Choosing a Helmet

Wearing a bike helmet reduces the risk of injury and death. Cycling is a reasonably safe activity that millions of us enjoy, but every year many cyclists die after a crash or collision. Most die because of head injuries. Many more suffer permanent brain injury.

You should wear a helmet every time you ride a bicycle. Wearing a bike helmet increases your chances of surviving a fall, crash or collision. According to figures from Transport Canada, of the 13,693 people killed in road crashes in Canada between 2004 and 2008, 290 were cyclists.

Helmet laws

Did you know that 8 out of 10 provinces have helmet laws?

map of Canada
  • British Columbia — all cyclists
  • Manitoba  — cyclists under 18
  • Alberta — cyclists under 18
  • Ontario — cyclists under 18
  • Nova Scotia — all cyclists
  • New Brunswick — all cyclists
  • Newfoundland - all cyclists
  • Prince Edward Island — all cyclists

Why is it important to wear helmets?

To save your life or avoid serious injury, properly fitted helmets greatly reduce the risk of brain injuries. Research shows that safety approved bike helmets reduce the risk of brain injury by over 85%.

How to Properly Wear a Helmet

When wearing a helmet, ensure the helmet fits snugly and covers the head. Make sure that the edge of the helmet is positioned two fingers above the eyebrows to protect the forehead. The straps should meet in a V shape just below the ears and one finger should fit between the chin and the chinstrap.

(Ministry of Transportation — Ontario)

With the helmet on your head, try to move it gently from side to side, and back and forth. It should be snug enough to move the skin. If not, use the thicker foam padding provided with the helmet to make it more snug. Then tighten the chinstraps with enough room to slide one finger between the strap and the chin.

(Nova Scotia Bicycle Safety)

Make sure you research and read the manufacturer’s instructions.