When paying attention to cyclists, you can see that not everyone is wearing a helmet when riding their bikes. People usually think there is no need to wear them because they are just taking a short ride or their route is safe. Some may refuse to wear them because they believe they look silly. Many times nothing bad happens and everyone returns home safely, until one time something does happen, and then it’s too late.
Various bike helmet statistics show how effective and useful this simple piece of protective gear can be in preventing injuries. All of them agree that more than half of head injuries could be prevented if cyclists wore helmets at the moment of the crash.
In this article, we tried to round up the numbers that can save your life if you are aware of them, but also give you some interesting facts on this topic.
Bicycle Helmet Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by more than 50%
- 62% of cyclists killed in 2019 were not wearing helmets
- Australia was the first country to enforce statewide mandatory bicycle helmet laws for all cyclists
- There are no significant quality differences between expensive and cheap bike helmets
- 843 bike riders were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2019
- Cyclists in urban areas are at higher risk of injury and twice as likely to get killed
- 35% percent of bicyclist deaths in 2019 occurred at intersections
- Cycling has a carbon footprint of about 21g of CO2 per kilometer
Bike Helmet Statistics
1. Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by more than 50%.
(Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
As the percentage of cycling-related injuries increases, so does the number of ways that could help prevent them. One of the items people are most focused on improving is the bike helmet since many reports show it can lower the risk of injuries by half.
2. In 2019, 35% percent of bicyclist deaths occurred at intersections.
Cycling deaths statistics show that more than a third of cyclists in 2019 lost their lives at intersections. These results are worrying as they raise a question of bike riders’ safety on the roads.
Although this report doesn’t provide the data on who was responsible for these tragedies, it can be assumed that the main reason was lack of attention. Most accidents of this kind happen because participants in traffic are not focused enough on the road.
3. In the US, approximately 7% of all brain injuries are related to cycling.
A distressing fact from bike head injury statistics is the high number of cyclists who suffered a brain injury in the US due to a bike accident. Moreover, most deaths on bikes, 62% to be exact, happen due to head injuries.
4. 62% of cyclists killed in 2019 were not wearing helmets.
Over 60% of cyclists could have avoided death if they had worn helmets. According to the bike helmets safety statistics, for 23% of cyclists involved in accidents, it was unknown if they used helmets. No one can say for sure that these deaths would have been avoided if riders had used protective headgear, but the percentage would likely be lower.
5. Only 29% of adults and 42% of children report always wearing a helmet while biking.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed bicycle helmet use. A group of adults and children participated in this research. They were monitored when using bikes for 30 days. The conclusions showed that, despite the proven efficiency of helmets presented in various helmet safety statistics, less than half of participants always wore them when using the bike for exercising, commuting, or running errands.
6. Only 21% of men who have experienced a head or neck injury in an accident wore a helmet.
Additionally, the same report provided data for women and children who suffered these types of injuries while riding a bike. Furthermore, bike injury statistics show that only 28% of women who wore a helmet and had an accident were injured. When it comes to the group of children under 17, 12.1% of them protected their heads.
These numbers prove that helmets lower the percentage of head and neck trauma. They could be used to convince more cyclists to be in favor of this headgear.
Bike Helmet Stats and Fun Facts
7. Australia was the first country to enforce statewide mandatory bicycle helmet laws for all cyclists.
Back in 1992, Australia made an original decision and passed a national all-age obligatory bicycle helmet legislation. It introduced this kind of law to the world for the first time. Currently, Australia is one of the three countries in the world that mandate bike helmets, together with New Zealand and Argentina.
8. In 22 US states, including the District of Columbia, and about 202 localities, bike riders are required to wear helmets.
Bicycle helmet laws by the state differ among the states in the US. Some of the states instituted laws for the required use of helmets when riding a bicycle. These regulations are mostly focused on children, but they are not so strict when it comes to adult cyclists.
9. New York, Houston, and Los Angeles had the highest cyclist fatality rates in the US in 2019.
Only major cities with a population of over 500,000 people participated in the study. According to these bike helmet stats, 24 cyclists were killed in New York, 16 in Houston, and 14 in Los Angeles. On a more positive note, five major cities didn’t have cycling fatalities, and those were Fort Worth, Charlotte, Nashville, Las Vegas, and Memphis.
10. Dutch people wear helmets less than riders in other countries.
The Netherlands, a bike-centric country, dedicated special attention to making its roads as safe as possible for cyclists. That feeling of safety could be a potential reason Dutch people are not very pro-helmet use.
Some bike helmet statistics tried to determine the percentage of injuries with and without a helmet on the streets of the Netherlands, but the results were inconclusive. One remains certain, and that is the fact that the Dutch prefer riding their bikes without helmets on their head.
11. There are no significant quality differences between expensive and cheap bike helmets.
When buying something, people usually assume that the higher the price, the better the quality. However, this is not on the list of helmet facts. This report presented the conclusions from one of the tests done on this topic. Six helmets, three cheaper and three more expensive ones, were subjected to a series of tests.
The conclusions were surprising as both groups showed similarly high levels of performance and endurance. Although the sample was small, it can be concluded that the price should not be the number one criterion when choosing the right helmet.
Biking Accident Statistics
12. 843 bike riders were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2019.
These accidents occurred between a bicycle and either a motorcycle, car, or truck. What is more, 65% of bicyclist deaths happened on major roads, whereas 32% occurred on minor roads. Furthermore, most victims on minor roads were younger than 20 (51%).
13. In 2019, 90% of fatalities in bike crashes were 20-year-olds and older.
The same report presented the figures related to the casualties’ age and sex. There is both good and bad news. Namely, since 1975, there have been 90% fewer fatalities younger than 20. Unfortunately, according to the bicycle death statistics, the number tripled for bicyclists older than 20. Additionally, the number of male and female bicycle-vehicle crash casualties has exponentially increased.
14. Most cyclists in single-vehicle accidents are hit by the front of a vehicle.
In 88% of these cases, light trucks were a part of the fatal accidents where cyclists were hit by the front of these vehicles. On the other hand, large trucks had the most fatalities due to the rear impact (12.5%).
15. 21% of bicyclists older than 16 who were killed in 2019 had alcohol in their blood.
According to the bike crash statistics, the level of alcohol concentration was at or above 0.08%. It is not specified whether this was the primary reason for their death and if the bicyclists were responsible for the crashes. However, their impaired state probably influenced the riding.
Unfortunately, the number of fatal crashes due to drunk driving increases every year. From 2019 to 2020, the occurrence of this type of accident rose by 9%, and the grim forecast is that this percentage will continue to grow.
16. Cyclists in urban areas are at higher risk of injury and twice as likely to get killed.
Bicycle safety statistics report that cities are more dangerous for bike riders than rural areas. In 2019, 78% of cyclists were killed in urban areas, and only 22% died in rural areas. This is a major change since the number of fatalities in both of these places was approximately equal in 1975.
This data shows how the number of biking casualties and the volume of traffic in cities are connected. With more vehicles on the roads, there are more fatalities.
17. In 2019, bicyclist deaths peaked between 6 PM and 9 PM.
One of the useful bike safety facts is not to go for a ride in the evening. There are more chances for cyclists to be killed on the road between 6 PM and 9 PM (21%) than at any other time of the day. Also, bikers should be more careful during July and August as the number of casualties increases during those months by 12% and 11%, respectively.
18. In 2020, around 52.73 million Americans regularly rode bicycles.
In the US, bikes are used more and more every year as means of transport and recreation. Furthermore, the number of cyclists increased from around 43 million to 47.5 million from 2014 to 2017. Up until 2020, the figure got even higher, with more than 50 million bikers on the US streets. As the gas prices go up, it can be expected that there will be even more bikes on the streets in the future.
19. Cycling has a carbon footprint of about 21g of CO2 per km.
Among the more striking facts about bike riding for all eco enthusiasts is that cycling has an even lower carbon footprint than walking or riding the bus. Also, bicycles emit less than a tenth of the amount of CO2 per kilometer compared to cars.
Electric bikes are even more eco-friendly as the carbon footprint is lower than with regular bikes, despite the electricity use. In other words, since they run on electricity and are built similarly to electric cars, they don’t emit harmful gasses into the atmosphere.
20. On average, people in the US spend about $22.6 on bicycles per year.
Some biking statistics tell us how budget-friendly bicycles can be. Americans spend just over $20 per year on their rides. When using a bike instead of a car, you can avoid paying for gas, parking spaces, and potential fines, which all add up during the year and cost a lot of money. You can save quite a lot by riding while getting some exercise during the day.
The numbers and facts listed in this text and presented bike helmets safety statistics show how a simple piece of protective gear, such as this one, can help you save your life. Everyone who is riding a bike should wear it regularly to avoid head or brain injuries and even death in the event of a crash.
No matter how experienced someone is, or how safe a route might seem, an accident can happen. It usually occurs when least expected. If that moment comes, it is best to be prepared and protected to avoid any consequences.
People Also Ask
What percentage of bicycle riders wear helmets?
Only 38% of adult cyclists wear it regularly. The number is higher when it comes to children, with approximately 69% of them wearing helmets. However, this figure is a bit higher in the US. Half of the biker riders claim to use helmets every time they go for a ride. The percentage should be higher in the future as their effectiveness is obvious.
What percentage of adults wear bike helmets?
Around 40% of adults wear bike helmets. Moreover, 50% of adults in the US reported wearing helmets. Previously, this number was much lower—18%. However, between 1991 and 1999, the percentage jumped to where it is now. Not only that, but the number of bikes on the street also rose during that period. In 1991, around 66 million people rode bicycles, and by the end of 1999, that number increased to more than 80 million.
How many lives are saved by bike helmets?
Even though there is no specific data about exactly how many lives were saved, many statistics prove their benefits. However, there is no direct evidence that bike helmets save lives. Many reports show only that this piece of equipment lowers the chances of head or brain injury in the event of a crash. From this, experts concluded that by using a helmet, a biker’s head is more protected, thus leading to fewer deaths of cyclists due to these injuries.
How many deaths do bicycle helmets prevent?
As with the number of saved lives, there is no exact percentage of prevented deaths due to the use of bike helmets. Between 135 and 155 children aged 4 to 15 could be saved if the universal law of bicycle helmets was established. What’s more, around 40,000 head traumas and 50,000 scalp and face injuries could be prevented. These figures show how beneficial a simple law can be in avoiding deaths and protecting children.
Are bike helmets effective?
All the figures and facts in this article prove the efficiency of helmets on the streets and bike trails. They can reduce the number of head injuries by 48%, brain injuries by more than 50%, and face injuries by more than 20%. In addition, if we also obey other rules in traffic, the chances of getting injured are even lower.
How dangerous is it to ride a bike without a helmet?
As it can be seen in the text above, riding a bike without a helmet is not without consequences. However, the level of danger varies and depends on different factors. The risk is higher if riding in crowded city streets and not on a bike trail.
Also, there is more chance of a crash and injury during the evening than during the day. However, whatever the level of potential danger, many injuries, even deaths, can be prevented by wearing helmets, bike helmet statistics show. For this reason, it is better to be safe than sorry and protect your head when on a bike.