Cycling can have many health benefits, including improved cardiovascular fitness, reduction in the risk of chronic disease, and reduction of traffic congestion, air and noise pollution. As with all modes of travel, cycling can involve collisions, which may lead to injuries and fatalities. Legislation requiring all cyclists to wear a helmet is seen as a potential way to reduce cycling-related injuries, but the impacts of such laws are difficult to distill.
In Ontario, helmets have been required for all cyclists 18 years of age or younger under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act since 1995, and recently the enactment of all-age legislation has been considered as an injury prevention strategy. This knowledge synthesis evaluates the impacts of bicycle helmet legislation for cyclists of all ages and explores where and why these laws were most effective.