BOISE -- A year after a terrible cycle crash where she nearly lost her life, a Boise woman is trying to educate community members and promote helmet safety.
Katie Little was riding her bike on Hill Road when she was involved in an accident with a car about a year ago. "I hit the car and flew over the car 25 feet," Little said. "landed on my head, but I was wearing a really good helmet."
Little says that helmet saved her life. Now she tells everyone she knows -- even strangers -- about helmet safety.
"I yell at people, 'Wear a helmet!'" said Little. "You see all the people, the families riding down the greenbelt with their kids, and they're not wearing helmets. You gotta get the message out there."
Spreading the message about all types of bike safety was what Sunday's Boise Bike Crawl was all about. The community-sponsored event happened in Ann Morrison Park.
Little, along with the YMCA, Boise Bike Project, and Pro Helmet, among other organizations, gave out free helmets, educated people on the rules of the road, and fixed up some bikes.
"Boise's just such a phenomenal bike community," said Steve Stuebner with Pro Helmet. "But, you do need to understand the rules of road so that you can avoid an accident."
Some would argue that helmet safety is becoming more important because bikers are growing in numbers.
"Oh, we bike everywhere," said cyclist Darrell Jackson, who brought his kids to Sunday's event.
Jackson says he passes on the bike safety message to his kids frequently. "We have to ride in the street sometimes, so I want them to understand the safety rules of that," said Jackson. "We talk about bike accidents and fatalities. We talk about that, so that they know how important it is to follow the rules."
Little hopes the message continues to spread, so more lives can be saved, just like hers was.
In 2011, 349 cyclists in Idaho were involved in crashes with cars. According to the Idaho Transportation Dept., only 28% of those cyclists were wearing helmets, an increase from 2010. Organizers of Sunday's Bike Crawl say that percentage needs to keep rising if Idaho cyclists hope to keep safe on the roads.
For more information see the cycling safety tips web page on the Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare website.