Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Wearing a bike helmet might not make you any safer

This article says that there is no proof that helmets make bicyclists any safer:
According to a 2003 article in the American Heritage Invention and Technology magazine, a surge in bicycle helmets from 1991 to 2001 -- to the extent that 69 per cent of child cyclists and 43 per cent of adult cyclists wore helmets by the end of the period -- was accompanied by a decline in ridership and an increase in cyclist accidents, resulting in 51 per cent more head injuries per cyclist. ...

One source cites statistics from Western Australia where head injuries fell by 11 to 21 per cent when helmet requirements were put in place, but cycle use fell by 30 per cent or more, meaning the risk of head injury increased for those who continued to cycle. ...

In the Netherlands, there is high a rate of cycling and a low rate of cycling injuries. Virtually no one wears a helmet.
The real purpose of the helmet laws may be just to discourage bicycling.

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