skyhawk wrote:...I think that where an accident leads to injury treated by the NHS and can be shown avoidable had a helmet been worn the person should pay for their treatment...
I'm not sure that you have thought this one through have you. Where the victims of stabbings have failed to protect themselves with stab proof vests would you take the same approach? The occupants of motor vehicles are one of the biggest sources of serious head injuries. Mandatory seat belts for the occupants of motor vehicles didn't prevent the subsequent need for air bags as a further improvement in safety
, yet the combination of seat belts and air bags has failed to prevent there being lots of serious head injuries for the occupants of motor vehicles. The difference seems to be that these days motorists clearly feel more comfortable paying less attention whilst driving bigger and heavier vehicles at higher speeds. Five people are killed every day on the roads in Little Britain.
You have mentioned obesity, and in 2017/18 there were 10,660 hospital admissions where obesity was directly attributable, and about 711,000 where obesity was a factor (Statistics on Obesity
), the direct costs to the NHS have been estimated as £6,1000,000,000 (£6.1 billion) in 2014/15, and the cost to the wider society as £27,0000,000,000 (£27 billion) (Health matters: obesity and the food environment
Air pollution is another significant cost for the NHS. In England, the total cost due to PM2.5 to the NHS and social care in 2017 is estimated to be £41.2million, rising to £76.1million when diseases are included where there is less robust evidence for an association (Estimation of costs to the NHS and social care due to the health impacts of air pollution
Both obesity and air pollution are exacerbated by our obsession with driving, especially for short journeys. Whilst lots of people claim to be dependent upon their cars a high proportion of the journeys actually made are only covering distances which could be walked without too much difficulty and cycled even more easily if people felt that it was safe enough to do so. If able bodied people walked or cycled for all of their journeys that were less than 3 km we would see big changes in not only obesity (as a result of people getting more exercise), and air pollution (because of fewer car journeys), but also congestion (because there would be fewer cars on our roads). Congestion is estimated to cost the average driver £1,317 each per year (Traffic jams cost the UK £8bn last year
Clearly we could save an awful lot more money for both the NHS, and society as a whole, by facilitating active travel than we ever could by promoting helmets for any activities.