According to this report in New Scientist, an Australian study has concluded that laws forcing cyclists to wear helmets could cost countries billions of dollars.
A mathematical model put together by Piet de Jong at Macquarie University, Sydney, investigated the financial impact helmet laws had on healthcare authorities. De Jong found that the savings made by helmets cutting head injuries were substantially outweighed by the costs associated with a decrease in cycling numbers – and the subsequent dip in health benefits.
The model estimated that mandatory helmet wearing would cost the UK $0.4 billion, the US $4.8 billion and the Netherlands $1.9 billion.
De Jong said: "I try to reconcile all these various numbers or proportions that impinge on the question of whether helmet laws are very useful."
"Even under very favourable assumptions to the pro-helmet lobby group, it’s very hard to get a benefit," he added.