You’ve probably heard before about all of the safety benefits of wearing a bike helmet. There are nationwide initiatives to promote safe bike habits such as wearing a helmet whenever you ride. In fact, statistics show that the vast majority of fatal bike accidents involve head injuries.
How Helmets Help Save Lives
Proponents of bike helmets will argue that helmets help to prevent serious head injuries from happening.
- Helmets absorb some of the impact against the head during a collision with the ground, a motor vehicle, or other surface.
- Helmets help reduce the number of skull fractures and other surface injuries.
- Helmets may help reduce the severity of closed-head traumas.
How a Helmet May Be a Hindrance to Safety
However, there is another side to the argument that some will make, stating that helmets can also be somewhat dangerous. Although this may seem counter-intuitive, here’s what some bike helmet opponents have to say:
- One university study claims that helmets can actually make bike riders appear less vulnerable to motorists, and so drivers tend to be less cautious when passing them.
- Cyclists often take more risks on bikes because helmets make them feel more protected.
- Rider hearing can be reduced, making it difficult to hear outside noises from cars and other potentially dangerous situations.
- Helmets protect the skull, but can't actually prevent all brain injuries. Even when a crash happens, the brain still collides with the inside of the skull. If the collision between the two is severe enough, permanent brain damage can still happen.
To wear, or not to wear, a bike helmet? That is the question you must ask yourself. At Lewis & Tompkins, we want you to be as safe as possible every time you get on a bike. Wearing a helmet is always the safest option. But, always be sure to eliminate any distractions that could keep your eyes and ears off of the road. And remember, also, that your helmet only offers you some protection for your head. The rest of your body is still extremely vulnerable in a collision. Always ride safely and stay alert for cars around you.
Do you have an opinion on the debate over bicycle helmet laws? Please post a comment below this article.