Exploring the Relationship Between Mandatory Helmet Use Regulations and Adult Cyclists’ Behavior in California Using Hybrid Machine Learning Models

In California, bike fatalities increased by 8.1% from 2015 to 2016. Even though the benefits of wearing helmets in protecting cyclists against trauma in cycling crash has been determined, its use is still limited, and there is opposition against mandatory helmet use, particularly for adults. Therefore, exploring perceptions of adult cyclists regarding mandatory helmet use is a key element in understanding cyclists’ behavior, and determining the impact of mandatory helmet use on their cycling rate.

The goal of this research is to identify sociodemographic characteristics and cycling behaviors that are associated with the use and non-use of bicycle helmets among adults and to assess if the enforcement of a bicycle helmet law will result in a change in cycling rates.

This research develops hybrid machine learning models to pinpoint the driving factors that explain adult cyclists' behavior regarding helmet use laws.

Principal Investigator: 

Fatemeh Davoudi, PhD

PI Contact Information: 

Mineta Transportation Institute
San José State University
210 N. 4th St., 4th Floor
San José, CA 95112
fatemeh.davoudi@sjsu.edu

Project Number: 

2024