Bicycle Helmets Lead to Fewer Head Injuries for Cyclist’s Who Wear Them

Update: see previous posts – July 17, 2011 Cyclists Ignore the Signs at Kew Gardens, July 13, 2011 Toronto Bicycle Lanes Eliminated, July 9, 2011 Cyclists Continue Riding the Wrong Way on a One-Way Street (Huron Street), July 8, 2011 Toronto Police to Ticket Cyclists and Motor Vehicles Ignoring Cyclist’s Space, July 7, 2011 Careless Driving Causing Death?, May 4, 2011 Police Charge Parent of Young Cyclist Not Wearing His Bicycle Helmet, May 2, 2011 Cyclist on Powered-Assisted Bicycle Charged with Not Wearing a Helmet and Impaired Driving, March 9, 2011 Cyclist Launches 20 Million Lawsuit against Cycling Club & Association, January 27, 2011 Time to Update the Cycling Laws in Toronto & Ontario?, January 8, 2011 Toronto is Ready to Invest in the Safety of Cyclists,December 22, 2010   Toronto’s First Count of Downtown Cyclists (Sept. 2010) , November 8, 2010 Week Long Pedestrian Safety Campaign/Blitz, October 10, 2010 Bike Boxes , September 16, 2010 Private Member’s Bill requires a minimum of one metre paved shoulder be added whenever designated provincial highways are repaved to reduce accidents/fatalities , August 26, 2010 Police Lay 400 Charges Against Cyclists/Pedestrians , May 19, 2010 Motorists Must Stay 3,4 or 5 Feet Away from Bicyclists , March 29, 2010 Toronto’s Zero-Tolerance Bicycle Blitz , November 16, 2009 Most Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians – Toronto (2008) , October 12, 2009 Idaho Stop Law , September 7, 2009 Toronto Police Bicycle Safety Blitz , March 21, 2009 Bicycle Accidents Toronto, Reported in 2008 , December 20, 2008 City of Toronto Considering Installing “Rumble Strips” 

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When cyclist's wear helmets and are involved in an accident, they are less likely to suffer head trauma

There were 4,325 cycling-related injuries in 2009-10, compared to 4,332 eight years earlier. Head injuries were reduced by 27% in the same period.

Almost half of all cycling related injuries take place during the summer months of June, July and August.

Out of those cyclists who suffered head trauma and had attend hospital, 78% were not wearing their bicycle helmets.

In 2001-2002 there were 907 head injuries related to cycling injuries versus 665 head injuries related to cycling injuries in 2010.

Approximately 25% of all cycling injuries that required hospitalizations were as a result of a collision with motor vehicles.

CIHI data shows that cycling injuries are by far the most common injury from summer sports and recreational activity, accounting for half of all hospital admissions in this category. In 2009–2010, 4,324 Canadians were hospitalized as a result of a cycling injury, with close to half of these injuries occurring in June, July and August.

While the annual number of cycling injury hospitalizations remained relatively stable between 2001–2002 and 2009–2010, the number of cycling-related head injuries decreased significantly, from 907 to 665, over the same period. Among the most severe cycling injury admissions of the past decade (those requiring admission to a special trauma centre), 78% of those hospitalized with a head injury were not wearing a helmet when their injury occurred.

“While the number of cycling injuries has remained static over the past decade, the good news is that many studies are showing that the widespread use of helmets has resulted in fewer serious head injuries among children,” says Pamela Fuselli, Executive Director of Safe Kids Canada. “Even with the proper equipment, however, cyclists and motorists need to remain vigilant when they are out on roads and recreational trails. It’s really    important to get outside and play, but it’s equally important to do so safely.”                                                                                               

Between 2001–2002 and 2009–2010, hospital admissions for cycling injuries were most common among children and youth younger than 20 (42%), with 10- to 14-year-old boys hospitalized the most frequently.

Among the provinces, in 2009–2010, cycling injury age-adjusted hospitalization rates were highest in British Columbia and Alberta and lowest in Ontario and Nova Scotia.

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