Healthy People 2010 - With Annotations
Goal: Reduce injuries, disabilities, and deaths due to unintentional injuries and violence.
15-24. Increase the number of States and the District of Columbia with laws requiring bicycle helmets for bicycle riders.
Head injuries are the most serious type of injury sustained by pedalcyclists of all ages. In 1998, 761 bicyclists were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles, and an additional 53,000 were injured in traffic crashes. Almost one-third (30 percent) of the pedalcyclists killed in traffic crashes in 1998 were between age 5 and 15 years. The proportion of pedalcyclist fatalities among persons aged 25 to 64 years was 1.7 times higher in 1997 than in 1987 (46 percent and 27 percent, respectively).(42) More bicyclists were killed on major roads than on local roads (59 percent compared with 36 percent) in 1997.(43)
Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of bicycle-related head injury by 85 percent.(44) Although no States have bicycle laws that apply to all riders, 15 States have laws that apply to young bicyclists under age 18 years.(45) In addition, several localities have ordinances that require some or all bicyclists to wear helmets. Helmets are important for riders of all ages, especially because older bicyclists represent two-thirds of bicycle deaths.(44)
Last modified: 22-Aug-2001.