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