Comment 65626

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted July 06, 2011 at 10:32:46 in reply to Comment 65614

I am trying to find anywhere in the article where I said that "helmets are unnecessary".

I do believe that mandating helmet use is unnecessary. But helmets do have their place - mainly for people inexperienced in cycling, or for those who actively put themselves in greater danger, independent of vehicular interactions (stunt biking, racing, etc).

The main argument is that if safety is the main concern, then we should focus our attention on reducing the likelihood of collisions rather than assuming collision is inevitable, and wearing gear to protect from it.

If you looked at the study I linked to, it actually spans a 10 year period with similar results. If my article was an endless list of exhaustive statistics, no one would read it. But the links are there if you care to dig deeper.

The scope of this article is not global, and I chose a study focusing on the country in which the article is being published.

There is plenty of similar data from other countries, including some damning ones which show that in countries where helmet use skyrocketed due to mandatory helmet laws, the overall head injury statistics actually worsened.

Surveys show Western Australia's mandatory helmet legislation reduced public cycling numbers by at least 30%, yet total hospitalised cyclist injuries did not decline at all. The reduction in head injury numbers was marginal. West Australian cyclist numbers recovered in the decade to 2000 but hospital admissions were at record levels from 1997, roughly 30% above pre-law levels by 2000. In essence, the results strongly suggest that the mandatory wearing of helmets increases the risk of accidents and thus injuries.

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