According to the recent survey by Working Group 1, most bicyclists in Europe recognise the increased safety of wearing a helmet. However, they provide an extensive list of reasons why they still do not do so, including thermal discomfort. Working Group 2 found similar results in their survey.
In addition, the lack of sufficient and consistent data about cycling accidents in different European countries makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly how beneficial bicycle helmets are, or how effective they are in preventing serious injury. In an attempt to collect and expand Europe-wide research on this topic, and provide recommendations for further improvements, Working Group 1 examined injury data from 20 European countries, conducted accident research and performed field studies of cyclists’ attitudes and behaviours regarding helmet usage. The primary goal was to offer advice and insight into improvements still yet to be made on a European level to make cycling even safer.
Starting with publications from the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD), the Citizens Consular Assistance Regulation in Europe (CARE) and the European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO), Working Group 1 assembled as much data as was available. In particular, ERSO’s annual statistics reports, DaCoTa, provided data up to and including 2010. The largest German In-depth Accident Study Report (GIDAS) was also analysed, as it provided information on helmet efficacy in regard to head injury. Further research and field studies were then conducted to provide insight and information that could propel helmet safety standards to higher levels, and encourage helmet usage among cyclists.
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