Understanding the Effects of Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Laws on Helmet Use, Heead Injuries and Ridership: A Systematic Review (Poster)

Research has shown conflicting evidence of the impact of mandatory bicycle helmet laws. Some claim it will reduce head injuries, others claim helmet laws diminish cycling and actually have a negative impact on cyclist safety and public health. To date, no systematic reviews have examined studies that included both the intended and unintended consequences. This review explicitly focuses on changes in helmet usage, deaths and/or serious head injuries, and changes to cycling rates. Jurisdictions that implemented mandatory helmet laws observed a decrease in cyclist deaths and/or serious head injuries on average between 20 and 25 percent. The 4 included studies that reported changes to helmet wearing rates observed an average increase between 35 and 40 percent. The 5 studies that reported on changes in cycling rates observed an average decrease of approximately 13 percent. It appears that mandatory helmet laws do discourage some people - particularly children - from riding bicycles. It was beyond this study's scope to compare the safety benefits of reduced head injuries with the public health costs of reduced physical activity. This is a promising area for future study. For the covering abstract of this conference see ITRD record number 201310RT334E.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 1 p.
  • Monograph Title: 2013 Conference and Exhibition of the Transportation Association of Canada - Transportation: Better - Faster - Safer

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01518069
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transportation Association of Canada (TAC)
  • Files: ITRD, TAC
  • Created Date: Mar 11 2014 11:00AM