Objective: To determine the prevalence of helmet use, compliance with helmet-wearing recommendations and attitudes to bicycle helmet legislation in a northern Ontario community.
Design: Prospective roadside survey of pedal cyclists.
Participants: Cyclists riding in the city of Sudbury completed a survey and trained interviewers examined helmet fit.
Results: Of 1134 cyclists encountered at 28 locations; 472 (42%) completed surveys. Males predominated and the mean age was 19.7 years. Overall, helmet use was 20% but helmet ownership was higher (32%). Only 49% of helmets were worn correctly. Support for legislation for those under the age of 16 (81%) and for all ages (57%) was high.
Conclusions: Helmet use in this community is low; one third of helmet owners were found not to be using helmets regularly. Efficacy was reduced by nonadherence to helmet-wearing standards. Education aimed at correcting these findings should be included in safety campaigns.