It’s one of those topics that seems to stir up a large amount of emmotion and debate: Cycling Helmets. You either do or you do not – it is your choice – you may even make that choice on a whim each day… however… with a man down and recovering from a serious injury at a low speed – I am only too happy to share his thoughts on the matter as he rests up. Sure the stories of the great saves are going to outnumber those of the silent minority – but if you have a picture – aledgedly worth a thousand words – to share from your experience – please do send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org*.
“I couldn’t sleep last night and Alan had suggested I write something for the website about how my helmet (possibly) saved me.
Pros and cons of wearing a helmet, I wanted to write a paragraph or so on why you should wear a helmet, inspired by my recent cycle accident and the trauma doctors statement that I would have been in deep shit (apparently a medical condition of great gravity) if I hadn’t worn my helmet.
Considering he already knew I had broken my spine, ribs and cheek bone I can only surmise that deep shit would be death or brain injury.
But you really can’t write anything without an objective view (still going to keep it brief though). So what are the risks of wearing a helmet?
There seem to be 3 main arguments for not wearing a helmet.
No. 1 is that if we make cycle helmets mandatory less people will cycle which reduces puplic health more than the risks associated with not wearing a helmet;
No. 2 is that motorists give less room to cyclists who wear helmets compared to those who do;
No. 3 is that in some circumstances because of the thickness or shape of the helmet what may have been a glancing blow to the head may have more impact, or place an increased torsional load on the neck.
I actually only needed to read one statistic to confirm wearing a helmet was a good idea and that was you are 80% less likely to have a serious head injury in a low speed Impact if you wear a helmet [source required]. It seems the main reason for not wearing a helmet is motorists perception and vanity would cause a reduction in the number of cyclist on road and public health would drop, all I can say is that I look a hell of a lot better for wearing a helmet and in this circumstance I will consider myself and not society as a whole (I am so selfish) “We all make mistakes, don’t compound the mistake by not wearing a helmet” [Jerry Springer 1991]“
— Lord Gary
*I am not looking to start off some great lengthy debate over it all – just some personal insights.