Bicycle Helmet Data
In 2009, Florida reported more pedalcyclist (including unicyclist, bicyclist, tricyclist, etc.) fatalities for all ages than any other state (2009 National Highway Traffic Safety Association, Traffic Safety Facts). Bicycles are linked to more childhood injuries than any other consumer product except the automobile. More than 70 percent of children, ages 5–14, (27.7 million) ride bicycles (National Safe Kids Campaign Fact Sheet 2007). In 2009, 7,282 children, ages 5–14, were killed or injured and treated in a hospital, due to bicycle-related crashes in Florida (Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Agency for Health Care Administration, Hospital Discharge Data).
Head injuries are the leading cause of death and hospitalization in bicycle crashes and are the most important determinant of bicycle-related death and permanent disability. From 2005–2009, traumatic brain injuries accounted for 60% of bicycle-related injury deaths and 27% of bicycle-related injury hospitalizations among children ages 5–14 in Florida (Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Agency for Health Care Administration, Hospital Discharge Data).
The single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes is a helmet. Helmet use reduces the risk of bicycle-related death and injury, and the severity of head injury when a crash occurs. Riding without a bicycle helmet significantly increases the risk of sustaining a head injury in the event of a crash. Non-helmeted riders are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than helmeted riders.
“Since the program’s inception at the Department of Health, over 159,100 helmets have been distributed statewide through the Bicycle Helmet Promotion Program… [For a] total benefits to society of over $92,300,600.” (Based on a Children’s Safety Network Report)