Bicycle Helmets Save Lives, Reduce Brain Injuries

Bicycle Helmets

Dec. 20, 2019 – The NC Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with the NC Department of Transportation and its annual Bicycle Helmet Initiative to reduce bicycle injuries and deaths. The initiative distributes free helmets through various agencies sponsoring bicycle safety events.

While less than half of all children typically wear one while biking, helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by nearly 90%.

As part of a prevention effort, the Traumatic Brain Injury Program at DHHS’ Division of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services is contributing $75,000 from TBI state funds appropriated by the legislature  toward NCDOT’s initiative, offered through its Bicycle and Pedestrian Division. The NCDOT division uses funds from the sale of “Share the Road” specialty license plates to pay for bike helmets that are given to children from low-income households.

As part of the initiative, NCDOT distributes helmets to government and non-government agencies conducting bike safety events. Examples of partners include police and fire departments, parks and recreation departments, health departments, community centers, churches and non-governmental organizations.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Jan. 6. Applicants have the option of requesting 25, 50, 75 or 100 helmets, and awardees will receive them by April 30. Applicants are encouraged to partner with other groups in their communities to extend the reach of bicycle safety awareness.