SWOV Catalogus

81737

Cycle helmets : the case for and against.
C 3080 [electronic version only] /84 / IRRD 861039
Hillman, M.
London, Policy Studies Institute PSI, 1993, 32 p., 99 ref.; PSI Report ; No. 752 - ISBN 0-85374-602-8

Samenvatting With mounting pressure to enforce or at least encourage the wearing of cycle helmets, the author considers the evidence for and against cycle helmet wearing provided by a number of studies. Statistics are presented for: (a) cycle usage; (b) injuries or fatalities; (c) head injuries for all classes of road user; and (d) overall causes of death. The effectiveness of helmets in reducing head injuries is discussed. The cost of helmets, the frequency of their use, and their comfort are considered. The author is particularly concerned that the 'risk compensation factor' may cancel out any protective effect. Arguments against a statutory requirement for helmet wearing include cost and the portrayal of cycling as a dangerous form of transport. The author concludes that a strategy based on tackling the source of accidents has a greater scope for reducing injuries. This would include the provision of cycle routes, traffic calming, 20 mph speed limit zones, proper enforcement of existing speed limits and improved road maintenance.
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