Bicycle helmet use and compliance: a northeastern Ontario roadside survey

Can J Public Health. 1995 Jan-Feb;86(1):57-61.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bicycling* / injuries
  • Child
  • Female
  • Head Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires