Helmet use and bicycle-related trauma injury outcomes

Brain Inj. 2019;33(13-14):1597-1601. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2019.1650201. Epub 2019 Sep 12.


Background: It is essential to identify factors that predict helmet use, so as to mitigate the injury and mortality from bicycle accidents.Objective: To examine the relationship between helmet use and the bicycle-related trauma injury outcomes among bicyclists with head/neck injury in the US.Methods: Data from the 2002-2012 National Trauma Data Bank were used, including all trauma bicycle riders involved in bicycle-related accidents whose primary reason for the hospital or Intensive Care Unit stay was head or neck injury. Using multiple logistic regression, the association between helmet use, Injury severity score (ISS), length of stay in hospital (HLOS) and Intensive Care Unit (ICULOS), and mortality was examined.Results: Of the 76,032 bicyclists with head/neck injury, 22% worn helmets. The lowest was among Blacks, Hispanics, and <17 years old. Wearing a helmet significantly reduces injury severity, HLOS, ICULOS, and mortality (i.e total and in-hospital). Males had a severe injury, longer HLOS, ICULOS, and higher mortality than female. Blacks and Hispanics had longer HLOS and ICULOS and higher total mortality than Whites, but had a similar chance for in-hospital mortality.Conclusions: More effort is needed to enhance helmet use among at-risk bicycle riders, which may reduce injury severity, HLOS, ICULOS, and mortality.

Keywords: Helmet use; cycling; traumatic brain injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bicycling / injuries*
  • Bicycling / trends
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / etiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / mortality
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / prevention & control*
  • Databases, Factual / trends
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / trends
  • Female
  • Head Protective Devices / trends*
  • Hospital Mortality / trends
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Injuries / etiology
  • Neck Injuries / mortality
  • Neck Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Trauma Centers / trends
  • Young Adult