Jake Olivier presents largest review of bike injuries and helmet use at SAFETY 2016 in Finland; findings feature in mainstream media

Date: 

Thursday, 22nd September 2016


Jake Olivier
Associate Professor Jake Olivier's research into bike helmet use and injury has been highlighted in the mainstream media.

A/Prof Olivier presented his findings at international injury prevention conference Safety2016 in Finland on Tuesday.

The study, which is the largest review of bike helmet use ever undertaken, concluded that helmets reduce the chances of a serious head injury by nearly 70 per cent. It also revealed that fatal head injuries were reduced by 65 per cent, and injuries to the face by 33 per cent. 

The research was a meta-analysis of 40 studies worldwide covering 64,000 injured cyclists.

"Bicycle injuries and helmet use: a systematic review and meta-analysis" was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology in July. The research was co-authored with Prudence Creighton, a recent UNSW Master of Statistics graduate and A/Prof Olivier's former student. The study began as Prudence's masters research project, and A/Prof Olivier says that the study could not have happened without her.

"The amount of effort it takes for a systematic review and meta-analysis is enormous. I may have technically supervised her, but she was clearly my equal and peer on this project", A/Prof Olivier said.

A/Prof Olivier's research focuses on statistical methods applied to epidemiological, psychological and population health data. His main application area has been in road safety research with a focus on the assessment of bicycle helmet legislation and other safety interventions. Much of his current research is in collaboration with Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research.

The latest research findings were widely picked up by the media. They featured in SMH and The Guardian, among other prominent titles. A/Prof Olivier was also interviewed on ABC News 24.

The original research paper can be found in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Image credit: SMH