In 2015, about 2% of all traffic fatalities were people on bicycles. This may not sound like much, but when it comes to the fact that many of these fatalities could have been prevented by wearing helmets, it is scary. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the chances of a head injury by 50%. Further, it can reduce the chance of a neck injury by a third. Of those injured fatally in accidents, only 17% of those bicyclists were wearing helmets. Despite the overwhelming evidence that bicycle helmet use saves lives, only 17% of cyclists wear a helmet.
WSB Radio reports that an agency is advocating that all states should have helmet use laws for bicyclists.
After a hearing last Tuesday on bicycle safety, the National Transportation Safety Board made the recommendation that all fifty states enact laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets.
According to the agency, a total of 857 bicyclists died in crashes last year. Though overall traffic deaths decreased, that number was a 6.3% increase over 2017.
Also in the report was the fact that head injuries are the leading cause of fatalities. Research showed that fewer than half of bicyclists wear helmets.
This may difficult to obtain politically. No states require that all bicyclists wear helmets, but many require a helmet for younger riders.
The report by the NTSB detailed that many of the collisions took place when a driver was attempting to overtake the bicyclist. Another percentage took place at intersections, but non-intersection crashes were deadlier because they took place at higher speeds.
The last time the NTSB issued a report on bicycle crashes was in 1972.