Should use of cycle helmets be mandatory ?
- August 3, 2012
- Comments Off on Should use of cycle helmets be mandatory ?
The use of cycling helmets should be compulsory claims our greatest our Olympian Bradley Wiggins. Having won the Tour de France, kick-started the Olympics and sailed home to gold in the time trial the country’s new hero called for a law enforcing the use of cycling helmets; he was also a bit down on the use of i-pods, mobiles and the like while cycling. His comments come shortly after the death of cyclist who was hit by a bus carrying media types from one event to another.
Statistics from RoSPA show an average of 19000 cyclists are injured or killed in accidents reported to the police with between 40-45 % of them suffering from head injuries with head injuries accounting for the high majority of fatal injuries in both city and rural settings.
There is contrary evidence as to the benefits and effectiveness of a wearing a helmet, Australian studies have been inconclusive and the cyclist killed by the Olympic bus was, according to reports, dragged under the bus; a situation in which a helmet would be of little benefit.
As a cyclist one must accept that, due to whatever circumstance, there will always be a risk when cycling however there must be few situations were banging your head with force on a solid object is not made a less hazardous incident by the wearing of a helmet but what effect will it have on cycling as a sport, pastime and means of commute ?
Not everyone is as enthused as Bradley about the compulsory wearing of helmets. Cycling charity CTC tweeted ‘mandatory helmets would not be helpful- everyday cycling would collapse and there would be no change in driver attitude or behavior’.
Blogger Christian Wolmar believes that compulsory use of cycle helmets would reduce cycling numbers but with little impact on the injuries and that by enforcing their use it points the blame at the cyclist rather than addressing the issue that the injuries are often caused by motorists and that the focus should be on increasing driver awareness and making our roads more cycle friendly.
The debate will continue but I know for a fact that I would never get on my bike without my helmet on.
If you have an accident while out cycling you can claim compensation for your injury and loss – see full details on our dedicated bike accident site