Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cycle Helmets: Friend or Foe?

I'm a keen cyclist but I'm completely against compulsory helmet wearing on the grounds that it is an extra barrier to using a bike as everyday transport.

I'm a fan of John Adam's book Riskwhich argues that motorcycle helmets (and seat belts, the Davy lamp and pretty much any 'safety' feature) have had no statistical effect on death rates. When we wear a helmet, Adams says, the safe feeling we get makes us less careful about how we cycle/drive/dig coal etc.

A new twist comes from Dr Ian Walker, a traffic psychologist at Bath University who has reported that drivers will not give helmet wearers as much space as their bare headed equivalents. But white van men are immune, so keep an eye on 'em.


At 12:48 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Ask someone who works in A&E what they think. I once read a doctor describing the difference between a helmet wearer and a non helmet wearer as the difference between going home with a headache and having to learn how to walk.


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