Difference is that the infrastructure is more more friendly to bikes there. Stateside, we have to deal with cars that already don't want us on the road.
However, the primary reason that I wear a helmet is because I'm often traveling at 18+ mph on my commute. Last time I wasn't wearing a helmet and had to make an emergency stop from ~15 mph, I ended up with decently-sized clump of hair missing and got the pleasure of riding on a backboard in an ambulance to the hospital.
The British weblogger David Hembrow has done whole series on cycling & safety in the Netherlands. Including the helmet question. Which basically bogs down to basic big number statistics. Nowhere do people cycle as much as in the Netherlands, and nowhere are they safer. Making the cycling helmet mandatory would hardly make any difference in the numbers of lives spared, or head wounds prevented, yet it will put people off cycling.
Still, apart from that, people not riding commuter bikes in an upright position will often wear helmets, even in the Netherlands. Because, even though the car drivers are used to sharing infrastructures with cyclists, this still does not mean they are capable of judging the speed of a fast cyclist correctly.
You take the sum of bad decisions , car , privatized transportation, centered land use, sprawl,
and destruction of urban trolley system,
and solve it with a commodity , sold to the least powerful actors in the political system.
Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
I enjoyed the video because my daughter and her family are visiting Amsterdam right now. Her observations were:
1. Virtually everybody uses a bicycle for daily transport.
2. Nobody wears a helmet.
3. No tandems. Women sit crosswise on a rear carrier and their SO does all the pedaling.
if helmets are not nessesary then why do racers wear them? they can save some weight if they get rid of thiers.
conclusion: if you ride a bike fast you should wear a helmet, cause racers wear them and they go fast.
I think a better explanation is that people who are racing ride near the limits of the speeds and lateral handling they can attain, plus they also ride in tight groups. All that makes crashes much more likely.
There's all kinds of failures of bike parts that can cause wrecks, but for a typical bike in casual use they're not very likely to be disastrous.
-And I recall when the UCI instituted the helmet rule, after a couple riders died (from head injuries) in race crashes over a ~5 year period. There were plenty of riders that didn't like the helmet rule, feeling that it was a decision that should be left up the individual rider.
Not really. If they really didn't think helmets were such a hot idea, they would start their own federation, without the helmet rule.
Maybe they have better things to do than "start their own federation".
Like riding in bike races.
BTW I never said racers "didn't think helmets were such a hot idea". I said they wore them because the UCI says they have to which is the factual situation. Before the UCI brought in the rule (2003) most racers chose not to wear hardshell helmets.
It's just a result of the harassment by the pro-helmet crowd. They toss the helmet as soon as they can, on non UCI rides or training rides. Sponsors with money make the sport and they insist on the additional banner.
I have often read with interest these pictures of Dutch cycling and so have looked at specs on there OMA bikes some of them ride. Sorry but I can't see myself longing for a heavy 1 to 3 speed what would make hills seem even longer and steeper. Looking at the average speed of the typical dutch commuter 12 KPH is only about 7 MPH. Most of us can coast down our driveway faster than 7 MPH. And they live where it is as flat as a pool table.