How Much Will a Bicycle Helmet Reduce Your Chances of Injury?

How Much Will a Bicycle Helmet Reduce Your Chances of Injury?
Needless injury and fatalities occur each year because bicyclists don't wear helmets. Death and injury could be prevented if the cyclists wore ANSI- or Snell-certified helmets. Helmets also reduce the severity of bicycle-related injuries.


According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, a compendium of statistics and studies of bicycle-related injuries, non-helmeted bicyclists are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than helmeted bicyclists.

Injuries and Deaths

Approximately 540,000 bicyclists are admitted to hospitals or emergency rooms because of accidents each year. Of these, 67,000 suffer head injuries that could be prevented with helmet use. Head injuries account for more than 60 percent of bicycle-related deaths.

Helmet Protection

From 45 to 88 percent of bicycle-related head injuries could be prevented if cyclists wore helmets, according to the BHSI.

Typical Victim

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies have shown the typical bicycle rider who suffers a head injury is a sober male over the age of 16 riding without a helmet on a major road, near an intersection and during the summer months.


While not a magic panacea for all brain and head injury prevention, helmets are a very effective means of avoiding traumatic brain or head injury, according to the NHTSA.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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