Comment 65690

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2011 at 09:25:26 in reply to Comment 65676

The main problem with that study is:

For each of the studies, bicycle helmet legislation had been enacted for children only.

Most of us already agree that helmets are great for children because they are designed to protect against the exact type of fall that children are likely to take.

When it comes to adult populations riding in mixed traffic, the story changes.

In Australia, the universal mandatory helmet laws have been in place for 19 years and every report that I have read says that across the population, the number of cyclists has been reduced but the head injury statistics have not improved.

Is the goal of a mandatory helmet law to reduce head injuries across the population? Because if so, then the data from Australia should be raising some big questions.

All of the data surrounding the effectiveness of helmet laws AND of the helmets themselves is inconclusive. The default state is "no helmet". The onus should be on helmet backers to prove that we should change our default state.

I am not saying we should eliminate helmets, but I am saying that it is a bad idea to mandate their use, and until research shows more conclusive evidence of their effectiveness, we should focus on measures that are already proven to save cyclists' lives - such as encouraging more cyclists (Through laws, infrastructure, etc)

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