Recommendations for reducing cycling injuries and death


An excerpt From a Toronto Coroner’s Report
A report on cycling fatalites in Toronto
1986 – 1998: recommendations

Adults are role models for young people and the age limit of mandatory helmet use sends a mixed message. Numerous articles have been published in recent years supporting the effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets. Control studies have provided convincing evidence that riders not wearing helmets are between two and three times as likely as a helmeted rider to suffer a head injury in a crash. Other reports conclude that up to 80 per cent of deaths among bicyclists are due to severe head injury. To be effective, however, bicycle helmets must be worn properly with the proper retention device to prevent them from coming off during a crash.

It must be recognized, however, that helmet use is not a panacea for drastically reducing cycling related fatalities or serious head injuries. Stricter bicycle helmet legislation and mass helmet usage in other countries (U.S.A., Australia, and New Zealand) have failed to produce any statistically significant reduction in the rates of fatalities and head injuries, despite optimistic projections. In addition, compulsory helmet use may result in reduced bicycle usage.


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