Impact of age, location, and bicycle style on helmet usage by adults

Mark H. Ebell, Koosh Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Our objective was to describe current patterns of bicycle helmet usage in a university community using a direct observation approach.Participants: Cyclists in a university community observed in 2010 and 2011.Methods: We identified 6 locations in Athens, Georgia, and recorded the type of bicycle, age group, sex, and helmet usage of passing cyclists. We performed univariate and multivariate analysis to identify independent predictors of helmet usage.Results: We observed 433 cyclists: 74 percent male, 74 percent college age, and 45 percent of whom wore a helmet. Helmet usage varied by bicycle type, location of observation, and age group. Independent predictors of bike helmet were on-campus location (0.38, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.22-0.66), college-age rider (0.29, 95% CI: 0.15-0.54), and use of a city or leisure bike (0.39, 95% CI: 0.23-0.65).Conclusions: College-age riders, riders on campus, and those riding a city or leisure-style bike are less likely to wear a helmet. Health promotion efforts aimed at increasing helmet usage should target these groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-154
Number of pages5
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


  • Bicycling
  • Head safety
  • Helmet usage
  • Traffic safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of age, location, and bicycle style on helmet usage by adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this