In Reply—The letter by Metz provides an enlightening statement about the current status of educational programs to increase the use of helmets by bicyclists. These programs, which are increasing in number, are at the same time both encouraging and disappointing.
The educational program described in the letter is encouraging because of its enthusiasm and potential widespread applicability. Such efforts are relatively inexpensive and offer the promise of educating vast numbers of people about the important role that helmets could play in decreasing the rate of bicycle-related head injury. Since 1980, more than 8000 Americans have died in bicycling mishaps, and any intervention that could lessen this death toll is welcomed.
On the other hand, this type of educational effort (which is typical of those currently being developed by school systems and highway departments) is disappointing because the premise on which it is based is unproved. These programs all assume
WEISS B. Bicycle Helmet Education Project-Reply. Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(4):415. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150040064012