<sigh> must we continue to argue about helmets?

1)      I wear a helmet all the time (while riding my bike)*. Never while 
driving a car*. Why is that I wonder? (I personally know two different people 
with traumatic brain injuries sustained while riding in a car – both injuries 
changed the personalities and lives of those people, quite negatively).

2)      I don’t think we need peer reviewed studies to agree that wearing a 
helmet can reduce the chance/severity of head injury of a person involved in a 

3)      It should be obvious (even without a peer reviewed study) that 
preventing crashes in the first place is better than mitigating their 

4)      Another peer reviewed study undertaken in Australia showed that a 
helmet designed for motorists would reduce head injuries by 67% 

Therefore, if we really wanted to reduce the severity and frequency of head 
injuries, we should first try to prevent the crashes that cause them (and it is 
becoming clearer that separating modes is one of the best ways to do that 
 and THEN mitigate the consequences of the crash. For everyone. That is, if 
we’re going to require (or even encourage) helmet use, why aren’t we requiring 
it for both motor vehicle drivers and cyclists?

Perhaps it’s because many of us continue to view cycling as dangerous, and 
don’t think of driving the same way.
(yes, this is all overly simplified. Isn’t everything that you can fit on one 

-end rant-

*ok, once in the last year I rode 5 blocks to the co-op on my cargo bike 
without a helmet, and 25 years ago I occasionally raced cars and wore a helmet 
when driving on the track, but generally the above is true of me.

Chuck Strawser
Pedestrian & Bicycle Transportation Planner
Commuter Solutions
UW-Madison Transportation Services

Please note that my email address has changed. My new email is 

Visit our University Bicycle Resource Center at Helen C White: 

How are we doing? Take our customer satisfaction survey at 

From: Bikies [mailto:bikies-boun...@lists.danenet.org] On Behalf Of Harald 
Kliems via Bikies
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2016 2:05 PM
To: Scott Morris Rose; Bikies
Subject: Re: [Bikies] Bicycle helmets reduce risk of serious head injury by 
nearly 70%, study finds

It should be noted that this is not a new study per se, but a meta-analysis, 
that is, the author analyzed a lot of other studies and summarized their 
findings. Rune Elvik did the same thing a couple years back and came to very 
different conclusions: http://www.cycle-helmets.com/elvik.pdf
It'll require some careful reading to see how they each reached their different 


On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 1:58 PM Scott Morris Rose via Bikies 
<bikies@lists.danenet.org<mailto:bikies@lists.danenet.org>> wrote:
The Guardian reports on a paper given at the Safety 2016 conference which 
reports on results of a large-scale study of bicycle helmet use in the 
Australian state of New South Wales (which is where Sidney is).


I suppose the money quote is "... reduce the risks of a serious head injury by 
nearly 70%."
NSW has long had a mandatory helmet law, which has been unpopular with some in 
the past and more in the present - the fine for not wearing a helmet has 
recently risen from $71 to $319 ($240US). Not having a bell? $106. Not stopping 
at a ped crossing? $425. Coming out of a jusrisdiction that is evidently 
hell-bent of criminalizing cycling is sure to bring the legitimacy of the study 
into question, rightfully or wrongfully.
More grist for the mill...
S. Rose

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