Cyclists without helmets on..(260 Posts)
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?
Rizzo, my brother died in a car accident so I really do understand where you are coming from. Losing anyone in a road accident is a tragedy which is very difficult to come to terms with and you want to do your utmost to prevent. I would imagine you are an extremely cautious careful motorist.
Clearly tiggerpigger, you are a genius.
Rizzo - no facetiousness at all. No reason for it? But what you just said now wasn't what you said previously?
Witching hour cometh, and I have some riding to do in the morning. Drive and ride safely, sans or avec helmet.
I dread driving past cyclists, especially those with kids or youngsters as you've no idea what they're going to do. I especially love the ones that swing over to the middle of the road when they look behind them!
So, if anything, I tend to drive "super carefully" when going past them, compared to normal driving.
It makes no difference to my driving if they're wearing helmets or not.
Car's don't seem to drive differently past me when I'm cycling if I'm with or without helmet - but then I don't skulk near the kerb, I'm just to the left of the middle of the lane so that they can't try to squeeze past & have to wait until they can overtake properly. If there are cars behind me & are going to be for a while I tend to pull onto the pavement & ride there for a bit to let them past.
Helmets are a personal choice and should stay that way. The only reason a lot of professional cyclists wear them is because it's in the rules and nowadays you're more aerodynamic with one on.
If you want to wear one, fine - If I don't then please don't assume I'm an "idiot". I'm a grown up & my style of riding will probably make me much less likely than you to be involved in an accident in the first place.
DP cycles 8 miles to work in London traffic. He doesn't wear a helmet.
Reasons: cars and buses really do leave you less space if you have a helmet on. (main reason)
It's hot and sticky and reduces his view and hearing a bit.
Tosser drivers can see he's male without it, and so don't give him sexist aggro.
The types of accident he's most likely to have at the speeds he can get up to in the traffic aren't ones where a helmet is likely to help.
He knows (fromyears of martial arts) how to fall to protect himself. In 15 years he's been knocked off twice, scraped his knee badly one time, few bruises the other.
BIL cycles in faster traffic a similar distance and does wear a helmet - he looks blokier to start with, and doesn't have so much practice at falling, resulting in wrecked shoulder when he did get knocked off once.
I don't cycle on roads but did have an accident the only time I ever wore a helmet - it protected me from scraping my face in dirt, but a more experienced cyclist wouldn't have had that accident anyway.
Seeing kids on scooters,I wonder if helmets give them a false sense of security, or if the kid is going so recklessly to start that the parents then get them a helmet?
RIZZO -There is scientific evidence to prove that drivers drive less carefully near people wearing helmets. I totally appreciate that your friend was saved by wearing a helmet - that's great! I have seen as a nurse a child that was saved by a cycling helmet. However you can't say that they should be worn by all cyclists because of this. The question of whether helmets really are safer is a complicated one and the research is mixed on this. If drivers drive less carefully near cyclists with helmets on - and this is thought to be subconscious - then this is a very important factor to consider. It doesn't mean that we are idiots - in fact my husband and myself have read many of the studies related to helmet use. Knowing people that have been saved by helmets doesn't mean that they are necessarily safe for ALL cyclists in this country. People should read all of the research out there before calling people idiots.
A number of experts also think that if helmets were made compulsory that less people would cycle in this country. This would cause more deaths because of heart attacks etc.
I think your last point is extremely moot. And a bit silly in assuming that those who cycle to work wouldn't exchange cycling for any other excercise.
Anyway... Cars aren't the only danger for cyclists, slipping on loose gravel and badly banging your head can cause you seriously injury. I had the bloodstained towels and calls for an ambulance to prove that, after a woman slid on my road recently and needed help form me and my neighbours. Arm injuries and concussion could have been a lot worse as she banged her head hard.
I drive around a lot of horseriders and if anything, I imagine people see the ones without the helmets as the "experts" as they seem to have the confidence to go without one.
I'm always suspicious of 'research' that people cite until I know who it was done by, and who was asked.
I haven't read any research, but anecdotally, I have a close friend alive, and another accident witnessed in which both riders were credit their well being to helmets. It's good enough for me.
I believe that horse and bike riders should wear head protection in case they fall, skid, faint, hit a pothole/get bolted with (horses, not bikes obv!), or collide with a car because they stand a better chance of survival if the brain is protected as long as, as some have said, worn correctly.
I'm assuming you didn't mean to refer your last point to me as I didn't call anyone an idiot.
I realise I am coming to this debate extremely late in the day but I will just say my husband was hit by a car and ended up being dragged along and then trapped under a bus in London. The medics who helped him (who were amazing and included a doctor cycling to work herself) were almost incredulous that he walked out of hospital that day with no broken bones and only skin and muscle trauma. He was told in no uncertain terms that if he had not been wearing a helmet he would have died.
The drivers vs cyclist debate is a different matter and quite a painful one for our family after the above accident and its aftermath. I can't comment on much as I don't want to break forum rules. I will say though that the law and many car drivers seem to automatically assume the cyclist is at fault.
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