Bicycler wrote:IMO it is highly unlikely that not wearing helmet could ever be viewed as making somebody liable for causing collision. It is more likely that it could be views as contributory negligence mitigating the extent of another's liability for the cyclist's injury. AFAIK UK courts have never yet accepted this argument.
It was accepted in the case of Gary McCourt in Scoland. He was convicted in 2013 of causing death by driving without due car and attention. Notably this was the second cyclist he had killed while driving.
The decision of the Sheriff though (in regard to the helmet) was overturned on appeal. The solicitor general suggesting that different experts held different views on the value of helmets.
The Solicitor General referred to three documents lodged on behalf of the Crown for this appeal in this regard. The first was an article entitled "The efficacy of bicycle helmets against brain injury" published in a professional journal entitled "Accident Analysis and Prevention" in 2003; the second was a presentation to the Gloucestershire Accident Action Group on 24 June 2002 by a consultant in cycling skills and safety; and the third was an article entitled "No clear evidence from countries that have enforced the wearing of helmets" written by a senior statistician and published in the British Medical Journal in March 2006. The Solicitor General did not seek to endorse or refute the views expressed in these documents, but submitted that they indicated immediately that this was a matter of dispute, in which different countries and different professional men of skill and expertise held different views. There were considered opinions on each side of this debate; it could not properly be regarded as a matter within judicial knowledge. There was no evidence before the sheriff that Mrs Fyfe's decision not to wear a helmet contributed significantly to her death; the sheriff's views on this matter were mere speculation.