How to Fit a Helmet

A helmet can only protect your brain if you wear it each time you ride!

Everyone—adult and child—should wear bicycle helmets each time they ride. Helmets are the single most effective way to prevent head injuries resulting from bicycle crashes. In fact, studies show bicycle helmets reduce the risk of serious head injuries by 85-88% (1, 2).

A helmet won't protect you if it is not worn correctly. As shown below, the helmet should be level on the head and fastened snugly under the chin, with the strap forming a "V" below the ears. If you're not sure whether your or your child's helmet fits properly, download the 5-step helmet fit test or this guide to fitting your helmet properly.

When buying helmets for young children and teens, let them choose the helmet. Young people are more likely to wear a helmet if they think it is "cool" and have chosen it themselves.


  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts: Bicycle Helmet Use Laws 2008.
  2. Thompson RS, et al. A case-control study of the effectiveness of bicycle helmets. N Engl J Med 1989; 320(21):1361-1367.