Friday, July 30, 2010

Not everyone believes in helmets

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) each year about 800 bicyclists are killed in the States and more than half a million are treated in hospital emergency rooms. Almost two-thirds of these deaths and a third of the injuries involve head and face injury. The CPSC says helmets may reduce the risk of head injury to bicyclists by as much as 85 percent. Yet, only about 50 percent of bicyclists wear helmets.

I understand that in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Nova Scotia mandatory helmet laws apply to all cyclists. In Ontario only those under the age of 18 are required by law to wear bicycle helmets, but only when riding on public roads.

In this group of seven cyclists spotted zipping along a paved recreational pathway in London, Ontario, only one rider is not wearing a helmet. There are those who would come to this woman's defence. These people argue those bikers at high risk of suffering a head injury are those who do not obey traffic laws. And cyclists out at night would be wiser to put their money into some good lights before buying a helmet.

For more on the subject of helmets, check out the Wikipedia entry. It states, "Cycling is no more dangerous than being a pedestrian." And no one is arguing all pedestrians should be wearing helmets.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out about whether helmets reduce head injuries. However, there is no question that helmets increase the cost of riding a bike and they make biking look more dangerous than it really is.

Why don't you take some pictures of drivers doing crazy things while talking on cell phones or texting? They are worse than drivers that drink. At least drunk drivers realize that alcohol impairs their ability.

Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported that 28% of traffic accidents involve talking or texting on cell phones.