Head injury prevention for bicyclists — helmets make a difference

Peter A Cameron, Frank McDermott and Jeffrey V Rosenfeld
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.11030
Published online: 21 October 2013

While we can’t compete with the Dutch in terms of infrastructure for safe bicycling, maximising uptake of head protection will benefit Australians

Bicycling as a mode of transport is being promoted for its health benefits, and more than four million Australians participate in bicycling at some level.1 Unfortunately, with increasing participation there has been a concurrent increase in injury, with 10 552 bicyclists admitted to hospital in Victoria between July 2001 and June 2006.2 Of these patients, 298 had life-threatening trauma and there were 47 fatalities overall. This trend has continued in the 5 years from July 2007 to June 2012, according to Victorian registry and National Coroner’s data, with 615 life-threatening injuries and 50 deaths. Most of the injured bicyclists were male and aged less than 35 years, and crashes were commonly road-related (data accessed by P A C, Sep 2013). Collisions with motor vehicles result in the most severe injuries;3 and head injuries are the most frequent cause of death and long-term disability from bicycle injury.2,4

  • Peter A Cameron1
  • Frank McDermott2
  • Jeffrey V Rosenfeld2

  • 1 Emergency Medicine, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.
  • 2 Department of Surgery, Monash University, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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