More than 40% of cyclists in Switzerland do not wear helmets, according to BFA, a safety advisory group.
In 2022, 44% of riders of regular bicycles did not wear head protection, a figure 1 percentage point higher than in 2021, said the report.
The figure for riders of e-bikes was lower but displayed a similar slightly negative trend. In 2022, 32% of e-bike riders on bikes powered to a maximum of 25 km/h failed to wear a helmet, compared to 30% in 2021. The rate was lower for those on faster e-bikes. Only 9% of riders on bikes powered to a maximum of 45 km/h failed to don a helmet. The same figure last year was 7%.
Today, it is very unusual for anyone to travel in the front seat of a car without a seatbelt or to see a motorcyclist without a helmet. However, unprotected cyclists are easy to find.
The high rates of unprotected heads on bikes in Switzerland is puzzling given the significant number of bicycle accidents. In 2021, around 1,400 cyclists (e- and regular) were seriously or mortally injured on Swiss roads. Between 2011 and 2021, the risk of dying on regular bicycle was 12 times the risk of dying in a car accident.
For riders of e-bikes powered to 45 km/h helmets are compulsory in Switzerland. For regular bikes and slower e-bikes there is no legal requirement.