Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
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Bicycle Helmet Designer's Resource Page

Summary: References and resources for bicycle helmet designers

We often hear from engineering design or marketing students who have decided to develop a bicycle helmet. Here are some pages on our website that we think you might want to check out.

Note that most of these references are also on our Researchers Page. We wanted to signal them here for designers.

Helmet Construction and Performance

Some great articles

Statistics and Medical Journal References

  • Our page of Statistics from various sources. Of course they don't agree--just take your pick!

  • Our page of peer-reviewed journal articles from various medical and injury-prevention journals.

  • Harborview Injury Prevention Center's review of "Bicycle Injury Interventions Programs to Increase Helmet Use: Education" now on archive.org and outdated, but it can save you a great deal of searching.

  • CR 195: Bicycle helmets and Injury Prevention: A Formal Review (2000) "Bicycle helmet efficacy is quantified using a formal meta-analytic approach based on peer-reviewed studies...The results are based on studies conducted in Australia, the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom, published in the epidemiological and public health literature in the period 1987- 1998. The summary odds ratio estimate for efficacy is 0.40 (95% confidence interval 0.29, 0.55) for head injury, 0.42 (0.26, 0.67) for brain injury, 0.53 (0.39, 0.73) for facial injury and 0.27 (0.10, 0.71) for fatal injury. This indicates a statistically significant protective effect of helmets." BHSI note: Most of the "helmets" in pre-1987 days were not capable of meeting today's standards. If the study were redone with more recent data we would expect a more protective effect would emerge.

  • Our list of Mandatory Helmet Laws in the U.S. and elsewhere.

  • Circumstances and Severity of Bicycle Injuries, a summary report of Harborview's Helmet Studies. Access the full study on the server of the Snell Memorial Foundation. Highly recommended!

  • The UK has published a study of helmet effectiveness geared toward decision-making on mandatory helmet requirements.

  • The Health Department of Western Australia has published this study of bicycle injuries and deaths over the period 1981 to 1995. It shows a drop in the proportion of head injuries as helmets were adopted.

  • Improved Shock Absorbing Liner for Helmets is a study done by the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport testing standard foam liner materials against a "Cone-head" dual density liner."The newly designed shock absorbing foam liner, when compared with the current liner, displayed significantly more crushing, greater timeduration (interaction), less slab-cracking and recorded peak decelerations less than the required 300 g's (g-force)."

Consumer information

The SafetyLit page.

SafetyLit produces a weekly digest with hundreds of journal articles abstracted every week. A search using the phrase "bicycle helmet" finds more than 300 journal articles and reports on the topic. A goldmine for researchers provided by the Center for Injury Prevention Policy & Practice at San Diego State University. You can subscribe for the weekly report, one of the most useful ways to keep current on journal articles in the helmet field.

The TRIS page

    You can research journal articles on bicycle helmets (and other subjects) on the TRIS Search Page. The Transportation Research Information Service has more than 400,000 books, journal articles, and technical reports on transportation research from the 1960's to the present. Put "bicycle and helmet" in the search window and it will return more than 145 references. The abstracts are sometimes disappointing, but the citations are very useful.


We have a page up on evaluations for helmet campaigns. But the best list of studies and references on educational campaign evaluations was the page titled "Bicycle Injury Interventions Programs to Increase Helmet Use: Education" on the Harborview Injury Prevention Center site. We can't find it now. You may find a lot more with a search on helmets on their site.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of DOT, has an extensive report called

Bicycle Helmet Use Laws: Lessons Learned from Selected Sites CD-ROM 2004

It includes lessons learned from Austin, Texas; Jacksonville and Duval County, Florida; the State of Maryland; the State of Oregon; Port Angeles, Washington, and Seymour, Connecticut. The web link actually has the entire CD if you click on "Table of Contents," and clicking on the "printer friendly version" link gets you a 219 page file in .pdf format that is actually the whole report.

Market Statistics

  • What little we know about the size of global or national helmet markets.

    Our Search Function

    You can use our site's search function for specific points that we may have missed.

    What we do not have

    We have put up virtually everything we know on the web. Some major gaps remain, and you will not find information here on:

    How to Cite or Reference Our Materials

  • How2Buy Children Promotions Statistics Laws
    About New Standards Teachers Search

    This page was revised on: February 15, 2021. BHSI logo