Bicycle helmet use in Ottawa

Can Fam Physician. 1990 Apr;36:697-700.


A survey of cyclists was conducted in Ottawa in September 1988 to determine the use of protective helmets. The survey observed 1963 cyclists, of whom 211 (10.7%) wore helmets. The highest level of helmet use was found among older, commuting cyclists (17.9%), followed by recreational cyclists (14.3%). Overall helmet use among students was found to be very low (1.9%), and differed significantly (p < 0.0001) from the other two groups, which consisted almost entirely of adults. When the student population was subdivided, helmet use was found to be 3% among university and college students, 1.9% among high school students, and 0.8% among elementary school students. The authors conclude that children and young adults are the least likely groups to wear helmets while cycling. The five to 19 age group, however, suffer the most cycling injuries, particularly head injuries.