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Cyclists without helmets on..

(260 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 09:52:08

Am I the only one who gets really annoyed about this?

If it is the law that us drivers have to wear seatbelts why is their safety choice an optional one?

IF we knocked a cyclist of his bike and he suffered irreparable brain damage or death as a result of a head injury it is us who would have to live with that guilt, even though they made the choice not to wear a helmet.

And then you see some parents out with their children on bikes and although the children always have helmets on, not all the parents do. It is great they are protecting their children, but why do they think their own brains don't matter? I don't mind cyclists on the road at all, but I wish they would wear helmets and keep themselves safe.

Maybe I'm just overly anxious about hitting one....or do they think it will never happen to them?

WMittens Sun 06-Oct-13 10:21:30

BucketArse

"It's only motorised traffic that makes cycling (or walking, *or riding a horse*) dangerous."

I think Christopher Reeve would disagree with that statement.

Also why riding school liability insurance is one of the few compulsory insurance classes in the UK (others being motor, employer's liability, aviation and nuclear risks).

BucketArse Sun 06-Oct-13 10:22:12

* genuinely think that if a cyclist wants to share a road with motor vehicles then they should realise that the danger is there and try and do all they can to protect themselves.*

Well I genuinely think that if motorists want to share the road with cyclists and other vulnerable road users, then THEY should realise the danger THEY alone cause and do all they can to protect those vulnerable road users.

Anything else is victim blaming.

fossil971 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:22:50

OP - do you ever ride a bike on the road yourself?

BucketArse Sun 06-Oct-13 10:22:57

You will see, WMIttens, that I retracted that assertion in my following post.

Horse riding is more dangerous than boxing, I believe.

Perhaps Christopher Reeve should have gone for a bike ride.

NoComet Sun 06-Oct-13 10:23:08

My DDs have both smashed cycling helmets and probably saved themselves a nasty headache, but both crashed doing wild and daft kiddy things, not in ways a competent adult would.

I wear a helmet on our lanes as chances of catching a pot hole or the verge avoiding cars are large and I cycle slowly enough a helmet would help. In a high speed accident on an A road or even being sent flying in a city I don't know.

A cycling helmet is very flimsy compared to a motor bike, or even a riding helmet, I don't think they can be relied on too far.

WMittens Sun 06-Oct-13 10:24:18

a feeling that they have no right to be on the road at all. And they really, really do.

But not all roads.

it alsomakes drivers less cautious around cyclists which makes it more dangerous for everyone involved.

Only the fucking idiot motorists. Seriously, does any driver think, "oh they've got a helmet on so I can drive like a dick, they'll be fine"?

WMittens Sun 06-Oct-13 10:26:04

Perhaps Christopher Reeve should have gone for a bike ride.

I'm guessing he enjoyed horse riding. If we lived to avoid every risk ever, I'd argue that we wouldn't live at all.

BucketArse Sun 06-Oct-13 10:26:17

It dismays me to see so much anti-cycling sentiment on MN.

Cycling is one of the safest, easiest, healthiest, most enjoyable, cheapest, most life-affirming and joy-bringing things you can do.

OP, you should join your DP on his bike rides. Leave your car at home.

Go out and get the wind in your hair! wink

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:27:11

Of course drivers know they can pose a danger to cyclists Bucket - where has anyone disputed that?

We should all be mindful of other road users and keeping each other safe, but we are still responsible for our own safety too, which is why I don't understand why some cyclists are happy to cycle amongst traffic without helmets on. Surely they must know the added risks are there?

And has been said, not all accidents are a result of irresponsible car drivers. And surely to not to wear a helmet with the belief that "if something happens it was the car drivers fault anyway" is a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Regardless of fault, a cyclist should want to do anything they can to protect themselves?

WMittens Sun 06-Oct-13 10:28:40

but both crashed doing wild and daft kiddy things, not in ways a competent adult would.

It reminds me of the 'competent' adult cyclist who was following me down a steep hill at 45mph (50mph limit) a couple of metres from my rear bumper; if there had been any occurrence causing me to brake he would have been through the rear windscreen (or over the top of the car and into the hazard I would be trying to avoid).

There are idiot cyclists and there are idiot drivers.

WMittens Sun 06-Oct-13 10:30:10

Regardless of fault, a cyclist should want to do anything they can to protect themselves?

Well said.

I notice that a lot of people on this forum appear to confuse 'legal right' with 'invincibility shield'.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:30:30

Fossil - I don't have a bike actually! I would love one though! I used to love riding around as a child! I know I'd wear a helmet though smile

7to25 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:34:28

I was unfortunately in a head on car crash with my son's possessions in the car. His cycling helmet was in smithereens and his cup and teapot were undamaged. It made me realise that helmets would prevent injuries from say falling off the bike, but not anything more serious than that.

fossil971 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:35:19

smile go for it. In fact if you want to experience real fear, go off road mountain biking. After that the people cycling calmly on nice flat roads will seem very safe.

This is such a contentious subject, you are sort of right to be concerned really but thank goodness there are still some areas of life where you get to choose what you do.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:36:57

Mist crucifix - do cycle helmets have to go through any safety checks before they are sold? I wonder what level of force they are exposed to in their Quality Assurance checks etc...

VinegarDrinker Sun 06-Oct-13 10:40:41

All the cyclist deaths in London so far this year (far too many sad) have been cyclists crushed to death by HGVs. Many were wearing helmets.

Countries which have made helmets compulsory have seen big drops in cycling rates, with the knock on effects on public health

Plus there is good evidence that motorists drive closer and more dangerously around those wearing helmets

Ben Goldacre did a recent article on this http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3817?ijkey=I5vHBog6FhaaLzX&keytype=ref

FWIW I wear a helmet and so does DS when on my bike. However neither DC wear helmets in the trailer as it isn't designed for use with them, it has its own safety features (including roll cage design) and helmets would force their necks into an inherently unstable position.

TheFallenNinja Sun 06-Oct-13 10:40:44

It's yellow vest syndrome I think. People believe that donning something designated as safety equipment gives them some kind of invincibility or protection.

It does not.

polarpercy Sun 06-Oct-13 10:40:53

My husband was hit back in February, he had a hi-vis jacket, bright back light, lights on his wheels and a front light. He was also wearing a helmet, there doesn't seem to be much more he could have done. Short of wrapping himself in bubble wrap, a side-swipe like that a helmet would make little difference as your handlebars and then elbows/knees hit the floor first btw.

Thankfully he is an extremely competent cyclist and managed to avoid hitting his head. The other car driver pulled out onto the roundabout into the side of him. Their 'defence' they didn't see him. The police did not pursue the matter further, my husband now cycles with a helmet-cam so he has concrete proof of some of the self-centred things that other road users do.

DameDeepRedBetty Sun 06-Oct-13 10:40:55

OP I agree with you if what you're saying is that all users of public highways (which includes pavements, footpaths etc) have an equal responsibility to treat all other road users with respect.

So that means drivers, bear in mind that the draught from your overtaking manoevre can make a cyclist wobble. Treat a cyclist as being as wide as a car and you won't be too far wrong.

Cyclists, please don't ride up behind pedestrians on a shared path without alerting them. You have a bell or horn (or should have), use it! If you do, don't be all surprised when my dog chases you. If you'd warned me, I'd have had time to get it on a lead!

ILikeBirds Sun 06-Oct-13 10:41:03
VinegarDrinker Sun 06-Oct-13 10:42:26
polarpercy Sun 06-Oct-13 10:45:08

*Regardless of fault, a cyclist should want to do anything they can to protect themselves?

Well said.*

But, in many circumstances there is only so much a cyclist can do. You cannot stop a car driver from, pulling into the side of you, passing you at a pinch point, cutting in dangerously in front of you, not indicating when they turn or sitting aggressively close behind you. These are just a handful of examples of things I have either seen or experienced on a bike. A helmet does not change the fact that in these instances the car driver is either acting unlawfully or aggressively. No one has said cyclists are perfect or that they are invincible, but a helmet is not a catch all saviour.

dropyoursword

I live in one of those countries. In consequence, I wear a beat-up old helmet, about 8 years old, dropped many times. Thus I satisfy the stupid law that requires me to wear one. No way am I splashing out on a new helmet.

DropYourSword Sun 06-Oct-13 10:54:40

Yep. I think it's a stupid law! As many people have pointed out, helmets will protect your head if you slip on ice or a stone in the road etc and it causes you to fall off. If you're in a crash with a car, it will do pretty much sweet FA!

WMittens Sun 06-Oct-13 10:56:09

But, in many circumstances there is only so much a cyclist can do. You cannot stop a car driver from, pulling into the side of you, passing you at a pinch point, cutting in dangerously in front of you, not indicating when they turn or sitting aggressively close behind you.

Where was the assertion that a cyclist could do any more? The point was, why not take all measures available? What is the rationale for neglecting safety equipment? So far we've been offered: "it makes drivers drive dangerously around cyclists" and "it makes cyclists ride dangerously because they have a false sense of security."

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