Debate on cyclists being forced to wear helmets on Radio 2 now
SERIOUSLY, what is wrong with wearing a lid?
Very little, but that’s not the point is it? It’s all about personal freedom. This is the UK, it’s not yet some Police State where we are forced to do what we don’t want to because the state forces it upon us (even if Gollum Brown is trying to make it that way).Posted 8 years ago
This is taken from a comment on BikeRadar, posted by an employee of the CTC: http://www.bikeradar.com/blogs/article/naughty-duffy-eh-20525
“* The evidence from places where helmet use has been increased significantly, notably through helmet laws (e.g. in Australia, New Zealand, parts of the USA and Canada etc) is that cycle use has declined drastically, and that safety for the remaining cyclists has not detectably improved, in some cases it appears to have got worse.
* There is very little evidence about the reason(s) for this apparently counter-intuitive lack of benefits from helmet-wearing, however there are plenty of possible explanations. For one thing, helmets offer at best only very limited protection, they are (and can only be) designed for minor knocks and falls, not impacts with moving traffic. And then there are a whole host of possible reasons why the wearing of helmets may make cyclists more likely to hit their heads in the first place, potentially negating or outweighing whatever (at best limited) benefits a helmet might provide in the event of such an impact.
* For instance, it is known that some people, including young children as well as teenagers, “risk-compensate” when using helmets, i.e. act less cautiously. Drivers may also risk-compensate – one small-scale study has found that they leave less space when overtaking a cyclist with a helmet than one without. By effectively increasing the size of the head, a helmet may also turn what would otherwise have been mere glancing blows or even complete “near misses” into very serious neck injuries or “rotational force” injuries of the kind most likely to result in brain damage. Or, by reducing the numbers of cyclists, pressure to wear helmets may also be counter-productive by reducing the “safety in numbers” for those cyclists who remain. There are other possible factors but these are the main ones.
I explained all this very patiently to him. I also sent him links to CTC’s main helmet page (http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4688 and http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4641) and to the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation (www.cyclehelmets.org).”Posted 8 years agoXanMember
I would say it falls down the same route as motorists being made to wear seatbelts and motorcyclist not wearing helmets. If you are stupid enough (IMO) not to want to do it, then dont make people do it. ~After all if there are injured/killed then thats their tough s**t for not wareing one in the first place. I dont think its the governments/police place to make people do it!!Posted 8 years agothomthumbMember
because, like moter cyclists and car seatbelts, i shouldn’t have to wear one.
Speed limits are to protect others, as are gun laws. Enforcing seatbelt and helemt wearing is the governemt encroaching on MY personal safety, it will only kill me if i choose not to wear one.
That is why.Posted 8 years ago
The problem with reports like that is the word “MAY”…
furthermore – the issue with reduction in cycling is indeed a problem, however, you could read that as an ABSOLUTE reduction in number of accidents.
I heard a similar story on radio 4 at the weekend (and instantly thought of STW) where they also said that the cycle numbers recovered after a while – therefore it ended up being benificial.Posted 8 years ago
glenp _ are you serious? no, this is STW…as a pedestrian you walk on pavements, generally dont wander into busy roads, and are able to avoid most accidents! damn….I bit…
I commute in london, my route includes hyde park corner, the building site around westminster bridge and elephant and castle. I’m wearing a lid, no question.Posted 8 years ago
the issue with reduction in cycling is indeed a problem, however, you could read that as an ABSOLUTE reduction in number of accidents.
So… your policy for reducing the total number of cycling accidents is to reduce the number of people cycling?!? Hmmm… maybe I misunderstood that.Posted 8 years agoaPMember
You do realise that helmets aren’t designed to withstand impacts greater than 12mph? and the man who was hit by a motorcyclist wouldn’t have been any less injured if he had been wearing a helmet?
I’ve actually been told by someone that its OK to deliberately run cyclists off the road because they’re “wearing helmets and so won’t be injured”.Posted 8 years ago
btw – i don’t want to make anyone – all I asked was WHY wouldn’t you – there have so far been no good reasons why not.
the reasons re the collective behaviour aren’t necessarily relevent to individual cyclists.
Incidently I hate the idea of nanny state, I’m honestly not arguing the compulsion point.Posted 8 years agonjee20Subscriber
‘it will only kill me if i choose not to wear one’
Have you not seen the adverts!? You may also kill your mum, who’s sat infront of you.
FWIW I think it’s a bad idea to enforce helmet use, but do support seatbelts, and I’m fairly indifferent on motorcylcists wearing helmets, although the number of lives saved by both is much much greater than would be saved on a push bike.
I’ve heard the broken neck thing too, it does make sense, but I imagine it’s such a tiny number of cases it’s not really worth factoring in!Posted 8 years agoStirlingCrispinSubscriber
I helped the CTC with some literature searches on this subject.
I used to wear a helmet all the time but after reading all the research papers I now no longer wear one when when commuting.
I do wear one when riding a mountain bike.
Risk compensation, increased risk of rotational brain injury, attitude of motorists, convenience, relative risk of various activities were all reasons that contributed to this decision.Posted 8 years agoaPMember
I think its because of the recent compensation case between a cyclist and a motorcyclist where the judge said that the cyclist had an element of contribution to injuries because they hadn’t been wearing a helmet – except that the imnpact was at greater than 11 (12?) mph and so wearing a helmet wouldn’t have a made a difference (because almost no cycle helmet is designed to withstand an impact greater than 12 mph).Posted 8 years agoSpongebobMember
Always wear a helmet! You never know when you are going to get taken out by “numpty” while riding on the road – almost happened to me 48hrs ago! My mate would be dead if he hadn’t bought a helmet the day before he went over the pars and “head planted” on a cricket ball sized rock. The helmet split in two, his head did not!
Wearing a good helmet is also cool. It demontrates that you are an enthusiast, not the sort of person that is too tight to buy proper clothing and safety gear! You know, the type that ride in jeans or baggy chain snagging jogging bottoms, untied laces, no gloves, no SPD shoes etc. It is this sort of person who is uncool, not the properly attired cyclist.Posted 8 years agoSpongebobMember
Always wear a helmet! You never know when you are going to get taken out by “numpty” while riding on the road – almost happened to me 48hrs ago! My mate would be dead if he hadn’t bought a helmet the day before he went over the bars and “head planted” on a cricket ball sized rock. The helmet split in two, his head did not!
Wearing a good helmet is also cool. It demontrates that you are an enthusiast, not the sort of person that is too tight to buy proper clothing and safety gear! You know, the type that ride in jeans or baggy chain snagging jogging bottoms, untied laces, no gloves, no SPD shoes etc. It is this sort of person who is uncool, not the properly attired cyclist.Posted 8 years ago
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