Old 03-16-18, 04:10 AM
Senior Member
Stadjer's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Groningen
Posts: 1,238

Bikes: Gazelle rod brakes, Batavus compact, Peugeot hybrid

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3689 Post(s)
Liked 390 Times in 294 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I'm not sure that the people who choose not to ride because of a helmet law would actually be out there pounding the pavement if there was no helmet law. Perhaps the occasional trip around the block
It's not going to affect the road cycling enthousiast much who changes to spandex before riding anyway. Even if he'd start cycling because he could ride without a helmet he wouldn't affect health statistics very much because he'd likely be doing a different sport before. It's the formerly inactive who jumps on his bike for a leisurely ride to get groceries, to visit friends or just to enjoy the weather who makes the health difference.

One thing I don't like about laws is that they often confuse compliance with logic. So, riding your bike in heavy traffic.... yep, a helmet is a smart choice. But, riding at a casual pace on a deserted bike path, it probably is no more needed than requiring joggers to wear helmets.
Is it? I believe it's more of a case of 'when you only have a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail' than logic. It seems to me the most likely circumstances for a helmet to offer protection is when you go into a collision head first (drop bars) at considerable speed. In heavy traffic it makes much more sense to reduce speed to be able to avoid collisions and a helmet does very little to protect against collisions at typical vehicle speed and nothing to injury to the face, neck or body. On top of that, cycling in heavy traffic would get a lot safer if there were a lot of cyclists in normal clothes riding around slowly.

It's common nonsense that the helmet would mean the difference between safe and unsafe. It's nothing like seat belt, a condom or brakes. Not all safety devices work like that, a bicycle helmet is a very limited one. Cycling safety is a matter of a lot of measures combined. Helmet advocacy is a solution to a different problem than cycling unsafety, like lazy city planners or low infrastructure budgets.
Stadjer is offline