I'm sure this has been discussed before but I'm interested in a lot of recent comments about wearing or not wearing a helmet. It never occurred to me not to wear one but recently I'm picking up a lot of people who seem to have a different view. Why is that? Does wearing a helmet not make it safer if you fall, even a little bit? And those who advocate not wearing one, is it a safety thing or a style thing or a macho man thing or what? Or is there some evidence that a helmet doesnt actually give you any protection or even that wearing one could be dangerous in itself.
I'm not looking to start an argument, just interested in the different views.
Title changed - this can hopefully be considered the definitive helmet thread that can be pointed to whenever anyone wants to start another discussion on the subject - I'll put a link from the FAQs to it also
Does wearing a helmet make an injury less likely if you fall? Probably
Does wearing a helmet make it more likely you will crash? Possibly
Is the overall risk of injury more or less with a helmet? Unclear
Is compulsory helmet wearing a barrier to cycling participation? Definitely
Does this reduce the number of cyclists on the road, and lessen their safety? Definitely
Should helmet wearing be compulsory? No
Should freeloading hippie cyclists pay road tax? It's a disgrace, Joe!
I'm very happy that in this country we can choose for ourselves whether to wear the helmet or not. Me personally, I always will, for various reasons.
I only tell other people to make their own decision for themselves
I've said it before but the reason I wear one stems from seeing a friend knocked down in a low speed accident and going over to help him and being acme to see through to his skull where he hit the kerb. This from the days before helmets were common place.
I don't actually believe that a helmet will take effect in the vast majority of incidents that might befall a cyclist but there might just be the one that it does.
Besides the lip on the front of mine keeps the rain out of my eyes.
I would rather hit the ground with my head with a helmet on than not. Better chance of living with a helmet, they are there for a reason. They could be the difference between life and death.
When I told a friend who used to be a nurse in the National Rehabilitation Hospital that I had started to cycle to work, the one thing she said to me was, whatever you do always wear a helmet.
As far as she was concerned, cycle helmets made a considerable difference in the event of a cycling accident.
I'm so used to wearing one now that it feels strange if I go out on the bike without one.
I don’t think they should be compulsory.
But I do wonder why people insist on not wearing them.
If motoring helmets were common-place, she might be saying that they make a considerable difference in motoring accidents too. Stats suggest she would be even more emphatic about that, just she has prob never seen a car accident victim who was wearing one to compare with those who weren't.
It's a matter of choice. I choose to wear one.
The idea that it encourages bloatorists to be more careless around you is nonsensical though.
They're just as careless when I'm without a helmet.
Compulsory helmet wearing would be a huge mistake imho. On the basis of discouraging cycling in general.
When I was thrown off my bike last November, it was my head & shoulders that hit the road first & man was I glad to be wearing a helmet that night!
I've never gone cycling without wearing a helmet, and never will either tbh! I do know of others then who won't get on a bike wearing one for varying reasons
I wear one but absolutely hate it - feels hot and heavy and tight (but I hate wearing any kind of hat). the very odd time I cycle without helmet it feels great - liberating.
Some people like to think they know better but having spent a lot of time in the NRH recently I wouldn't go near a bike without one. Falling off bikes seems to land a lot of people in there. Some permanent, some will recover given a year or two of rehab but all would wear a helmet if they could turn back the clock.
I'm not sure why but as evidenced above, those against helmets will always bring cars into it. Fact is, a car is a big metal box offering a significant amount of protection to the occupants with extra features such as safety belts and air bags. On a bike you have nothing. It's almost as if some cyclists are opposed to them because theyre not compulsory for motorists. Well take a stroll through The NRH or any brain injury unity and you may reasses your position.
I will always wear a helmet , I've landed on my head twice in the last couple of years , once putting a slight dent in the helmet and the second time breaking the helmet in four places. Both times I was happy that the damage was done to the helmet and not the head .
But everyone should be allowed to make their own choice , I do think its worth paying the extra few quid for a lighter more comfortable one though .
When I was growing up I cycled everywhere (3 miles from my friends house) and 5 miles from the local village (country boy!) and I never wore one, nor did my parents ever mention me wearing one. Now I commute and wouldn't think about cycling without one. Do I think it will do much for me if a car hits me at 30mph? I'm not sure but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I won't let my kids cycle or use their scooters without one but thats more about stopping then hurting themselves if they fall then actually worrying about brain damage or something catastrophic.
This is exactly not the thing to do regarding helmets. Forcing people to wear helmets forces cyclists off the roads, and increases the danger for the cyclists who continue to cycle.
And promoting sedentary forms of transport kills far more people in the long run through cardiovascular diseases and air pollution.
No point asking a neurosurgeon or a brain injury rehab nurse about the benefits of wearing a helmet- they only see a very biased sample.