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Inconclusive evidence and more severe injuries

Research for the Transportøkonomisk institutt (TØI)in Norway finds that helmets have failed to prove themselves in real world settings, and the scientific evidence is inconclusive.  In Norway there has been a shift towards more severe injuries among cyclists at the same time that cycle helmet use has increased.

One hypothesis is that helmets make people ride less carefully; another is that helmet use can be correlated in part with usage of cycling jerseys, cycling computers and such, which in turn is correlated with higher speeds and more risky styles of riding. In Norway, competitive-style cyclists now make up a larger proportion of the cycling population.

It is suggested that helmet laws and promotion discourage the everyday and more cautious cyclists who quit cycling, while encouraging those who take more risks.

Thu 6 Aug 2009

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