Introduction In the context of increasing cycle use, what is the current behaviour of cyclists towards their own safety equipment: helmet and conspicuity equipment?
Material and Methods A survey was conducted in a big city (Lyon) and its surroundings. Three main types of cyclists were distinguished: children, sports cyclists and commuting cyclists. Some 900 cyclists responded. A multivariate analysis was performed to identify factors related to helmet wearing.
Results Helmet wearing is strongly related to cyclist types: the helmet is always worn by 49% of riding children, by 68% of sports cyclists and by 17% of commuting cyclists. Commuting cyclists are less likely to wear a helmet if they are female, riding mostly in rural areas, driving a car everyday or never, judging the helmet to be cumbersome (after leaving the bike), and not feeling fragile. Bright coloured clothes are always used by 49% of sports cyclists and by 9% of commuting cyclists. Among cyclists riding at night time, the rear mandatory light is always used by 57% of sports cyclists and by 64% of commuting cyclists. Reasons for non-use are mostly out of order and oversight. A reflective jacket is always worn at night by 10% of adult cyclists.
Conclusion There is much room for increasing the use of safety equipments by cyclists. Helmet wearing is put forward but conspicuity (precrash prevention) should not be overlooked; additionally, cyclists compliance with conspicuity recommendations might be easier to increase. Finally, prevention campaigns should take cyclists types into account.
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