health or risk tradeo ffs

The Health Impact of Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Laws

Publication date: 
January 2012

This article seeks to answer the question whether mandatory bicycle helmet laws deliver a net societal health benefit. The question is addressed using a simple model. The model recognizes a single health benefit – reduced head injuries, and a single health cost – increased morbidity due to foregone exercise from reduced cycling. Using estimates suggested in the literature of the effectiveness of helmets, the health benefits of cycling, head injury rates, and reductions in cycling, leads to the following conclusions.

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