According to the Centers for Disease Control, many are not. Among the 96 million bicyclists in the United States, approximately 700 deaths and 500,000 emergency room visits occur annually as a result of bicycle injuries. 62% of those deaths and 32% of the injuries involve head trauma to those riding without helmets. Wearing a helmet is an effective way to reduce the risk for head injuries.
The risk for head injuries among persons not using helmets is 4 to 6 times greater than that among persons using helmets. Although an approved bicycle helmet is mandated for children under age 12, it has been noted that fewer than 2% of U.S. children and fewer than 10% of all U.S. bicyclists wear helmets.
The Madison Health Department encourages all bicyclists and roller skaters - old and young - to wear a helmet whenever out riding.