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Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

The Helmet Update by Email

Volume 22, #2 - May 11, 2004

All issues index

Helmet Survey has National Usage Rates

The injury prevention community has been concerned for years that there were no accurate surveys of helmet use.

Last year the National Safe Kids Campaign developed a survey to be carried out by its local organizations across the US. We participated in the advisory panel for the study. The preliminary results are being announced today, including these key findings:

  • Only 41 per cent of the kids 5 to 14 at surveyed sites were wearing helmets, although the sites chosen had a bias for higher rates.

  • Even at sites where helmets were required, only 52 per cent wore them.

  • At sites where wheels are used for transportation, only 38 per cent wore helmets.

  • More than a third of the kids wearing helmets did not have them fitted correctly. Conversely, two-thirds did!

  • The effect of laws was not well evaluated. Although sites with state-level helmet laws had only 45 per cent wearing helmets and sites without state level laws had 39 per cent, the study did not take into account whether or not there was a local ordinance.

You can find the whole study on the Safe Kids site today.

Shortly after this newsletter was issued the State of Utah published this ten year study of helmet wearing rates.

Consumer Reports Article in July

Consumer Reports is planning their biannual helmet article for the July issue, available to subscribers and news stands in June.

The article will rate about 30 bike, skate and toddler helmets. Although that is a small cross-section of the hundreds of models on the market, it represents the only independent lab test data available anywhere, so it will be a landmark.

The article will be available at news stands and libraries, or you can download it for a fee on the Consumer Reports website.

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