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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Safety research

Research reports related to the safety of bicycle riders. These can be accessed via the links below.

Bicycle Helmet Research

Bicycle injuries and helmet use: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • This Australian study from 2017 collated data from more than 60,000 bike crashes around the world and found that bicycle helmets reduce injury significantly.
  • Conducted by the University of NSW, the study found that wearing a helmet reduced the risk of head injury by 51%, serious head injuries by 69% and facial injuries by 33%.
  • Authors and Australian Statisticians Jake Oliver and Prudence Creighton found that these results support the use of strategies to increase the uptake of bicycle helmets as part of a comprehensive cycling safety plan.

View the Bicycle injuries and helmet use: a systematic review and meta-analysis publication.

Bicycle helmets – To wear or not to wear? A meta-analyses of the effects of bicycle helmets on injuries

  • Results of a meta-analysis of helmet use conducted by Høye in 2018 supported the significant reductions in head and face injury observed in the 2017 study by Oliver and Creighton.
  • The systematic review of 55 studies also found that helmet use reduced the risk of traumatic brain injury by 53% and the total number of killed or seriously injured cyclists by 34%.
  • Protective effects of helmets on head injury were found to be greater when helmet use was mandatory.

View the abstract and full citation.

Recommend or mandate? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of mandatory bicycle helmet legislation

  • Another Australian meta-analysis by Høye in 2018 found that the introduction of mandatory bicycle helmet legislation for all cyclists reduced head injuries by 20% and serious head injuries by 55%.
  • Protective effects were larger for children when mandatory helmet legislation applied to all cyclists than when it applied only to children.

View the abstract and full citation.

CARRS-Q Bicycle Helmet Research

The Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) undertook a thorough investigation of national and international evidence on helmet wearing in 2010.

View the CARRS-Q Bicycle Helmet Research publication.

Developing a Crash Prediction Model for Cyclists in Queensland

The Department of Transport and Main Roads engaged ARRB Group Ltd and BECA Group Ltd to develop crash prediction models for cyclists in Queensland. Crash prediction models can be used to inform decision making in the planning, design, management and operations of safe transport infrastructure. Crash prediction models can also be used to screen the network for locations requiring improvement or to investigate the effects of different design solutions on likely safety performance. The research found that only limited bicycle data is currently available for Queensland sites. The project developed models which built upon previous research by pooling available data from Queensland with data from Adelaide and Christchurch. Further work is required to validate the models to ensure a sufficient level of confidence for widespread application across Queensland.

Contact for further details.

Pedestrian-cyclist conflict minimisation on shared paths and footpaths

The project investigated developing best practice engineering, traffic management and urban design measures, and education and awareness strategies to minimise conflict and improve cyclist and pedestrian safety (perceived and actual) on shared paths and footpaths. The project included people in wheelchairs or using mobility aids, pedestrians with other types of disability including vision and hearing impairment, and people using wheeled recreational devices.

Austroads AP-R287-06 - Pedestrian-Cyclist Conflict Minimisation on Shared Paths and Footpaths

Last updated 30 August 2022