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Some Helmet Program Evaluations


Summary: The material below is old, but reliable. The best current list of studies and references on educational campaign evaluations is the page titled "Bicycle Injury Interventions Programs to Increase Helmet Use: Education" on the Harborview Injury Prevention Center site. We can't hope to match that. You may find a lot more with a search on helmets on their site.




Centers for Disease Control
Evaluation of Legislation and Community Programs
to Increase the use of Bicycle Helmets - Selected Locations

Helmet-use rates are for children except for
Victoria, Australia, which included adults.




                                               Helmet use Rates
 
                                               Pre-        Post-
Location    Years          Program type      Program      Program
            Evaluated


Victoria,   March 1983-    Community        6 percent  36 percent
Australia   March 1990     campaign   

            Comments: Included education, mass media publicity, 
            support by professional associations and community
            groups, involvement of bicycling groups, and $10
            government rebate for helmet purchases.



Victoria,   March 1990     Helmet         36 percent  73 percent
            March 1991     legislation
                           introduced

            Comments: Hospitalizations for bicycle-related 
            head injuries also decreased by 37 per cent,


Howard      1990-1991      Helmet           4 percent  47 percent
County,                    legislation,
Maryland                   community campaign 
 
             Comments: Activity prompted by bicycling deaths of
             two children. Use determined by observation. A
             school-based survey showed 11 percent and 37 per
             cent. 



Montgomery  1990-1991      Community   8 percent  19 percent    
County,                    campaign 
Maryland 

              Comments: Use determined by observation. Use
              determined by school-based survey was 8 per cent
              and 13 per cent



Baltimore   1990-1991     No specific   19 percent 4 percent 
County,                   helmet promotion  
Maryland                  activities

            Comments: Served as control county. Use determined 
            by observation. Use determined by a school-based
            survey was 7 percent and 11 percent.



Seattle,    1987-1988      Community    5 percent  14 percent   
Washington                 campaign

            Comments: Included education of parents by
            physicians; advertising in newspapers, on 
            television, and on radio; school presentations; 
            and discount coupons for helmets.



Seattle,    1980-1990      Community   14 percent 33 percent
Washington                 campaign 

            Comments: Follow-up evaluation of bicycle helmet
            campaign.



Seattle,       1990-1993      Community   33 percent 60 percent
Washington                    campaign 

            Comments: Follow-up evaluation of bicycle helmet
            campaign. Bicycle-related head injuries decreased
            approximately 67 per cent among children 5-14 years
            of age who were members of a health maintenance
            organization.



Portland,   1987-1988      No specific   1 percent  4 percent
Oregon                     helmet 
                           promotion 
                           activities

            Comments: Control community, use determined by
            observation.



Barrie,     1988-1989      Educational  0 percent  0 percent
Ontario                    program
Canada

            Comments: Use determined by a limited number of
            observations.



Barrie,     1980-1989      Educational   0 percent  22 percent
Ontario                    program and
Canada                     helmet subsidy

            Comments: Use determined by a limited number of
            observations.


Source:
Injury-Control Recommendations: Bicycle Helmets
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol 44, No. RR-l February 17, 1995
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
U. S. Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services

This chart is part of the source document, the rest of which
is available from CDC




Swedish Study

Swedish authorities published a paper in 2003 evaluating helmet campaign strategies. The overall conclusion is that a considerable increase in helmet use by cyclists could be achieved by noncompulsory measures, but the use levels are not as high as those achieved by legislation. We have some more details and a link to the orginal study.

Dutch Study

A similar study in the Netherlands turned up some different conclusions about helmet use. We have the abstract and a link to the orginal study in Dutch.



This page was updated or partially revised on: October 6, 2016. BHSI logo
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