This will be in the news forever.
Today, it’s a Globe & Mail news item about mandatory helmet use by all cyclists.
What these articles NEVER mention is that in accidents involving car occupants and/or pedestrians, the injured are NEVER wearing helmets. If it’s much more likely that someone will be hurt while in a car or as a pedestrian, shouldn’t helmets be mandatory for them?
I find it interesting that only about 10% (~500 out of ~5000) of traumatic head injuries suffered by children happened while cycling – yet helmets are mandatory for them. 90% of child traumatic head injuries did NOT happen while cycling. only about 2.5% (~300 out of ~12,000) of traumatic head injuries suffered by adults happened while cycling. 97.5% of traumatic head injuries did NOT happen while cycling. In fact, most of them happened in motor vehicle accidents.
I used to wear a helmet. Now I don’t.
Wearing a helmet does not determine whether I get hit by a car or not. Whether I get hit or not depends on the driver, and that I ride my bike in a safe manner (which I do).
It’s a given that if I suffer a head injury, it will be less serious if I am wearing a helmet. However, given that according to the CIHI, only about 300 adults are hospitalized per year with cycling-related head injuries… the chances of me being hit and suffering a head-related injury that a helmet could mitigate is very small.
Of 2500 Major Head Injuries Annually in Ontario
49% motor vehicle involvement – including pedestrians, excluding cyclists
35% falls, 6% homicide, 2% suicide, 6% other causes
less than 2% Cycling
(Source: Canadian Institute For Health Information 2001/2002) [link]
I base my behaviour on the statistics. Not the hysteria.
Also, and this is a biggie… biking is a lot more fun without a helmet. Try it on some quiet sidestreets and you’ll thank me.
- None of us wear helmets while walking or riding in cars*. Is there any good reason to wear them on bicycles?
- Crash helmets are associated with dangerous activities. Is cycling dangerous?
Wed, Feb 24: Come to the Toronto Bike Awards!