Having played rugby league a fair bit since I was a kid I never wore a gumshield BITD, when I restarted playing in my early 30s after a break I bought one as it seemed everyone else had one.
After a few games I just didn't bother wearing it, restricted breathing somewhat and even as a second row forward being smashed in the mouth even allowing for shoulder charges* the risk seemed fairly minimal.
I never recieved a head injury once in my playing days aside from a few stud marks, minor abrasions, few cuts and a bust lip or three
. I made sure that technically I was tackling correctly and giving due respect to my opponents safety without pulling out of a full blooded tackle (cos I loved my hard hits
) I would also be doing my best to ensure coming into collision as an attacker I avoided head shots (rarely did I get punched) Out of your control to a degree but with respect from your opponent too this was rarely a problem for me.
With cycling I've always taken some
risks, I still do, I'm still happy to come down slopes at over 40mph regularly, I've come into & gone around tight alpine chicanes at speeds I probably shouldn't have and the thrill is amazing but would I think a helmet would make a difference one way or the other..Absolutely not.
Would I think it would make me go even faster/take more risk than I have, I'll never know. My guess would be for me as an individual, no, something like a helmet wouldn't influence me as I'd be more concerned about tyre traction, braking ability, road postioning, other vehicles/peds/hazards, road surface etc etc. In fact a helmet would just annoy the hell out of me and seem totally superfluous to riding at any speed in any conditions.
However I do believe the majority of people take greater risks when wearing/using 'protective' equipment, more so if they actually believe it works and has being shown time and time again, beyond the actual limitations of said equipment. With the huge increase in helmet wearing over the last 15 years or so we seemingly have many helmetted cyclists having more incidents than non helmetted, especially of the kind that may (or may not
) have being life threatening...
*allowable in RL until 2013 but not RU