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Accident Analysis & Prevention

The Determinants of Bicycle Helmet Use: Evidence from Germany

Previous research has shown that the risks of serious injury or death from bicycling can be mitigated by the decision to wear a helmet. Drawing on a nationwide household survey conducted in 2008 in Germany, this analysis investigates the determinants of voluntary helmet use through a combination of descriptive analyses and econometric methods, the latter relying on variants of the probit- and heteroskedastic probit model. Confirming results uncovered elsewhere in the literature, we find that household demographics, residential location, and riding patterns are significant correlates of helmet use. Contrasting with other studies, however, we also find that women are significantly less likely to use a helmet than men, a discrepancy that holds over most of the adult life-cycle. The paper concludes by highlighting the scope for designing strategic information campaigns to promote helmet use.

Ritter, N. and C. Vance (2011), The Determinants of Bicycle Helmet Use: Evidence from Germany. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 43, 1, 95-100

DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2010.07.016