I just watched a documentary talking about the law of getting cyclist to wear helmet. I am talking about leisure activity of cycling, and not the downhill mountain bike or those involved in Extreme games. Apparently, many states in US and countries like New Zealand have already make it compulsory to wear helmets while cycling.
I cycled when I was a kid. I fell and get myself injured, but not on my head. Bruises and minor cuts on my elbows and knees were common. So, I was the generation grew up cycling without helmets.
- I believe that many cyclists are wearing helmets because they perceive they may fall and get their heads injured. Nine out of ten, when asked about “bike safety”, they talk about the use of helmet. However, I would think the correct rider behavior and skill in handling the bike are more important. If cyclists operate their bicycles sensibly and abide by rules on the road, the risk is quite minimum.
- If that is a law to get people wear helmet while cycling, it may make sense to car drivers to wear one too. Talking about head injuries, I think most car drivers have worse experience considering the speed and the impact of a crash. Not forget to mention the players in soccer or rugby and boxing. Ahem.
- That is one interesting study done by a traffic psychologist which found out that cyclists who wear helmets are more likely to be knocked by motorists compared to those who do not. On average, drivers steered an extra 3.3 inches away from those without helmets to those wearing the safety hats. Motorists tend to pass “very close” to the cyclist who wears helmet. So, look as if wearing helmet may backfire in this case.
- Even if one were to wear the helmet, he should not treat it as an immunity and therefore take more risks in his riding activities. Bicycle helmet is designed to reduce the effect of an impact. How good a helmet is depends on its material and the design. Moreover, it just protects the head. Other parts of the body are still exposed to other injuries if we fall or crash into something.
- I am not against anyone or law that get people to wear helmet, but neither do I advocate the use of helmets for cyclists. Cycling in park or in residential areas is not a dangerous activity. We do not wear protective gear for other everyday activities such as having meal in restaurant, walking or driving a car. As for children or new cyclists, yes, I do encourage them to wear helmet for protection, but for those who have cycled for years, helmet should be an optional item.
In case you need to buy and want to use the helmet safely, either for your kids and for yourself, here are some tips:
Tips in Buying and Using Bike Helmet:
- Pick bright colors that are visible to drivers
- Buy those helmets which are well ventilated.
- Try the helmet and make sure it fits nicely and can be adjusted.
- Fasten the strap and do not wear anything like cap underneath it.
- If you really fall from the bicycle and your helmet has git a surface hard, replace it. Helmet loses its shock absorption capability once it is seriously hit.
- Most helmets are made for specific activity. So, do not replace your bike helmet with baseball, hockey or motorbike helmets. Get the right helmet.
Check out some of the good bike helmets from Amazon.
Category: Other Fitness/Sports Articles
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