Bike Helmet legislation to require use of the helmets causes some controversy.
NCBI studied the safety and effectiveness of bike helmets related to head injuries. It was found that bike helmets may reduce the risk of head injuries.
Five studies from North America were used. So far the helmet legislation enacted only applies to children.
Here’s an excerpt from the study:
“Adults were used as controls in four of the studies, whilst jurisdictions with no helmet legislation were used as controls in the fifth. Three of the studies reported on changes in head injury rates and three reported on changes in helmet use. There were no included studies reporting change in bicycle use or other adverse consequences of legislation. In two studies, statistically significant decreases in head injuries were reported following the implementation of helmet legislation compared with controls, whilst one reported a non-statistically significant decline. Bicycle helmet use increased statistically significantly post-legislation in all three of the studies reporting on helmet use.
Bicycle helmet legislation appears to be effective in increasing helmet use and decreasing head injury rates in the populations for which it is implemented. However, there are very few high quality evaluative studies that measure these outcomes, and none that reported data on an possible declines in bicycle use.”
Should there be statutes requiring adults wear bike helmets? Is it a question of personal responsibility?
For more information on the study go to: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18646128
Figure 1 Bike Helmet Legislation