Background Poland belongs to countries with one of the highest numbers of traffic victims in the European Union. Vulnerable road users are at highest risk of being injured, among them cyclists, moped riders and motorcyclists. All three groups constitute over 20% of road fatalities in Poland.
Methods In Poland studies on helmet use among cyclists, moped riders and motorcyclists have been carried out since 2013. An external observation method is used on different road categories with specially developed mobile application. In the most recent study total data on 997 motorcyclists, 812 moped riders and 4512 cyclists were analysed.
Results The helmets were used by 99% of motorcyclists (100% riders, 99% passengers), 99% of moped riders (99% riders, 94% passengers) and only 14% of cyclists (13% riders, 94% passengers – mainly children). The distribution of wearing helmets among cyclists was as follows: children and youth <17 years (26% wearing rate), 18–24 years (14%), 25–60 years (13%), >60 years (9%); men (17%), women (7%).
Conclusion The results of the conducted study indicate that in comparison to previous year, the percentage of motorcyclists who wear helmets remains on the same high level, among moped riders 3% increase in the helmet wearing rate, among cyclists 2% increase. Wearing helmets by cyclist is not mandatory by law in Poland, opposed to motorcyclists and moped riders.
Learning Outcomes Road safety improvement measures, including educational and preventive initiatives, should be addressed to all age groups of cyclists, especially to older ones as they use helmets least frequently
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