Forum home Road cycling forum Campaign

Should cyclists legally wear a helmet ?

VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
edited December 2013 in Campaign
This is my first post here so go easy with me, I know it's an emotive subject but should cyclists really not need to wear a helmet ?
Maybe road cyclists more than pleasure but seriously, is there any need not to wear a helmet whilst cycling on the road whilst speeding along, next to cars zipping by at 30-40mph and on Tarmac full of holes.

Surely the law needs to change, even a minor fall can lead to serious injury or death yet we seem blinkered that as it isn't illegal we should be ok if the worst happens.

After what happened this week there is a lot of anger at the sheriff in question but he legally had to sum-up the case and the question of wether a helmet would of helped was a factor, something we will never know.

I have read countless posts here with riders having close shaves and claiming the helmet almost certainly stopped them from being seriously injured. Surely we should be made to wear a helmet these days without option???
Living MY dream.
«13456

Posts

  • BarteosBarteos Posts: 657
    Yes of course.
    Also car drivers/passengers, pedestrians crossing roads, people doing DIY, everyone climbing ladders, kids in a playground... and generally everyone that has a higher chance of getting injured than a cyclist. :wink:
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    well i have run out of popcorn waiting for this to start.

    But I quite like the rules in Sweden.

    Helmets were compulsory up to the age of 15.

    over 15 you could make you own mind up.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • ooermissusooermissus Posts: 811
    Yeah and what about jumping red lights?
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    nicklouse wrote:
    well i have run out of popcorn waiting for this to start.

    But I quite like the rules in Sweden.

    Helmets were compulsory up to the age of 15.

    over 15 you could make you own mind up.


    As with most things in life, people love to blame others.
    I've been on my bike and trucks have passed me, giving me around 6ft (plenty of space) yet I've nearly been blown clean off the bike. Lets face it, we have all been parked in our cars when vehicles have passed and its shock the car so to a man on a bike it's going to be far worse.

    I just don't get people not wearing them.
    I have to say though, even after only a short time cycling I don't think I've personally seen anyone not wearing a helmet myself so I don't really think its a widespread issue but if you want to share the road with the vehicles then surely some of their laws should be inflicted. ?
    It's not about brining up arguments but saving life's surely ?
    Living MY dream.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    I think cyclists should definitely legally wear helmets. I really can't see any reason why it should be illegal.
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 7,605
    I knew this day would come....... I agree with VTech! :shock:

    Wear helmets while on the road.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • snorrisnorri Posts: 2,981
    VTech wrote:
    This is my first post here so go easy with me,
    Some introductory reading http://www.cyclehelmets.org/
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Initially I want to say that it should be made compulsory. However having spent some time last year in Belgium & seeing the sheer number of cyclists think it might dissuade people if made compulsory.

    I've seen plenty of people in accidents all wearing them & am on the side that they do reduce injury.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Barteos wrote:
    Yes of course.
    Also car drivers/passengers, pedestrians crossing roads, people doing DIY, everyone climbing ladders, kids in a playground... and generally everyone that has a higher chance of getting injured than a cyclist. :wink:

    Getting ready for a ride my friend was coming down the stairs and next thing he knew he was in A&E with his cycling gear cut off & piled next to him being told he had a basal skull fracture and that it was lucky he was wearing his helmet otherwise he would have died. He said I wasn't wearing my helmet and was told you should always wear your helmet.

    I think better advice would have been don't use stairs in clipless shoes but then I'm not a trained medical professional.
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 7,605
    snorri wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    This is my first post here so go easy with me,
    Some introductory reading http://www.cyclehelmets.org/
    Lots of guess work, probably and maybes.

    Rather than admit helmets save lives, the 'research' suggests the number of people giving up cycling if helmets became compulsory and subsequent loss in health benefits, outweighs the net gain of helmet protection.

    The occasional cyclists might give up if they had to wear a helmet but occasional cycling has little or no health benefits anyway.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    edited May 2013
    seanoconn wrote:
    snorri wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    This is my first post here so go easy with me,
    Some introductory reading http://www.cyclehelmets.org/
    Lots of guess work, probably and maybes.

    Rather than admit helmets save lives, the 'research' suggests the number of people giving up cycling if helmets became compulsory and subsequent loss in health benefits, outweighs the net gain of helmet protection.

    The occasional cyclists might give up if they had to wear a helmet but occasional cycling has little or no health benefits anyway.

    Sounds like of a lot of reports that use statistical data for correlation & causation. Interesting when you dig deeper into the report that this is said;

    "The figures are "really suspect" and could be skewed by several factors, said Kathy Belton, co-director of the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, which gathered the stats. "So you can't really say that bicycle head injuries are going up. There's issues in terms of how the data is reported because there's been a change in how the data is actually coded. The "coding classification change" took effect in April 2002."

    "The helmet law, which applies to riders under 18, took effect in May 2002"
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    Wouldn't making it only illegal if cycling on a public highway sort the nitty gritty out then ?
    Living MY dream.
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 1,010
    It shoudl not be legally enforced, but IMHO you are nuts to ride without a helmet.

    However, if I fall off while test riding the gears outside my house in my wooly hat, become a vegetable, and my life insurance doesn't pay out "Because you wern't wearing a helmet", I would be most peeved.
    Insert bike here:
  • snorrisnorri Posts: 2,981
    seanoconn wrote:
    t occasional cycling has little or no health benefits anyway.
    Evidence?
    We all started of as occasional cyclists, if occasional cycling is deterred there will be fewer regular cyclists in the future.
  • ProssPross Posts: 27,066
    These threads always go the same way:-

    1. Pro compulsion brigade make ridiculous arguments about how a helmet 'saved their life' because they once fell off, hit their head and broke the helmet and obviously the helmet is the same as their skull. They will trot out some pseudo science to back their claim and won't be swayed.
    2. The anti compulsion brigade will go on about how compulsion will mean millions of people will abandon their bikes and point to all the people who will become morbidly obese and how the resulting increase in car journeys will clog our roads. People will also die because their heads will explode from over-heating in polystyrene pressure cookers. They will trot out some pseudo science to back their claim and won't be swayed.

    A few will say let people decide for themselves. If they die of head injuries it's their problem but they will get flamed as people point out the innocent victims such as their family, the emergency services etc. etc. who are left with the mess of their irresponsible behaviour to clean up.

    Vtech, a quick search will show this has been discussed once or twice before hence how I can predict how it will go!

    For the record I'm in the always wear one but disagree with compulsion camp. I had a recent low speed but heavy fall which resulted in my shoulder and head taking the full brunt and my head bouncing off the ground. My helmet saved me.....from a very sore head and possible concussion. They help but are not some kind of force field. Personally I'd rather see the efforts some put into trying to get helmets made compulsory diverted into treating the cause not the effect and giving better education to cyclists and motorists. If you look at countries with high levels of cycling people ride in normal clothing without helmets or hi vis and yet cyclist fatality rates are lower. That's what we need to be working towards.
  • ooermissusooermissus Posts: 811
    Yeah basically four points-of-view that never get reconciled while everyone gets cross:

    (i) Everyone should wear a helmet and the law should enforce this. (ii) Everyone should wear a helmet but there should still be freedom of choice. (iii) No-one knows whether or not helmets make cycling safer (and there are riskier things we do without a helmet) – so stop trying to make people feel guilty for not wearing them. (iv) Compulsory use of helmets would discourage cycling, with adverse consequences that would overwhelm any benefits from the legislation (and even the promotion of helmets gives people the false impression that cycling is not safe).
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I only wear one when the rules of an event I've entered compel me to so unsurprisingly i don't think helmets should be compulsory. I just don't see that the risk is great enough to legislate on.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 7,605
    snorri wrote:
    seanoconn wrote:
    t occasional cycling has little or no health benefits anyway.
    Evidence?
    We all started of as occasional cyclists, if occasional cycling is deterred there will be fewer regular cyclists in the future.
    Yeah good point.

    Well edited :wink:
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • ChebrikovChebrikov Posts: 29
    Motorists should wear helmets they do in motor racing. Pedestrians crossing roads should wear helmets. Rugby players should wear helmets, something needs to be done about these head injuries. Footballers should wear helmets, they are always falling over and banging their heads. Children should wear helmets when they play outside because they often fall over.

    As for me though, I don't wear a helmet. I will not take part in any event which requires me to wear one. If they are made compulsory I will stop cycling.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Chebrikov wrote:
    Motorists should wear helmets they do in motor racing. Pedestrians crossing roads should wear helmets. Rugby players should wear helmets, something needs to be done about these head injuries. Footballers should wear helmets, they are always falling over and banging their heads. Children should wear helmets when they play outside because they often fall over.

    As for me though, I don't wear a helmet. I will not take part in any event which requires me to wear one. If they are made compulsory I will stop cycling.
    You might need a nose guard though, you're in danger of cutting it off...
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    My opinion is quite simple - let the individual decide, but accept the consequences.
    - People should wear a helmet in my opinion, but I wouldn't want the law to dictate it
    - By the same logic, I don't see why it should be law that you have to wear a seat belt (may be for Children as they aren't old enough to make a sensible choice, so like in Sweden compulsory up to the age of 15)
    - Let people take whatever drugs they like, and kill themselves.

    Too many laws are made these days removing responsiblity from individuals for the actions they take.

    Want to not wear a helmet and become a vegatable? You decide.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • chucklachuckla Posts: 132
    I've fallen and hit my head on he ground, Tarmac and concrete, I've hit my head playing rugby!all these things hurt, particularly concrete! I've also fallen off my mtb, not been n fortunate enough to fall off the road bike yet!
    Coming off the bid was at a fast section towards the bottom of the single track at Cwmcarn!

    It hurt, ifididnt have a helmet on, it would ate hurt more, possibly including blood and concussion, or worse
    !

    I rather some protection than no protection! Helmets are a must for me!
  • bompington wrote:
    Chebrikov wrote:
    Motorists should wear helmets they do in motor racing. Pedestrians crossing roads should wear helmets. Rugby players should wear helmets, something needs to be done about these head injuries. Footballers should wear helmets, they are always falling over and banging their heads. Children should wear helmets when they play outside because they often fall over.

    As for me though, I don't wear a helmet. I will not take part in any event which requires me to wear one. If they are made compulsory I will stop cycling.
    You might need a nose guard though, you're in danger of cutting it off...

    If we had a "thumb up" option to rate posts, I'd find a way to hack the system to give that at least 10 positives! :lol:


    Focus Cayo Expert (road)
    Giant ATX 970 (full susp)
    Trek Alpha 4300 (hardtail)
    Peugeot 525 Comp (road - turbo trainer duties)
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    bompington wrote:
    Chebrikov wrote:
    Motorists should wear helmets they do in motor racing. Pedestrians crossing roads should wear helmets. Rugby players should wear helmets, something needs to be done about these head injuries. Footballers should wear helmets, they are always falling over and banging their heads. Children should wear helmets when they play outside because they often fall over.

    As for me though, I don't wear a helmet. I will not take part in any event which requires me to wear one. If they are made compulsory I will stop cycling.
    You might need a nose guard though, you're in danger of cutting it off...

    If we had a "thumb up" option to rate posts, I'd find a way to hack the system to give that at least 10 positives! :lol:

    I could say the same but with thumbs down because that was one of the stupidest comments ive read here. (obviously about the initial daft post about not cycling)
    "IF" someone truly loved cycling they would not stop because of a safety regulation. It wasnt so long ago that we had drivers dying because if the lack of safety in motor racing and now it is a rarity *thankfully*.

    I actually worry about what would happen if I came of my bike at 50kph onto the road, I know my arms would be ripped apart but I can grow them back but from biology class at school they were adamant that heads do not grow back !
    Living MY dream.
  • VTech wrote:
    bompington wrote:
    Chebrikov wrote:
    As for me though, I don't wear a helmet. I will not take part in any event which requires me to wear one. If they are made compulsory I will stop cycling.
    You might need a nose guard though, you're in danger of cutting it off...

    If we had a "thumb up" option to rate posts, I'd find a way to hack the system to give that at least 10 positives! :lol:

    I could say the same but with thumbs down because that was one of the stupidest comments ive read here. (obviously about the initial daft post about not cycling)
    At least we agree then! :wink: As I started to read your post I thought you were slating the replies from bompington and I. :D Naturally, I was referring to bompington's post as I can see you understood.

    To stop cycling because you have to wear a helmet is throwing the toys out of the pram - the same sort of response if someone said they would stop driving when seatbelt-wearing became compulsory. Honestly! :roll:


    Focus Cayo Expert (road)
    Giant ATX 970 (full susp)
    Trek Alpha 4300 (hardtail)
    Peugeot 525 Comp (road - turbo trainer duties)
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    What gets me is why would anyone not want to be safe ?
    I can understand it if your riddled with guilt over murdering your entire family whilst high on crack but as a rule most people do have at least 1 thing to live for so why shorten the odds of making it too tomorrow ? :)
    Living MY dream.
  • slowsiderslowsider Posts: 197
    A helmet is surely only designed to absorb the impact sustained if you topple off your bike, not a fall at high speed or getting hit by a car. It's made of polystyrene, like the packing around your washing machine. You wouldn't expect the washing machine to survive being thrown down the stairs because it had some polystyrene at the corners. Why expect a helmet to do much more ?
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    Dont take this the wrong way but that mentality is the difference between going to a football match and being a player.
    I dont look for what-ifs as there will always be loads of them, I just try and limit the what-ifs, thereby giving me the best chance. Trust me, it works in the main.
    Living MY dream.
  • slowsiderslowsider Posts: 197
    In terms of 'mentality', thinking that wearing a helmet makes you 'safe' is right up there. Have a look at Risk Homeostasis and see what humans do when they consider themselves safe.
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 223
    should you wear a helmet most of the time. yes
    should it be compulsory. no.

    could give loads of good reasons, but i am sure it wont change anyones mind.
    life is too short to try :)
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
Sign In or Register to comment.