Urban and rural patterns of bicycle helmet use: factors predicting usage.
OBJECTIVES: To document current bicycle helmet use in Winnipeg, Manitoba and nearby rural communities, and to identify target groups for a helmet promotion campaign. METHODS: Cyclist helmet use was observed between 28 May and 20 August 1996 at a sample of urban and rural locations. Age, gender, helmet use, riding companion(s), location type, correct helmet use, and use of headphones were recorded. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. Adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated from the final models. RESULTS: Altogether 2629 cyclists (70% male, 30% female) were observed: 2316 at 183 urban locations and 313 at 25 rural locations, with nearly equal numbers of children and adults observed. Overall helmet use was 21.3%, with lower use in males (18.9%) than females (26.3%), despite gender only being a significant variable on multivariate analysis for children under 8 years and adults. Urban helmet use was considerably higher (22.9%) than rural use (8.9%). Helmet use increased linearly as mean neighbourhood income increased, with a nearly fourfold difference in use between the highest and lowest income neighbourhoods. Children less than 8 years old and adults had the highest, and teenagers the lowest, use. Significant predictive variables were identified separately by age category to inform targeted programming. CONCLUSIONS: We documented low helmet use in our region, emphasizing the need for a regional helmet promotion campaign as well as future helmet legislation. A marked urban-rural difference in helmet use that has not been previously reported was also identified. Target groups for a future campaign include adolescents, males, rural cyclists, and those in lower income neighbourhoods. (+info)
Fit of bicycle safety helmets and risk of head injuries in children.
BACKGROUND: Although bicycle helmets are effective in preventing head and brain injury, some helmeted individuals nevertheless sustain head injury. One of the possible reasons may be poor fit of the helmet on the head. This study was undertaken to examine the relationship between helmet fit and risk of injury. METHODS: 1718 individuals who were helmeted riders in a crash were queried on helmet fit and position. A sample of 28 children 2-14 years of age who sustained a head injury while wearing a bicycle helmet and 98 helmeted individuals of the same age treated in the same hospital emergency departments for injuries other than to the head, underwent anthropometric measurements of helmet fit. Measurements were made of the child's head, the helmet, and on a cast made of the child's head. RESULTS: Individuals whose helmets were reported to fit poorly had a 1.96-fold increased risk of head injury compared with those whose helmets fit well. Children with head injuries had helmets which were significantly wider than their heads compared with children without head injuries. Helmet fit was poorer among males and among younger children. CONCLUSIONS: Poor fit of helmets may be associated with an increased risk of head injury in children, especially in males. Helmets may not be designed to provide optimal protection. (+info)
A comparison of the effect of different bicycle helmet laws in 3 New York City suburbs.
OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of 3 different bicycle helmet laws. METHODS: A direct observational study of nearly 1000 cyclists at 20 matched sites in each of 3 contiguous counties--Rockland and Westchester in New York and Fairfield in Connecticut--was carried out. Rockland's bicycle helmet law requires approved helmets for all cyclists regardless of age; Westchester's, by state law, requires cyclists younger than 14 years to wear helmets; and Fairfield's, also by state law, requires cyclists younger than 12 years to wear helmets when riding on highways. RESULTS: Rockland cyclists had the highest helmet use rate (35%), followed by Westchester (24%) and Fairfield (14%) cyclists. As a subgroup, teenagers used helmets least, a trend that was seen in all 3 counties. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests a positive effect of bicycle helmet legislation with no age limitation. (+info)
Measuring the noise attenuation of shotblasting helmets.
Air-fed blasting helmets are used in abrasive blasting operations to provide essential face, eye and respiratory protection. BS EN 271: 1995 (equivalent to the European Standard EN 271: 1997), the standard that deals with the construction of blasting helmets, addresses the above matters and also the problem of noise generated by the breathing air supply. However it has no requirements for manufacturers to measure or report the helmet's ability to attenuate the very high levels of noise generated by the blasting process. The aim of the project was to develop a test method to measure the noise attenuation of shotblasting helmets. The method developed is an objective measurement, using a head and torso simulator (HATS), which provides a suitable means for helmet manufacturers to report their product's ability to attenuate blasting noise. The results from this project showed that the HATS currently prescribed by BS EN 271: 1995 can be used for measuring the noise attenuation of helmets against typical shotblasting noise. Using such a HATS in the proposed test method will give attenuation values that correlate well with those measured using human subjects. Therefore the HATS already used by manufacturers to show compliance of their product with BS EN 271: 1995 could also be used to provide information on the helmet's noise attenuation. Results from this project also showed that the same HATS can be used, in place of human subjects, to measure the air supply noise according to the method defined in BS EN 271: 1995. BS EN 271: 1995 is due for revision in 2000. The results from this work should be used to influence future revisions of the standard so that requirements to measure and report noise attenuation of shotblasting helmets are considered, a major omission in the present standard. (+info)
Factors affecting motorcycle helmet use in the population of Greater Athens, Greece.
OBJECTIVES: Helmet use is the best preventive measure available against two wheel motorized vehicle (TWMV) related head injuries. In some countries, however, helmets are used only by a minority of TWMV riders. In collaboration with the Road Traffic Police Department, an inspection survey was undertaken to assess the prevalence and to determine predictors of helmet use. SETTING: The Greater Athens area, Greece, during July and August 1998. METHODS: A total of 982 TWMVs were stopped, 349 of which had two riders (36%). All riders were interviewed by staff members of the Centre for Research and Prevention of Injuries among the Young. RESULTS: The average prevalence of helmet use was 20.2%. It ranged from 9.7% on small suburban roads to 50.8% on highways. Prevalence of use was significantly lower during the weekend days and at night. Women were significantly more likely to wear a helmet and, controlling for gender, drivers were significantly more likely to be helmet users. Riders of more powerful TWMVs and passengers, who themselves had a TWMV driving license, were helmet users more frequently. Among non-users, the majority (46%) indicated that "the helmet made them feel uncomfortable", particularly in warm weather, whereas 18% claimed that there was little need for a helmet in low speed riding. CONCLUSIONS: A multipronged campaign is urgently needed in Greece to increase the prevalence of helmet use by TWMV riders. The campaign should include not only police enforcement but also initiatives to make helmets more convenient to wear and less expensive. (+info)
Effect of the mandatory helmet law in Taiwan.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the impact of a mandatory motorcycle helmet law in Taiwan. METHODS: Taiwan passed a mandatory helmet law in June 1997. Data were collected retrospectively from police reports, which include hospital data, to compare six months pre-law June to November 1996) with the same six months post-law (June to November 1997). RESULTS: Motorcycle fatalities decreased 14% after the introduction of the helmet law. Head injury fatalities fell 22% while fatalities from injuries to other bodily areas rose 20%. Non-fatal motorcycle injuries fell 31%. Non-fatal head injuries fell 44%; non-fatal injuries to other body parts fell 23%. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that large, immediate public health benefits resulted from the mandatory motorcycle helmet law in Taiwan. (+info)
Equestrian injuries: a five year review of hospital admissions in British Columbia, Canada.
AIM: To determine the demographics of hospital admissions and mortality associated with equestrian activities in the 33,000 riders in British Columbia (BC). METHOD: Analysis of admission data from the Ministry of Health for the years 1991-96, review of information obtained from the Office of the Chief Coroner, and comparison of data from Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program. RESULTS: The mean number of admissions per year was 390. Head injury was the most common cause of admission to hospital (20%) in BC. Females most often required admission (62%). Teenagers and children have a higher incidence of head injuries than the general population. The injury rate was 0.49/1000 hours of riding. There were three deaths per year, 1/10,000 riders; 60% were caused by head injury and females predominated. CONCLUSION: Head injuries and other serious injuries occur with equestrian activities and it is important for doctors, instructors, and parents to promote the use of appropriate safety equipment, including helmets, especially for children. (+info)
The effect of the Taiwan motorcycle helmet use law on head injuries.
OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the effect of the motorcycle helmet law implemented in Taiwan on June 1, 1997. METHODS: Collecting data on 8795 cases of motorcycle-related head injuries from 56 major Taiwanese hospitals, we compared the situation 1 year before and after implementation of the helmet law. RESULTS: After implementation of the law, the number of motorcycle-related head injuries decreased by 33%, from 5260 to 3535. Decreases in length of hospital stay and in severity of injury and better outcome were also seen. The likelihood ratio chi 2 test showed that severity decreased after the law's implementation (P < .001). Full helmets were found to be safer than half-shell helmets. CONCLUSION: The helmet law effectively decreased the mortality and morbidity from motorcycle-related head injuries. (+info)