Cycling Overseas: Decisions regarding helmet use
ACRS, DOI:10.33492/JACRS-D-18-00295, https://doi.org/10.33492/JACRS-D-18-00295
Submission Date: May 1, 2019 Journal
Background: Cycling engagement in tourists is increasing; yet, bicycle helmet usage is not widely mandated internationally. Exploring hypothetical helmet use intentions when cycling in a foreign location for residents were the ability to decide in their home setting is removed presents a novel enquiry into the relationship between habit and tourist safety behaviour intentions. Methods: Queensland Social Survey (phone survey) of Queensland (Australia) residents (n=1,256) exploring current cycling participation, hypothetical cycling and helmet use whilst travelling overseas. Ethics approval was obtained. Backward logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the socio-economic and health characteristics that were significantly associated with hypothetical cycling and helmet use overseas. Results: One-third (39.6%) of respondents indicated they might cycle overseas and this was related to recent cycling engagement at home (p < 0.01). Helmet usage at home was related to hypothetical helmet use overseas (p < 0.01); with self-reported helmet use ‘every time’ cycle a positive predictor of hypothetical helmet use overseas (OR=10.78; 95%CI=2.04-47.67). Conclusions: Safety habits from a home setting, which likely exist due to legislation, might transfer to a foreign non-legislated settings. Promoting of safe cycling practices regardless of location has utility and warrants discussion within the disciplines of travel medicine and road safety. It is recommended before cycling overseas that individuals familiarise themselves with road rules, right of way, cycling infrastructure and the general conduct of other cyclists. Route planning will also likely be faciliated by this familiarisation and enable strategic sightseeing opportunities.