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The Helmet Update by Email

Volume 20, #1 - March 29, 2002

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Study Shows Helmet Laws Cut Deaths 15%

We have just posted a new study by Darren Grant and Stephen Rutner concluding that bike helmet laws reduce fatalities by 15%.

Here is the abstract:

"A number of states passed legislation in the 1990s requiring youths to wear helmets when riding bicycles. The effect of this legislation on bicycling fatalities is examined using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. A panel analysis is used to account for unobservable, time-invariant factors that may correlate with the incidence of laws across states. A control-group methodology is used to control for time-varying unobservable factors that may correlate with the implementation of laws within states. Timing issues are also explored. A helmet law reduces fatalities by about 15%. "

The paper is intended for journal publication, but has not yet been submitted to the peer review process.

DOT Has a New Helmet Video

The US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has released a new helmet video for elementary to middle school kids. The video is titled Ride Smart. We think it is the best free video anyone has produced for 8 to 12 year olds. There is considerable preaching, but at least kids do it. The video features damaged helmets, an egg drop, a jello brain smash, good stuff on fit, and brief rules of the road. With credits and all it runs about 9 minutes. Free from DOT. Eventually you can get it from their normal distribution channel, but in the meantime send an email to NHTSA's Marietta Bowen:


or call her at 202-366-4969. The price is right!

Bike League Supporting
National Strategies Campaign

The League of American Bicyclists is supporting the National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety by making it a theme for a major new conference for bicycle educators. The Strategies campaign is a comprehensive effort to address everything that makes cycling dangerous--hopefully reducing the field testing of helmets! The conference will take place in June, and will contribute substantially to the launch of the Strategies campaign. There is more conference info on

the League's website

and more on the Strategies (BHSI participates) on

CDC's site.

The Helmet Update - Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
Randy Swart
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Arlington, VA 22204-1419 USA
(703) 486-0100 (voice or fax)

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