Wearing a bicycle helmet avoids two out of three serious head and brain injuries, the leading cause of death for many cyclists in a crash. This data is derived from research carried out by the Road Safety Institute of FUNDACION MAPFRE, which has analysed international studies and recommendations on the use and effectiveness of this safety element.
Experts point out that cyclists who do not wear helmets are almost twice as likely to suffer a head injury. Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for example, point out that wearing a properly fitted, approved bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by up to 85% and brain injury by 88%.
Wearing a properly fitted and approved bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by up to 85% and brain injury by 88%.
The Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research, for its part, stresses the importance of the use of the case by children – more likely to fall and suffer head injuries – which in many countries is already mandatory. The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, and paediatrician associations in several countries recommend that children always wear helmets when riding a bicycle because their use reduces the incidence of head injuries by 63%.
In 2011 there were 4,526 accidents involving cyclists in Spain, 49 of whom died. Although the use of helmets is compulsory if riding on interurban roads, the MAPFRE FOUNDATION considers that this rule should be extended to the rest of the roads to reduce the possibility of injuries.
FUNDACION MAPFRE also recommends that cyclists wear high visibility retro-reflective clothing to reduce the number of accidents since data from the European Road Safety Observatory indicate that many of the accidents suffered by cyclists are due precisely to the difficulty of detecting their presence at a sufficient distance when they are on roads or urban roads.