Helmet laws discourage safe cyclists - says new study

Possible that laws discourage those cyclists with the lowest accident risk

by Sarah Barth   August 11, 2012  

Children cycling - pic credit European Cyclists Federation

A new study from Norway suggests that mandatory helmet laws actually discourage the safest cyclists in society from taking to the roads.

The study aimed to find out why, despite helmet laws being introduced in countries like New Zealand and Australia, "no studies have found good evidence of an injury reducing effect".

The report by Aslak Fyhri, Torkel Bjørnskau and Agathe Backer-Grøndahl looks at responses from random sample of 1504 bicycle owners in Norway to questions about their cycling style, helmet use and accident involvement.

According to the abstract: "The results show that the cyclist population in Norway can be divided into two sub-populations: one speed-happy group that cycle fast and have lots of cycle equipment including helmets, and one traditional kind of cyclist without much equipment, cycling slowly.

"With all the limitations that have to be placed on a cross sectional study such as this, the results indicate that at least part of the reason why helmet laws do not appear to be beneficial is that they disproportionately discourage the safest cyclists."

So in plain English, speed-freak, accident-prone cyclists were quite likely to be already wearing a helmet BEFORE laws were brought in. As such, they are still having the same number of accidents that they had before, and the only real net result of helmet laws is fewer of the risk-averse cylists taking to the road at all.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

37 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

The vast majority of those who are going to be attracted to cycling as a result of the recent successes will be those who will drive their bikes to the country park or take to the local (poorly maintained) cycle track. They'll probably average a speed of 8mph. If they fall off they will probably damage their limbs more than their heads. Yet, there is this unfounded perception that a helmet is needed for their safety. Granted, a helmet will CUSHION an impact if you come off at speed. BUT in a collison with a vehicle it is the torso and lower limbs that take the primary impact, the head takes the second.

Rather than pursue compulsary helmets, the govt and other bodies should be seeking to establish a safer enviroment for ALL road users. Including more stringent penalties for driving offences.

But why stop at helmets, let's make kevelar compulsary to prevent road rash. Enforce elbow and knee pads, spine, shin and arm plates to prvent chipped and broken bones. After all we are all going to have an off at some stage and need every possible protection.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1059 posts]
11th August 2012 - 19:04

4 Likes

This research is a welcome addition to the already existing body from Australia, New Zealand and other countries with helmet laws which show that the only effect of such laws was a reduction in the number of cyclists.

If the only result of helmet laws and propaganda is negative, unless you count the obscene profits made by the helmet manufacturers, could the helmet promoters like BRAKE and Headway please shut up?

Helmet propaganda is very like tobacco advertising: absolutely gigantic private profit and similarly large public cost.

burtthebike

posted by burtthebike [71 posts]
11th August 2012 - 19:19

5 Likes

hairyairey wrote:
When the seat-belt laws came in no-one claimed it would put people off driving.

Why don't they make them mandatory on buses and trains/the tube?

hairyairey wrote:

Now consider how vulnerable cyclists are on the road at any speed,

Let's not. We spend too much time worry-worting about a level of danger that's not much different from that faced when walking or driving. THAT is probably what helps put people off cycling: all the "cycle activists" moaning about how dangerous their life is.

hairyairey wrote:

I am sure that if you look at hospital accident records before and after a ban there would be an improvement.

Take a look at countries with MHLs. There's no obvious improvement in injuries that are serious enough to worry about.

hairyairey wrote:

If I'm wrong and there isn't that does not necessarily mean that mandatory helmet laws don't work.

True. Same as drinking your own piss to prevent cancer. You really should try it. I can point you to several studies which fail to prove it as an effective remedy. I can't understand why anyone wouldn't do something that COULD save their life.

posted by Ush [410 posts]
11th August 2012 - 19:19

7 Likes

I find the idea of two sub-populations a bit weird because I seem to belong to both. I wear a helmet for leisure cycling, and I don't wear one when I'm out and about in town in ordinary clothes and shoes. I reckon my helmet might offer some limited protection if I "keel over" when my wheels lose traction irrecoverably on a rough gravel path, or while cornering on a wet road going down a mountain, or if I have trouble unclipping. In town, I don't expect those scenarios. If I did have an accident, it probably wouldn't be the sort of accident helmets are designed for, so I use my road sense to stay safe instead. Promoting helmets is the most appalling waste of resources that could be used to promote road sense. Important messages like "it's dangerous to cycle on footpaths on the wrong side of the road because drivers won't see you at junctions" have been completely lost in the general "cycling is dangerous you should always wear a helmet" cacophony.

posted by bambergbike [87 posts]
11th August 2012 - 19:36

5 Likes

hairyairey wrote:

As for traffic light jumping, that's sometimes necessary when lights only work by the presence of cars.quote]
Thinking

That has got to be the worst justification as to why certain individuals of below average intelligence jump red lights- " I jump red lights because i am not a car!" FFS are you serious?
apart from breaking the law and p***ing of other road users I cannot believe the complete idiocy of some.

On a technical note and having spent time working with/setting up traffic lights i am pretty certain that they work on sensors picking up motion towards them. and also are on a set cyclic system which should be roughly 30 seconds; and not dependant upon the type of vehicle. makes me laugh when i see people flash their lights at traffic lights with motion sensors on top.

if you intend to run a red light you probably should wear a helmet for when you get hit by traffic.

posted by cavmem1 [44 posts]
11th August 2012 - 22:56

6 Likes

Very sensible conclusion which tallies with that rare beast, "common sense".

I wear a helmet on my road bike and mountain bike, I don't wear one if I'm riding up and down the road fiddling with gears/brakes/seat position or bimbling to the shop or pub. My mum wears a helmet, because she wants to, but I can jog faster than she rides (and I don't wear a helmet out running obviously).

posted by AlanD [12 posts]
11th August 2012 - 23:01

9 Likes

Pottering down the shops in civvies at no great speed - no helmet

Racing or training in lycra at slightly more speed with a tail wind - helmet

Logical? Nope but I'm not alone.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1072 posts]
11th August 2012 - 23:58

5 Likes

Paul M wrote:
It's not a question of whether I agree or disagree. I haven't gone out and conducted my own survey of 1,500 bicycle owners and until I do I feel I should accept their findings as scientific.

I suspect that it is probably right though - you only have to look at the cyclists bunching at a traffic light in London, and watch how most (not overwhelming so, but enough to be noticeable) of the ones who sail through the red lights are helmet wearers.

Our cycling nation comprises many tribes, including full-blown vehicular cyclists at one end and wheeled-pedestrians at the other. There is no question that our roads environment foster more of the former because that is seen by manny as the only viable survival strategy for cycling on our roads. In essence, you gotta have testosterone (and that applies to the ladies too) to make it work for you.

Hardly any surprise then that fast, competitive behaviour, including red light jumping and pavement riding, are sigificant enough to be remarkable. Nothing like as commmon as the Daily Mail woudl have you believe, but common enough to give us all a bad name. It's a vicious circle - we'll continue with the conditions we have because we can't secure enough popular ergo po;llitical support to change, and that will perpetuate the conditions we have etc.


[[[[[[[[[ Nope, sorry, Paul M., have to disagree with your 2nd paragraph....I see even-steven. Seems to me just as many riders in jeans, trainers, hoods and baseball caps jump red lights as do proper bikies wearing helmets....
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [293 posts]
12th August 2012 - 2:27

6 Likes

One only has to go the Netherlands to see this distinction in acton. The vast majority of the Dutch - including the children - do not wear helmets and wear ordinary everyday clothes and ride mostly utility bikes. They are the ones cycling to work or school, going shopping etc. A very small minority will be seen wearing helmets, lycra and riding expensive racing or touring bikes. These are the pros or the semi-pros. The latter group, I am sure only wear this kit when they are training or touring and will dress like everyone else if they are conducting everyday activities.

Personally I am firmly with the everday Dutch cyclist. I wear no helmet or cycle-specific clothing and never have. I do have a Sam Browne belt which I do wear in The UK but not in the Netherlands. The bike accessories world must hate me!

Watdabni

posted by John Lavery l [2 posts]
12th August 2012 - 8:50

7 Likes

Well I was pottering to the shops with "all the time in the world" last winter when I skidded on a patch of ice, came off the bike, and my head flipped back and impacted the tarmac with considerable force. Helmet cracked, head didn't. I don't hurtle around pretending to be Wiggo, but I always wear a helmet. I do find the ongoing debate baffling. It's rather like opposing the compulsory wearing of seatbelts on the grounds that it might put some people off driving. At Wits End

posted by mattsr [17 posts]
12th August 2012 - 9:57

7 Likes

mattsr wrote:
Well I was pottering to the shops with "all the time in the world" last winter when I skidded on a patch of ice, came off the bike, and my head flipped back and impacted the tarmac with considerable force. Helmet cracked, head didn't. I don't hurtle around pretending to be Wiggo, but I always wear a helmet. I do find the ongoing debate baffling. It's rather like opposing the compulsory wearing of seatbelts on the grounds that it might put some people off driving. At Wits End

Well I was pottering to work a couple of winters ago, quite slowly, about 12mph, slightly uphill, and I skidded on ice that had collected between speed cushions and banged my head.

Didn't hurt; didn't daze me; what I was more pissed off about was the hole in my warm winter tights and the scratched up brake lever.

Anecdotes are not evidence; and compulsory seatbelt-wearing led to less careful driving and more pedestrian and cyclist casualties. In fact, probably more KSIs than it saved.

I find the ongoing debate baffling, too. Why on earth should the GBP be discouraged from cycling just because non-cycling legislators and employees of the road safety - or rather, road danger - industry think they should go armoured as if for battle?

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
12th August 2012 - 11:45

5 Likes

Pottering to the shops or commuting to work at low speed is exactly when you should wear a helmet. It's what they're designed to cope with.

A helmet designed to protect you at 20km/h does not halve the effect of a 40km/h crash. e = mc squared remember ? Energy is the product of the square of speed. So twice the speed equals four times the energy. Your helmet is near useless.

As for studies, I don't understand why nobody has done a study on the pro peleton before and after helmet introduction. You have a consistent study group, with consistent skills riding the same courses under much the same conditions. And one which almost universally did not wear helmets before they were mandatory.

Yes it's a small sample but it should be sufficiently longitudinal to overcome that.

I suspect the reason is that it will not come out in favour of helmets so the UCI or the manufacturers who support them will not facilitate it. Or the Illuminai, maybe.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [540 posts]
12th August 2012 - 16:11

7 Likes

mattsr wrote:
It's rather like opposing the compulsory wearing of five-point harnesses, helmets, and fireproof overalls on the grounds that it might put some people off driving. At Wits End

ftfy. Also, you clearly know that the conclusions drawn by the study in this very article are worthless? Please englighten me with your degree from the university of 'it stands to reason'.

Are there ANY helmet-law supporters who aren't blithering idiots with no ability to distinguish between cycling as sport by die-hards, and cycling as transport by those for whom 'will mess up my hair' or 'something more to cart around' is actually a good reason to take up driving, ruining their health and potentially others? Please let me know, I've not found one yet.

posted by nuclear coffee [164 posts]
12th August 2012 - 16:21

6 Likes

nuclear coffee wrote:
Are there ANY helmet-law supporters who aren't blithering idiots

Indeed, finding a helmet-law supporter (as opposed to someone who chooses to wear a helmet) who has cycled more than a few miles in the past year is pretty difficult.

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
12th August 2012 - 17:39

7 Likes

abudhabiChris wrote:

As for studies, I don't understand why nobody has done a study on the pro peleton before and after helmet introduction.

And how many of us are likely to join the pro peloton, ride at their speeds or take their risks?

And how many are there in the pro peloton? A couple of thousand? Compared with the few million non-racing cyclists in the UK alone.

Apples. Oranges.

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
12th August 2012 - 17:42

5 Likes

JohnS wrote:
abudhabiChris wrote:

As for studies, I don't understand why nobody has done a study on the pro peleton before and after helmet introduction.

And how many of us are likely to join the pro peloton, ride at their speeds or take their risks?

And how many are there in the pro peloton? A couple of thousand? Compared with the few million non-racing cyclists in the UK alone.

Apples. Oranges.

It's not about studying apples to draw conclusions about apples - why would you need to do that ? If you are studying a variable (introduction of helmets) you need to make sure you study apples without helmets and then apples with helmets to note the effect, not apples without helmets and oranges with.

Not that I'm an expert in research methods but I know a little - enough to ask the question, if not to answer it conclusively.

It's about having a controlled and observable group engaging in similar behaviour over a period of time, without too many other variables to confuse things.

For example there have been other studies comparing accident rates and so on pre and post helmet introduction. But you have variables like driver behaviour - there is a lot more traffic on the roads than there was 30 or 40 years ago so how do you account for that in safety results ?
And as this study above highlights, has the simple fact of making a change to an external condition (introducing helmets) caused a bias within your study group by putting off cyclists with a particular behaviour which might affect results.

The pro peleton (I mean any pro teams, not just the Tour) over the last say 40-45 years has been much the same - obviously there have been some changes but these are fairly minor and should be easily accountable. They are in the same physical condition, they have the same behaviour, they use the same roads at similar speeds under the same conditions on similar equipment with the same skills.

And there was pretty much a single point where they went from mostly not wearing helmets to wearing helmets all the time - I think there was a couple of years transition between Kivilev and Casartelli where it wasn't 100% mandatory, but again it is clear exactly when it happened.

A study looks at a small sample, identifies the representative features and draws conclusions and wider applications. Otherwise you might as well look at the study quoted above and say "We're not Norwegian so it isn't relevant".

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [540 posts]
13th August 2012 - 5:05

8 Likes

abudhabiChris wrote:
JohnS wrote:

...

And how many are there in the pro peloton? A couple of thousand? Compared with the few million non-racing cyclists in the UK alone.

Apples. Oranges.

...
A study looks at a small sample, identifies the representative features and draws conclusions and wider applications. Otherwise you might as well look at the study quoted above and say "We're not Norwegian so it isn't relevant".

I think the apples/oranges point wasn't that the study was intrinsically flawed, but that it's not clear how any results for the pro peloton could be usefully extrapolated to the non-pro cycling population.

So, you would end up with a good study about pros that tells you nothing about non-pros, but will be (incorrectly) applied to the broader debate regardless.

posted by useless [5 posts]
13th August 2012 - 11:02

8 Likes

Mattsr said:
"It's rather like opposing the compulsory wearing of seatbelts on the grounds that it might put some people off driving."

Yes, except that there is no evidence that seatbelt laws put people of cycling, whereas there is plenty of good evidence that enforcing cycle helmet laws has consistently led to sharp reductions in cycle use:
www.cycle-helmets.com/robinson-bmj.pdf.

Moreover, if the health benefits of cycle use in Britain outweigh the risks by c20:1 (according to one Government-endorsed estimate, see other estimates from other countries at http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1015.html), it has been shown (see http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1249.html) that helmet laws, or even promotion campaigns, would therefore shorten more lives than they could possibly save if they reduced cycle use by more than 1 unit (e.g. one cyclist, or one cycle-km) for every 20 units of cycle use which continue.

So would be counterproductive to public health if cycle use is reduced by more than c4.7%, even if helmets were 100% effective at preventing ALL cycling injuries suffered by the remaining cyclists (i.e. leg, arm, neck, spine and abdominal injuries, as well as head injuries).

If you then take account of the proportion of cycling injuries which are non-head injuries, this maximum threshold falls to c2-3%, even if helmets are 100% effective at preventing head injuries.

If individuals wish to wear helmets - whether because this gives them greater confidence or because of the kind of cycling they are doing - CTC entirely supports those decisions. Likewise the decisions of sports governning bodies to impose helmet rules for racing.

However it is entirely counter-productive to public health for Government bodies, or indeed for individual cyclists, to try and either force or even just to guilt-trip other cyclists into wearing helmets, if they would prefer not do to so. This would shorten more lives than it could possibly save, if it reduced cycle use by any more than about 2-3%. Where helmet laws
have been enforced, they have typically reduced cycle use by at least 30%, and a lot more among teenagers.

Cycling is not such a high-risk activity that you need a helmet to ride a bike - you are about as unlikely to be killed in a mile of cycling as a mile of walking. Meanwhile the health benefits are far greater. hence it is far more important to encourage people to cycle, than to worry about whether or not they wear helmets when doing so.

For further info, see CTC's campaigns briefing on helmets: http://beta.ctc.org.uk/file/public/cycle-helmetsbrf_0.pdf

CTC's overview of the evidence on helmets: http://beta.ctc.org.uk/files/cycle-helmets-evidencebrf_1.pdf

...or the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation's website, which provides comprehensive referencing of helmet-related resource: www.cyclehelmets.org.

Roger Geffen
Campaigns & Policy Director, CTC

posted by Roger Geffen [35 posts]
13th August 2012 - 12:28

8 Likes

It is strange that non-cyclists are so keen on mandatory helmet laws for cyclists. If they're that worried about the wellbeing of fellow road users then they could slow down, give people room and don't drive like lunatics.

I wore a helmet for the commute this morning. I don't usually wear one if I'm nipping down the shops. Neither do I wear one in the shower which involves slippery, hard surfaces.

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
13th August 2012 - 12:47

6 Likes

Coleman wrote:
It is strange that non-cyclists are so keen on mandatory helmet laws for cyclists. If they're that worried about the wellbeing of fellow road users then they could slow down, give people room and don't drive like lunatics.

Very much agree Smile

I love the smell of cleats (mexican accent, you do the jokes)

posted by paulfrank [80 posts]
13th August 2012 - 13:25

6 Likes

I have very nice hair.

posted by BigDummy [296 posts]
13th August 2012 - 13:54

4 Likes

If they make it law, I'll continue to cycle and see if the fat plod on the mountain bikes can catch me to give me a ticket. Doubt they will call in the helicopter for me.

posted by italiafirenze [68 posts]
13th August 2012 - 16:57

6 Likes

Coleman wrote:
It is strange that non-cyclists are so keen on mandatory helmet laws for cyclists. If they're that worried about the wellbeing of fellow road users then they could slow down, give people room and don't drive like lunatics.

Here here.

Also, Bradley Wiggins doesn't help using his enormous soapbox to weigh in with his mis-informed opinion. I can understand why he wears a helmet (quite apart from the fact he gets paid to) but to suggest that you've every right to be run over if you don't is more than a bit stupid.

I like Bradley Wiggins and his TdF win might have just done something to encourage cycling in GB. His helmet rant however will be a big step back.

It's ordinary folks who need to take up cycling to help make it safer for everybody, not nutters like us lot.

Once you remove laziness, safety is the next biggest prohibiting factor and sticking a piece of ABS on your head does not make you safe. In fact, at least one study showed the opposite - that cars pass closer to helmeted cyclists than non-helmeted ones.

The more car drivers who cycle and the more bikes on the road the better off we will all be.

posted by italiafirenze [68 posts]
13th August 2012 - 17:06

6 Likes

Perhaps wearing a helmet doesn't seem safe to some, but I sure wish I'd remembered to wear mine the ONE TIME I went out without it. Going down a rather steep gravel road, I hit an unexpected pothole, flew a**-over-tea-kettle, and landed on my head. Result, severe concussion, many stitches, scar, years of intermittent vertigo, and loss of my pilot's license (due to the vertigo). I haven't biked without a helmet since then.

posted by CSalaska [1 posts]
13th August 2012 - 23:15

5 Likes

The problem with this study is that the starting premise is completely wrong: there was one study in Australia which suggested that after helmets were introduced there was a reduction in TEENAGERS cycling and NOT any other group: this report is generally but inaccurately stated to be evidence for helmets leading to a reduction in cycling generally, which is incorrect. I've looked at the actual study and it has methodology problems, not least of which was that they didn't check whether their sample time coincided with school holidays (because teenagers tend not to ride to school during the holidays). And contrary to what was stated above, studies in Australia have clearly shown a correlation between the introduction of helmets and a drop in injuries - the Rissell study which suggested otherwise has been thoroughly debunked as they simply got it wrong by mismatching the relevant time periods.

I've been riding to work in Melbourne on and off for nearly 20 years and even over the last 2 years there has been a large increase in cycling here in Melbourne. If the opponents of helmets are correct that helmets discourage cycling, then how do they explain that increase?

posted by Sakurashinmachi [48 posts]
14th August 2012 - 11:48

5 Likes

italiafirenze wrote:

It's ordinary folks who need to take up cycling to help make it safer for everybody, not nutters like us lot.

Oh, thanks! Smile

italiafirenze wrote:

In fact, at least one study showed the opposite - that cars pass closer to helmeted cyclists than non-helmeted ones.

I've heard about this, but not actually seen it, can anyone point to the research or an article about it?

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3320 posts]
14th August 2012 - 13:18

3 Likes

"Drivers overtaking bicyclists: Objective data on the effects of riding position, helmet use, vehicle type and apparent gender" by Ian Walker,
Department of Psychology, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom
Available online 24 October 2006.

If you have access to Science Direct http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001457506001540

posted by Actium [37 posts]
14th August 2012 - 15:41

3 Likes

hairyairey wrote:

I am sure that if you look at hospital accident records before and after a ban there would be an improvement. If I'm wrong and there isn't that does not necessarily mean that mandatory helmet laws don't work.

Actually, I know for a fact that if you look at hospital records by a large margin you'll find that most injured cyclists suffer arm, hand and leg injuries. And hospital records will also show you that by a very large margin, most fatalities amongst cyclists involve major trauma for which a helmet would offer no benefit whatsoever.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2239 posts]
14th August 2012 - 22:15

6 Likes

Roger Geffen wrote:
Mattsr said:
"It's rather like opposing the compulsory wearing of seatbelts on the grounds that it might put some people off driving."

Yes, except that there is no evidence that seatbelt laws put people of cycling, whereas there is plenty of good evidence that enforcing cycle helmet laws has consistently led to sharp reductions in cycle use:
www.cycle-helmets.com/robinson-bmj.pdf.

Moreover, if the health benefits of cycle use in Britain outweigh the risks by c20:1 (according to one Government-endorsed estimate, see other estimates from other countries at http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1015.html), it has been shown (see http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1249.html) that helmet laws, or even promotion campaigns, would therefore shorten more lives than they could possibly save if they reduced cycle use by more than 1 unit (e.g. one cyclist, or one cycle-km) for every 20 units of cycle use which continue.

So would be counterproductive to public health if cycle use is reduced by more than c4.7%, even if helmets were 100% effective at preventing ALL cycling injuries suffered by the remaining cyclists (i.e. leg, arm, neck, spine and abdominal injuries, as well as head injuries).

If you then take account of the proportion of cycling injuries which are non-head injuries, this maximum threshold falls to c2-3%, even if helmets are 100% effective at preventing head injuries.

If individuals wish to wear helmets - whether because this gives them greater confidence or because of the kind of cycling they are doing - CTC entirely supports those decisions. Likewise the decisions of sports governning bodies to impose helmet rules for racing.

However it is entirely counter-productive to public health for Government bodies, or indeed for individual cyclists, to try and either force or even just to guilt-trip other cyclists into wearing helmets, if they would prefer not do to so. This would shorten more lives than it could possibly save, if it reduced cycle use by any more than about 2-3%. Where helmet laws
have been enforced, they have typically reduced cycle use by at least 30%, and a lot more among teenagers.

Cycling is not such a high-risk activity that you need a helmet to ride a bike - you are about as unlikely to be killed in a mile of cycling as a mile of walking. Meanwhile the health benefits are far greater. hence it is far more important to encourage people to cycle, than to worry about whether or not they wear helmets when doing so.

For further info, see CTC's campaigns briefing on helmets: http://beta.ctc.org.uk/file/public/cycle-helmetsbrf_0.pdf

CTC's overview of the evidence on helmets: http://beta.ctc.org.uk/files/cycle-helmets-evidencebrf_1.pdf

...or the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation's website, which provides comprehensive referencing of helmet-related resource: www.cyclehelmets.org.

Roger Geffen
Campaigns & Policy Director, CTC

I couldn't agree more - thank you for some sense.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2239 posts]
14th August 2012 - 22:19

3 Likes

OldRidgeback wrote:

Actually, I know for a fact that if you look at hospital records by a large margin you'll find that most injured cyclists suffer arm, hand and leg injuries. And hospital records will also show you that by a very large margin, most fatalities amongst cyclists involve major trauma for which a helmet would offer no benefit whatsoever.

I think the important word here is "most".Being in the minority wouldn't have mattered a jot to me if I came off my bike and cracked my skull because I wasn't wearing a helmet. The fact that I WAS wearing one on that occasion saved me from a very nasty injury. And perhaps if no cyclists wore helmets, the difference between the number of head injuries and other types would be less marked.

posted by mattsr [17 posts]
15th August 2012 - 11:06

4 Likes