Study finds cycle helmets reduce traumatic brain injury by 53%

Research on the use of cycle helmets, from 55 studies between 1989-2017, was published in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention.

Published on: 10/05/18

The use of cycle helmets was found to reduce:

  • head injury by 48%
  • serious head injury by 60%
  • traumatic brain injury by 53%
  • face injury by 23%; and the
  • total number of killed or seriously injured cyclists by 34%.

Cycle helmets were also suggested to be more effective in high-risk single cycle crashes, such as on slippery or icy roads, and among drunk cyclists than sober cyclists.

The results did not indicate that bicycle helmet effects are different between adult cyclists and children.

Commenting on the research, Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway – the brain injury association, said: “There is an overwhelming body of evidence proving the effectiveness of helmets in reducing the risk of cyclists sustaining life-changing brain injuries.

“This latest piece of comprehensive research is yet another part of scientific evidence that reinforces this fact.

“It also highlights that although cyclists can take every care to avoid accidents, at times there are simply things that are outside of their control, such as icy road conditions or other road users.

“Cycling is a fabulous way to keep fit and active and at Headway we are passionate about promoting safe cycling, while supporting measures to make it safer for people of all ages to take to their bikes and get pedalling.

“Sadly however, we also know easy it can be to sustain a brain injury and the devastating effects that can result. Our message to all cyclists is please use your head – use a helmet.”