NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Effects of Bicycle Helmet Laws on Children's Injuries

Pinka Chatterji, Sara Markowitz

NBER Working Paper No. 18773
Issued in February 2013
NBER Program(s):   CH   HE   LE

Cycling is popular among children, but results in thousands of injuries annually. In recent years, many states and localities have enacted bicycle helmet laws. We examine direct and indirect effects of these laws on injuries. Using hospital-level panel data and triple difference models, we find helmet laws are associated with reductions in bicycle-related head injuries among children. However, laws also are associated with decreases in non-head cycling injuries, as well as increases in head injuries from other wheeled sports. Thus, the observed reduction in bicycle-related head injuries may be due to reductions in bicycle riding induced by the laws.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18773

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