Google picks the ads,
of opinion survey
Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
Released August 2008, based on 2002 data Survey
performed by The Gallup Organization
Frequency of use
Among those who rode a bicycle in the past 30
days, half (50%) said they never wear a helmet or
did not have access to a helmet. About one-third
(35%) reported that they wear a helmet for all
(24%), or nearly all or most (11%), of their rides.
Male and female bicyclists were about equally likely
to wear a helmet.
Propensity to wear a helmet for all rides increased
after the teenage and young adult years, with just
13 percent of bicyclists 16 to 20 and 21 percent of
bicyclists 21 to 29 reporting that they always wear
a helmet. This is compared to nearly 30 percent of
bicyclists 30 or older. Nearly 6 in 10 (57%) of
16-to 20-year-old bicyclists said they never wear helmets
or do not have access to one.
Asian bicyclists were most likely among all races
(33%) to wear helmets for all of their rides.
Hispanic bicyclists were most likely to never wear a bike
Usage of helmets for all bicycle rides tended to
increase as household income increased. Three in 10
of the highest income bicyclists (31%) wear helmets for
all rides, compared to 16 percent of those earning
under $15,000. Conversely, 59 percent of those
earning less than $15,000 said they never wear
helmets or do not have access to one, compared to 44
percent of those earning $75,000 or more per year.
Reasons for not wearing a helmet
Bicyclists who did not wear helmets for all of
their rides were asked whether a list of specific
reasons for not wearing helmets applied to them.
They could choose as many reasons they felt applied
to them. The top reasons for not wearing helmets
were that the bicyclist does not have one (50%),
that it is too hot in the summer months to wear a
helmet (47%), that helmets are uncomfortable (45%),
or that they do not wear helmets for short bicycling
trips (42%). Fewer agreed that their reason for not
wearing helmets was because they do not like the way
they look in helmets (27%), that they forgot to wear them
(26%), that helmets do not provide much protection
(22%), that they obstruct vision (12%), or that they
are too expensive (12%).
Support for helmet laws
Nearly 8 in 10 Hispanics 16 and older (79%)
supported laws that require adults to wear bicycle
helmets. In contrast, 59 percent of White,
non-Hispanics supported helmet laws for
Support for helmet laws did not differ according to
whether children 5 to 15 are present in the
Bicyclists (88%) were similar to nonbicyclists (91%)
in level of support for bicycle helmet laws for
children. However, bicyclists were less supportive
of adult helmet laws (49%) than were nonbicyclists
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