Bicycle helmet or not?

Trying to make an evidence based decision about this. I am a slow cyclist and prefer cycle paths to roads; I would extend my journey considerably if I could go by path instead. I don’t like busy roads and right hand turns. Twitter is being a great help: I am going to put down the links I have been kindly given here, and read them. via @cebmblog via @steinsky

and there is a criticism of Cochrane here

So, if there seems to be an increased risk due to drivers being less careful if you are wearing a helmet, I wonder if wearing a helmet that looks like a hat would mitigate? Would they notice?

EBM is hard.

7 Responses to “Bicycle helmet or not?”

  1. Neil McDonald August 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Try to find out what the European Standard actually is. You’ll have a job. It’s most often quoted as equivalent to 12mph from 1.5m high, then the helmet shatters.

    Read what it says on the box and in adverts closely. These words are subject to the trade descriptions act and the advertising regulator respectively. They will make no claims that the helmet will do any good.

    Pumping up your tyres, having brakes that work and looking where you are going are much more important.

    Safety is a matter of the environment and behavior, not consumerism.

  2. Margaret McCartney
    margaretmccartney August 26, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    It’s the reference to ‘walking helmets’ that does make me wonder if I’m over concerned…..
    even for babies.

    Thank you Neil, still just as excited about the bike.

  3. steve August 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    As Cochrane points out helmets may reduce the risk of serious head injury but as others point out that may not be much use in car v. bike contest.
    There are two thing we need to get right in this country if we really want to make cycling safer:

    (1) improve separation of cars and bikes – if only the UK had the tens of thousands of kilometres of protected cycle ways found in Europe and Scandinavia

    (2) insist on (and enforce) cyclists sticking to the highway code – so get off my pavement please!

  4. Jamie September 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    A bit old but I’ll throw my hat in – surely car vs bike is the wrong comparison to make, as opposed to head vs floor? Sure, if you get hit head on by a car then a helmet probably won’t help much… but is that type of accident really responsible for most accidents bike users have, as opposed to a glancing blow that then does damage from head hitting the road?

  5. chdot April 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Just heard you on IM.

    Wasn’t clear if you wear a helmet disguised as a hat(?)

    H@lm@ts are contentious on my forum!