Research & reports

Title: Bicycle helmets To wear or not to wear? A meta-analyses of the effects of bicycle helmets on injuries

Organisation: Institute of Transport Economics (Norway)
Date uploaded: 3rd April 2019
Date published/launched: August 2018

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Wearing protective headgear reduces the risk of cyclists being killed or seriously injured by 34%, according to this research.

The study, published by the Institute of Transport Economics (Norway) in 2018, also suggests that wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of suffering a serious head injury by 60%.

The study analysed the effects of bicycle helmets on a variety of injuries, drawing on 55 previous studies carried out between 1989 and 2017.

The researchers also found that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury (53%) and face injury (23%). However, helmets were not found to have any statistically significant effect in reducing the likelihood of suffering a cervical spine injury.

The study also suggests that the positive effects of bicycle helmets may be ‘somewhat larger’ in locations where they are mandatory.

Helmets were found to have a ‘greater impact’ in offering protection to drunk cyclists and in single bicycle crashes, than in collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles.

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