Helmets don’t contribute to road safety: Research

Monday, November 8, 2010

MELBOURNE - A research conducted by University of Sydney suggests that forcing people to wear bike helmets is of no use in road safety measures.

The biggest drop in head injuries among bike riders occurred before helmet use was required by law, said Associate Professor Chris Rissel.

“Subsequent reductions in head injuries have occurred at a much lower rate and are not of the magnitude you’d expect from making all cyclists wear a helmet,” the Herald Sun quoted Rissel as saying.

“Findings suggest the greatest reductions in head injuries … come from road improvement safety measures introduced prior to 1991, such as lower speed limits, random breath testing and intensive road safety advertising.”

Rissel said the research showed the importance of ongoing helmet use by riders under the age of 15, as these younger riders suffered about half the head injuries reported in this study.

But the case for continued mandatory helmet wearing for adults was “questionable”, as the requirement could act as a hurdle to encouraging more bike use.

“Wearing a helmet is still recommended, but you don’t really need one if you’re just riding in a park or going to the shops for some milk,” he said.

The research is published in the latest Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

will not be displayed