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It showed one of the most impressive increases in helmet use following adoption of a law to date: from 4 percent to 47 percent (8).

Although observational studies are considered preferable to telephone surveys, they are relatively resource-intensive and thus have been applied only to local or county jurisdictions.

Bicycle helmets prevent up to 85 percent of head injuries and 88 percent of serious brain injuries (4, 5).

For every bicycle helmet sold, an estimated $395 is saved in direct medical costs and other costs (6).

It also has one of the highest numbers of children killed while bicycling in the nation.

On the basis of a four-county 1991 study that indicated 15 percent helmet use, baseline helmet use in Florida appeared to be low, despite the implementation of a multifaceted intervention program (11).

The data reinforce the Healthy People 2010 objective that all 50 states adopt such a law for children in order to increase helmet use and consequently reduce brain injury.

More than 70 percent of US children aged 5–14 years—approximately 28 million children—ride bicycles (1).

Two statewide surveys have been conducted by telephone.

In Georgia, proxy-reported helmet use increased from 37 percent to 66 percent following the adoption of a state law (9).

Local findings may not be generalizable to larger populations, because of the relative socioeconomic homogeneity of a single county.

Statewide surveys would be more representative of the entire national population.

Comments Mandating use