Date of Award

8-31-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Buchanan, Lori

Keywords

bicycle, brain, education, helmet, intervention, safety

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND

Abstract

According to Statistics Canada (2016), approximately 70% of children aged 15-17 in Ontario reported cycling over the last year. It is the law in Ontario that any cyclist under 18 wear a helmet (Ministry of Transportation, 2016). Despite this regulation, less than half of teenagers in Ontario report always wearing their helmet when cycling (Statistics Canada, 2016). This is a clear cause for concern when considering the prominence of brain injury due to cycling-related accidents (Coronado et al., 2007; Burt & Overpeck, 2001). This project attempted to address this issue by analyzing whether an educational intervention based on the functions of the brain and its importance in our daily lives could increase helmet use in adolescents. It was predicted that participation in this project would lead to an increase in the perceived risk of cycling without a helmet, thus ultimately leading to an increase in helmet use. The results supported the hypothesis, with a main effect found between pre-test and post-test scores for helmet-related questions in all groups who participated in the project. These results were also different from those of a control group, who participated in a generic bike safety intervention. The results of this project show great promise in the effectiveness of this educational intervention on helmet use and thereby have major implications for the future of helmet safety in the community.

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