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The World in Medicine
September 20, 2006

Promoting Helmet Use

JAMA. 2006;296(11):1345. doi:10.1001/jama.296.11.1345-b

The World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging developing countries to reduce the risk of severe injury and death due to road traffic crashes by increasing the use of helmets by motorcyclists and bicyclists.

Each year, about 1.2 million people die as a result of road traffic crashes and millions more are injured. In many developing countries, more than half of those injured or killed on the roads are users of two-wheelers, especially motorcycles, according to the WHO. Wearing a helmet has been demonstrated to reduce the risk and severity of injuries among motorcyclists by about 70% and the risk of death by nearly 40%, the agency said.