BHSI Program for 2024
Summary: Our program this year continues to rely on our website for outreach and includes work on improving helmet
standards, some new projects and continued lab testing as well as other activities. With funding for all basic programs
now assured through the year, 2024 may see some program innovations.
1. Our website
BHSI will actively maintain this website with daily updates through the year. This is our 28th year on the web. Our
simple web design is still fresh. Our pages load fast. We
hope to reach a million visitors in 2024. We have had over a million each year since 2010. The web is our most effective
means of reaching consumers, researchers, the press, manufacturers and others. It enables us to serve as a clearinghouse
for bicycle helmet information. It is the most rapid means of disseminating new developments in the helmet field. It
revolutionized our work when we came on line in 1995. We continue to search for new material. Our precious volunteer time
is better spent on enhancing and maintaining the website than any other activity. We understand that some of our pages
are Too Long To Read and are continuing to streamline pages to reach the texting generation and those who are surfing
on very small devices. Social networking does not work for us, so we so not engage in it. During 2019 we upgraded our
secure server with a higher-level security certificate similar to those used by banks. (Tap or hover over the lock symbol
on the left side of the address window above for info.)
2. Lab Testing
We contract for testing by fully-accredited labs. In the past BHSI conducted a unique project
to test helmets for possible damage by various commonly used consumer products
. For 2017 we published our research on the effects of washing helmets in dishwashers
and In 2020 we added info on COVID19 helmet cleaning with bleach
. We also tested a variety of cheap
and expensive helmets
to compare their levels of protection. We procure a number of new concept helmets as they come
out and send some of them to a lab for testing. Based on lab testing we also send helmet samples to CPSC if the believe
they do not meet the US standard.
3. Consumer Representation on Bicycle Helmet Standards Committees
BHSI continues to work on the ASTM F08.53 Headgear Subcommittee
. We work on various task groups
and participate actively in drafting and updating standards. We chair the bicycle helmet standards task group. BHSI either sends a representative to all ASTM F08 Committee meetings or attends virtually. For 2024 that will include meeting again in person.
BHSI also participates whenever the Consumer Product Safety Commission holds a meeting to discuss the Federal bicycle
helmet standard. We will provide a representative to any CPSC helmet standard meetings organized during the year or attend virtually. We will
also continue to cover CPSC meetings on other helmet-related subjects, and periodic meetings of the International
Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization where CPSC staff brief the membership. We are encouraging CPSC to update
their 1999 bicycle helmet standard. We submit comments on the Commission's actions such as this one from a manufacturer who requested an exemption from the bicycle helmet
. The exemption was not granted.
5. Participation in Other Organizations
We attend the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) Annual Symposium. We will also participate in the annual Bicycle Summit in Washington, DC. We will send a representative to other meetings that come up as we do every year.
Newsletter The web is our main publishing outlet, and BHSI will continue to send its email newsletter,
The Helmet Update to over 500 helmet researchers, promoters, manufacturers,
standards committee members, press, medical researchers and interested helmet users. We send new issues only when
there is news, rather than working up filler to keep up a set publication schedule. We discontinued our paper
newsletter in 2004. You can be on our email list by sending us an email request. We send
about five or six Updates per year.
Pamphlets BHSI will update the Buyer's Guide to Bicycle Helmets and A Bicycle Helmet for My Child at least once during the year. We will also keep current our
pamphlet on How to Fit a Bicycle Helmet and other fact sheets that we provide. We send out
paper duplicating masters of our pamphlets, but most users now download the files and print
Helmets for the Current Season Each year BHSI researches and publishes a page on helmets
on the market for the coming year. We do the research as time permits throughout the calendar year. In the past, most
of the info was collected at trade shows, and plan to resume attending Eurobike this year.
Helmet Standards Comparison BHSI will publish on the web at least one annual update of our technical standards study comparing eleven international bicycle helmet standards. This year we
will add the ASTM standards for downhill mountain biking and BMX cycling, as well as the new Dutch standard and European equivalent for
electric bicycle helmets's.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bicycle Helmets BHSI will update this FAQ writeup
explaining many aspects of helmet design and performance to reflect new developments.
Materials for local helmet promotion campaigns We update our Helmet Promotion
Toolkit, a package of materials from numerous sources, frequently during the year. We add new materials as they
become available and update content. The Toolkit is entirely available on the web, but we still receive some requests
for it on paper. We send pamphlet duplicating masters and a CD with our entire website. We also send five DVDs with
bicycle safety and helmet safety videos or can send the files on a thumb drive. Demand for the Toolkit has decreased as more teachers and local program organizers rely more on downloading online information.
Compendium of crash stories BHSI updates this collection of stories frequently,
primarily from email messages.
List of Mandatory Helmet Laws We keep our list of mandatory helmet laws current
with frequent updates. The pace of new laws has slowed almost to a halt, but states and localities have been adding
new ebike laws, so we have a page up on those as well.
7. Briefings and background materials for the media
BHSI makes a special effort to provide materials to media people working on helmet articles or programs. Many researchers
make use of our website, where we have a Media Room section
and a Quote of
for those on tight deadlines. Although the quote not may be current, we respond promptly to press emails to
or phone calls to 703-486-0100 as well.
BHSI has two secure Internet domains: helmets.org and bhsi.org. Both point to the same files on the same physical server.
All our web traffic now funnels to helmets.org, and we have a secure https server with Extended Validation certification. Our local area network is connected
to the Internet with a fiber optic broadband connection. Our website has run very reliably at Pair Networks
servers since 2001. Their low rates reduced our web costs from the old days of
running our own server here. For the first ten years we monitored our Pair Networks service every three minutes 24x7 and
found that it is very reliable. We now use UptimeRobot for that function. Our site is rated as100 per cent up. There is no charge to our users for any of our web
other organization. We do not have ads. We do not pop up annoying windows asking
you to subscribe to our newsletter, although you can subscribe to it by sending an email to us
BHSI has telephone service with voicemail at 703-486-0100. We do not maintain a fax machine.
9. Budget and donations
BHSI remains an all-volunteer organization, paying no salaries or rent. Nearly 100% of our budget
goes into program expenses. We operate on a budget between $10,000 and $15,000 per year, sustained by donations from
bicycle riders who believe in this work. We are not an affiliate advertising site and do not profit from your clicks on any of our links. We do not accept funding from helmet manufacturers or any organization
involved in the retail sale of helmets.
That includes independent bicycle shops. Checks made
out to us or credit card and paypal donations
are welcome from anyone else! We can't accept anonymous donations,
though. BHSI is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, so all donations are tax-deductible under IRS rules, and our
confirmation letter from the IRS is here
. To promote the fullest possible distribution we do
not charge for our Toolkit for Helmet Promotion Programs and other materials. We can certainly put all donations to good
BHSI was founded in 1989 and benefited from the support of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association during our earlier
years. In 2016 we made the transition to a fully independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Our Board of Directors
holds its annual meetings in early February.
11. Contact Information
BHSI is located at 4611 Seventh Street South, Arlington, VA 22204-1419. You can contact us
. Our website is at helmets.org
, our registered trade name, or can still be
accessed at our original URL, bhsi.org.
Thank you for your interest!