Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html

Casualty Trends in Great Britain
The number of c...
Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html

The graph above shows that not only has there be...
Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html

Again, it is not possible to detect any improvem...
Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html

Moreover, since the early 1990s, the severity of...
Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html

The graph above of KSI (killed and seriously inj...
Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html

BHRF strives to provide a resource of best-avail...
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Estudio casualty trends in great Britain

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Estudio casualty trends in great Britain

  1. 1. Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html Casualty Trends in Great Britain The number of cyclist deaths in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) has been falling almost continuously since 1934, so it is to be expected that, regardless of the use of helmets by cyclists, this trend would continue. Cycle helmets have only become common in Great Britain since about 1993. Fatality trends since that time have shown no additional improvement compared with the situation previously. Considering only those deaths involving head injury, these too have fallen steadily since well before helmets were in use: Casualty Trends in Great Britain page 1 of 6
  2. 2. Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html The graph above shows that not only has there been no improvement in trends since the early 1990s, but during a period of significant helmet take-up (1994 - 1996), deaths due to head injury increased. The above statistics take no account of levels of cycle use. These have declined dramatically since fatalities started to decline in 1934, but from 1990 to 2004 there was very little change in cycling overall. A fairer way to assess trends in casualties independently of the amount of cycling is to look at the severity ratio: the proportion of casualties that involve fatal or serious injury. The graph below shows how the severity ratio has changed for cyclists, and compares this with the corresponding change for pedestrians. Historically cyclist and pedestrian casualties have tracked closely though with pedestrians sustaining more serious injuries. The inclusion of this comparison is useful in case some mitigating factor is cancelling benefits achieved through increased helmet use. Casualty Trends in Great Britain page 2 of 6
  3. 3. Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html Again, it is not possible to detect any improvement in the severity of cyclist casualties that might be attributed to helmet use, which had risen to 16% by 1996 and 28% in 2004 (on busy roads), but to over 50% in some cities, including London. ( However, helmet use is much lower on less busy roads.) Casualty Trends in Great Britain page 3 of 6
  4. 4. Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html Moreover, since the early 1990s, the severity of cyclist injuries has declined less than for pedestrians. Since 1993 there have been two periods when the severity of cyclist injuries increased, whilst pedestrian injuries continued to become less serious. One of the periods when the severity of cyclist injuries increased was 1994 - 1995 as shown more clearly in the expanded graph below of fatalities since 1985. After moving in harmony with the trends for pedestrians and motor vehicle occupants for some years, there was an abrupt jump of 24% in cyclist deaths which was sustained for several years before fading at the end of the decade. Since 1936 there has been only one other year with a larger annual increase in cyclist deaths (1989 - 1990, 29%) and on that occasion the trend returned to normal the following year. If helmets were 'saving lives', one would not expect such a sudden and substantial jump in cyclist deaths just in the very years when helmet use was becoming common. Moreover, one would not expect such an increase to apply only to cyclists and not also to any other road user. Casualty Trends in Great Britain page 4 of 6
  5. 5. Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html The graph above of KSI (killed and seriously injured) casualties since 1985 also shows an increase in cyclist casualties only in 1994 - 1995, although of smaller order (10%) than for fatalities alone. Despite the use of helmets, cyclists have fared less well than pedestrians in serious injury reduction and only a little better than the occupants of motor vehicles. Sources: Great Britain casualty statistics: Department for Transport, London. Deaths involving head injury: National Statistician, using ICD9 codes N800-4, N850-4, N870-3. Helmet use statistics: Transport Research Laboratory. The Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation (BHRF), an incorporated body with an international membership, exists to undertake, encourage and spread the scientific study of the use of bicycle helmets. Also to consider the effect of the promotion and use of helmets on the perception of cycling in terms of risk and the achievement of wider public health and societal goals. Casualty Trends in Great Britain page 5 of 6
  6. 6. Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1071.html BHRF strives to provide a resource of best-available factual information to assist the understanding of a complex subject, and one where some of the reasoning may conflict with received opinion. In particular BHRF seeks to provide access to a wider range of information than is commonly made available by those that take a strong helmet promotion stance. It is hoped that this will assist informed judgements about the pros and cons of cycle helmets. For more information, please visit www.cyclehelmets.org. Document downloaded 2 Oct 2013. The copyright in this document is owned by the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation, but it may be reproduced or distributed freely so long as the content is not modified in any way. Casualty Trends in Great Britain Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org) page 6 of 6

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