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Download a list of free to low-cost bike helmet providers (PDF)
Find out where you can find free or low-cost bike helmets in King County!

Children wearing bike helmets

Unfortunately, bicycling is not risk-free. In fact, from 2018 - 2021, an average of 5 bicyclists died each year in King County1 and 147 entered Harborview's Trauma Center for their injuries.2
1Washington State Dept, of Transportation, September 2022
2Harborview Trauma Registry, 2018-2021, received October 2022

To stay safe, follow Washington's bicycling laws and always wear a helmet! Visit the Washington state Department of Transportation's Bicycle Laws page to learn more about bicyclist responsibilities and state laws.

For safety tips, check out the King County Department of Transportation's bicycle safety page.

How to fit a helmet

A review of several published studies estimated that bike helmets provide a 63-88% reduction in the risk of head, brain, and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists.
Thompson DC. Cochrane Review 1999, updated 2009.

In order for the bike helmet to protect you, it needs to fit properly.

  • Make sure your helmet is the right size. Try on several helmets before buying one. The helmet should fit comfortably. If needed, use extra pads for a snug and secure fit.
  • Make sure the straps fit around your ear and under your chin snugly. The straps should form a "V" under your ears. Leave enough room for one finger to fit between your chin and the strap.
  • The helmet should rest flat on your head, not too far forwards or backwards. The helmet should rest low on the forehead, no more than two finger widths above the eyebrows.
  • Look for the CPSC or SNELL certification sticker inside the helmet.
  • Get a new helmet when you grow out of it or within 5 years, whichever comes first.
  • Replace your helmet after a crash or if it is cracked.

Bike Helmets: Quick-Fit Check (PDF): Check out this easy, three-point check guide from Seattle Children's to make sure your helmet has a proper fit.

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