Bicycling and Skating Safety Fact Sheet
- Each year, approximately 140 children are killed as bicyclists.
- Children sustain more than 275,000 nonfatal bicycle injuries each year.
- Nearly 690 children are injured daily due to bicycle-related crashes.
- A total of 251,366 total child bicyclist injuries were recorded in 2005.
- An estimated 14,000 youth bicyclists were injured involving a motor vehicle in 2005.
- More than 70 percent of children ages 5 to 14 ride a bicycle regularly.
- National estimates report that bicycle helmet use among child bicyclists ranges from 15 percent to 25 percent.
- Apart from the automobile, bicycles are tied to more childhood injuries than any other consumer product.
Wheeled Sports Safety
- Each year, children between the ages of 0-14 years, sustain an estimated 38,155 roller skating injuries and represent 57 percent of all rollerblading/in-line skating injuries.
- Each year, there are approximately 61,000 injuries to children involving skateboards.
- In 2004, an estimated number of 18,743 head injuries were treated in emergency rooms due to skateboarding.
When and Where
- 53 percent of children (16 years and under) are killed bicycling on minor roads (connecting roads and neighborhood streets) compared to 46 percent killed bicycling on major roads (high-volume roads across cities and towns).
For motor vehicle-related bicycle crashes:
- 69 percent of child bicyclist deaths occur during warmer months (May - October)
- 58 percent of child bicyclist deaths occur at non-intersection locations.
- 70 percent of deaths occur between 2-8 p.m.
- It has been estimated that 75 percent of fatal head injuries among child bicyclists could have been prevented with a bicycle helmet.
- Children are five times more likely to be injured in a bicycle-related crash than older riders (15 years and older).
- Males account for 82 percent of bicycle-related deaths. Males make up 70 percent of nonfatal injuries among children.
- More children ages 5 to 14 are seen in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to biking than any other sport.
- Universal use of bicycle helmets by children ages 4 to 15 could prevent between 135 and 155 deaths, between 39,000 and 45,000 head injuries, and between 18,000 and 55,000 scalp and face injuries annually.
- Helmet use can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent and severe brain injury by 88 percent.
- Various studies show that bicycle helmet legislation is effective in increasing bicycle helmet use and reducing bicycle-related death and injury among children covered under the law.
- One study showed that within the five years of passage of a state mandatory bicycle helmet law for children ages 13 and under, bicycle-related fatalities decreased by 60 percent. Police enforcement increases the effectiveness of these laws.
Health Care Costs and Savings
- In the United States, every $11 spent on a bicycle helmet generates $570 in benefits to society.
- If 85 percent of all child cyclists wore helmets every time they rode bikes for one year, the lifetime medical cost savings could total between $134 million and $174 million.
Laws and Regulations
- Twenty-one states, the District of Columbia and more than 140 localities have enacted some form of bicycle helmet legislation.
- Eight states and District of Columbia require children to wear a helmet while on scooters, in-line skates and skateboards.
- The rate of bicycle helmet use by children ages 14 and under was 58 percent greater in a county with a fully comprehensive bike helmet law than in a similar county with a less comprehensive law.