Otte, D. and Wiese, B., "Influences on the Risk of Injury of Bicyclists' Heads and Benefits of Bicycle Helmets in Terms of Injury Avoidance and Reduction of Injury Severity," SAE Int. J. Trans. Safety 2(2):257-267, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0517.
This study deals with the risk of injury to the bicyclist's head and the benefits of wearing a bicycle helmet in terms of reduction of injury severity or even injury avoidance. The accident data of 4,245 injured bicyclists as a randomized sample, collected by a scientific research team within the GIDAS project (German In-Depth Accident Study) were analyzed. Given that head injuries result in approximately 40% of bicycle-related crashes, helmet usage provides a sensible first-level approach for improving incidence and severity of head injuries. The effectiveness of the bicycle helmet was examined using descriptive and multivariate analysis for 433 bicyclists with a helmet and 3,812 bicyclists without a helmet. Skull fractures, severe brain injuries and skull base fractures were up to 80% less frequent for bicyclists wearing a helmet. Among individuals 40 years of age and older, a significant increase of severe head injuries occurred if no helmet was used compared to younger persons with helmet.