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Featured / People On Bikes

Orange County Mayor Jacobs’ Walk Ride Thrive initiative advocates for bike helmet safety

Photo Nov 03, 11 35 49 AM

Bike helmets can save lives.  Though they don’t prevent all injuries, helmets are critical to reducing the risk of severe head injuries.  One study estimates that helmet use reduced the odds of head injury by 50 percent and the odds of head, face, or neck injury by 33 percent in bicyclist-related accidents.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that less than half of Americans who ride bikes wear a helmet.

Orange County wants to reverse this trend by increasing county involvement in a state-wide bike helmet safety program.  The FDOT-funded bike helmet program provides helmets to kids and adults who ride bikes – for free. The program is run by the Florida Pedestrian & Bicyclist Safety Resource Center and funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

There is one catch – only certified bike helmet fitters can give out the free helmets.  This is to make sure the helmets are fitted correctly and meet safety standards.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ new ped/bike safety initiative Walk-Ride-Thrive has recently made the bike helmet program a priority including training more Orange County staff and residents to be bike helmet fitters. This means more free bike helmets for kids and adults who bike in Orange County.  Helmets were already in high demand at a recent Clarcona Elementary bike helmet fitting event this past September.

Orange County just hosted a bike helmet fitting training on Nov. 3 at the Public Works building for county staff and community partners with potentially more classes to come.  See more photos from the class on our Facebook.  Trainer Lyndy Moore led the class.  Moore is a certified League of American Bicyclists instructor and has taught bike helmet fitting classes for over 12 years.  She is a tireless advocate for bike helmets in part because she lost a friend to a head injury from a bike accident.  Moore’s friend was biking a local trail without a helmet.

Find a bike helmet fitting trainer near you here.

In addition to bike helmet fitting training, the CyclingSavvy training course is also a great bike safety resource.

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