CTC Members: Helmet usage

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
Jonty

Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Jonty » 30 Sep 2010, 6:21pm

I have found the discussions on this forum on helmets interesting and I've come to the following conclusions which I'll share for what it's worth.
1) The DfT statistics on cycle accidents are limited and their robustness is questionable.
2) Nevertheless, on average cycling in the UK seems to be a relatively safe activity: much safer than many think. However it's not as safe as walking on a time or trip basis. Certain types of cycling are likely to be relatively dangerous. This includes riding quickly on fast inter-urban roads and mountain biking. Deaths from lorries in urban areas is also a matter of concern.
3) Cycle helmets offer some limited protection against head injuries in certain cicumstances. The degree of protection offers is the subject of considerable dispute. Some are of the opinion that they make matters worse or that any benefits offered are very limited. Some consider - and this is the view I take - that they offer maybe a 1 in 10 to a 1 in 7 chance of avoiding a fatality. If that is so, then the probability of reducing the risk of serious and minor head injuries which are not fatal, is likely to be higher.
4) A survey of forum users undertaken by the CTC shows that a higher precentage of members wore helmets than did not wear helmets. It is possible that most cyclists in the UK wear a helmet for at least some cycle trips.
5) There are concerns that compulsory helmet use could reduce cycling activity by making it less attractive to certain groups. This could result in more accidents due to fewer cyclists being on the roads and a corresponding decline in car drivers being aware of the needs of cyclists. Also fitness levels could fall and obesity rates increase if cycling became less popular due to helmet use being made compulsory. These are valid concerns given the experience of Australia which brought in compulsory helmet use.
6) There is a general view that charities such as Headstart are giving too much emphasis to lobbying for compulsory helmet use rather than seeing the wider picture.
7) The highest standard for a cycle helmet is one which meets the Snell Certified Standard. It is very difficult for the ordinary cyclist to identify and buy one of these in the UK because retailers to do specify which helmets they sell meet this standard, if any. I consider this situation to be unacceptable and it should be changed by Trading Standards or the relevant Regulatory Authority.
I shall not be posting further on this topic. :D
jonty

Ellieb
Posts: 842
Joined: 26 Jul 2008, 7:06pm

Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Ellieb » 30 Sep 2010, 6:32pm

I shall not be posting further on this topic.


Are you sure?

Jonty

Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Jonty » 30 Sep 2010, 7:41pm

Ellieb wrote:
I shall not be posting further on this topic.


Are you sure?


Yes. :wink:

Ellieb
Posts: 842
Joined: 26 Jul 2008, 7:06pm

Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby Ellieb » 30 Sep 2010, 8:26pm

GOTCHA! :D

MartinC
Posts: 1837
Joined: 10 May 2007, 6:31pm
Location: Bredon

Re: CTC Members: Helmet usage

Postby MartinC » 1 Oct 2010, 12:43pm

Jonty, but why stop when you've just posted a really useful and thoughtful summary?