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Journal Article


Fyhri A. Proc. Road Saf. Four Continents Conf. 2010; 15: 869-878.


(Copyright © 2010, Conference Sponsor)






A few countries have legislated compulsive bicycle helmet use. The evidence from these countries concerning the effect of mandatory helmet use is mixed. Both risk compensation effects and changes in cycling population due to helmet legislation have been put forward as explanations regarding the lacking effect from before and after studies. As risk compensation normally is related to accident reduction measures, not injury reducing measures, the case o fhelmet use is an interesting case to further our knowledge on this important topic. In order to learn more about the relationship between helmet use, accidents, and cyclist typology, a random sample of 5000 participants were drawn from the Falck National register of bicycle owners in Norway. The respondents were approached via email. Due to non-existent mail addresses etc, the final sample consisted of 3930 persons who received invitations. The results of the study showed that "speed happy" cyclists seem to be involved in more cycling accidents. The use of bicycle helmet as such does not seem to be related to either accident proneness or speeding. However, the helmet is typically seen as a part of a package of equipment that is typical of the speeding (and accident involved) cyclist. Data on risk perception collected in the questionnaire gives further insight into these quite intricate relationships.


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