Research into cycle safety

March 2012

Which measures reduce injury rates or change the safety behaviour of cyclists?

Cycle helmets

A research report commissioned by the DfT looks into the effectiveness of cycle helmets, and concludes that in the event of a road accident, cycle helmets are effective at reducing the severity of the injury, particularly in the most common accidents.

Although there is a lot of controversy about whether governments should legislate to ensure more people wear cycle helmets, there is little doubt that legislating in this way does change cyclist behaviour.

A review of available literature on cycle helmet legislation concluded that making cycle helmets mandatory greatly increased the percentage of cyclists who would wear them. The percentage of cyclists wearing helmets rose from between 4% and 59% to 37% and 91%.

Cycle training

There has been extensive research into the area of cycle training for children and young people. There is a general consensus that any form of cycle training will improve children's road behaviour, but on-road cycle training tends to have slightly better results than training given in the playground.

Updated June 2013