Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Helmet laws appear to discourage bicycling

There's further confirmation today that requiring kids to wear bike helmets does reduce head injuries. Unfortunately, helmet laws also lead to fewer kids riding, according to a study reported in the Freakonomics Blog of the New York Times:
“There is also robust evidence for an unintended and previously undocumented mechanism: helmet laws produced ... reductions in youth bicycling participation of 4-5 percent.”


Anonymous said...

That's why helmets need to be cool. At Buddy Bike we promote and sell Nutcase Helmets. I hope that kids AND adults will like them enough to wear them. Shelley at Buddy Bike

Anonymous said...

The following shows cycling reduced by 29.9% for 7-11 year olds, 1998 -2007

Download 2006YouthParticipationInSelectedSportsWithComparisons.pdf

The following shows children have increased weight problems

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Overweight and Obesity

Heart disease risk 'increases for children who are inactive' , accessed 4.2.2010

When you add up all the effects from helmet laws for children in the USA, it comes out about 50 or more lives lost per year.