The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that all 50 states, as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico, require all cyclists to wear helmets.
The NTSB released a series of recommendations on Tuesday aimed at stemming a recent increase in cyclist fatalities. It last issued a report on bike safety in 1972. The agency says between 2017 and 2018, there was a 6.3% increase in cyclist fatalities caused by motor vehicles.
The NTSB made the recommendation after it found that head injuries are the leading cause of bicycle fatalities, but that less than half of cyclists wear helmets. The agency says using a helmet is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of suffering a serious head injury.
In a news release, NTSB Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt said that an increase in the number of people using bikes to get around means more needs to be done to protect cyclists. He said, "If we do not act to mitigate head injury for more bicyclists, additional bicyclists will die."
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, no states currently require all cyclists to wear helmets, but several states do have laws requiring helmets for riders under a certain age.