Bicycle helmets work when it matters the most

Bellal Joseph, Asad Azim, Ansab A. Haider, Narong Kulvatunyou, Terence OKeeffe, Ahmed Hassan, Lynn Gries, Emily Tran, Rifat Latifi, Peter Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background Helmets are known to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) after bicycle-related accidents. The aim of this study was to assess the association of helmets with severity of TBI and facial fractures after bicycle-related accidents. Methods We performed an analysis of the 2012 National Trauma Data Bank abstracted information of all patients with an intracranial hemorrhage after bicycle-related accidents. Regression analysis was also performed. Results A total of 6,267 patients were included. About 25.1% (n = 1,573) of bicycle riders were helmeted. Overall, 52.4% (n = 3,284) of the patients had severe TBI, and the mortality rate was 2.8% (n = 176). Helmeted bicycle riders had 51% reduced odds of severe TBI (odds ratio [OR].49, 95% confidence interval [CI].43 to.55, P <.001) and 44% reduced odds of mortality (OR.56, 95% CI.34 to.78, P =.010). Helmet use also reduced the odds of facial fractures by 31% (OR.69, 95% CI.58 to.81, P <.001). Conclusion Bicycle helmet use provides protection against severe TBI, reduces facial fractures, and saves lives even after sustaining an intracranial hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-417
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bicycle
  • Facial fracture
  • Head injury
  • Helmets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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