Study: Students fail to wear helmets around townFew topics are as certain to ignite a flame war among bicyclists as helmet use. Internecine arguments over helmet use distract from the necessary united effort to push policy makers to improve the overall safety of streets. My own attitude is that collision avoidance is a better strategy than collision mitigation. Ride smart; don't ride scared.
Tyler Boyd always wears a bike helmet when he mountain bikes. But on Wednesday afternoon, the Colorado State University junior hopped aboard his Schwinn five-speed and prepared to ride from campus to north Old Town--without a helmet. "I just don't want to carry it," Boyd said. "And I figure if I get hit by a car, I'll get hurt either way."
Boyd is not alone. A new study released by CSU this week says college students rarely wear bike helmets while riding around town, even though many of those same students wear a helmet while riding for fun or exercise. (Read more.)
I trust individual bicyclists to make their own risk assessment, and decide for themselves. If bike advocates exaggerate the "danger" of bicycling, we won't attract many new bicyclists. If a bicyclist feels more comfortable while wearing a helmet, fine. If they choose not to wear a helmet, fine also. Bicycling is safe. Period.
When I mountain bike or ride fast on a weekend outing, I wear a helmet. When I commute I don't. (Just as I wore a helmet when I played collegiate football, but not when I play touch football with friends.) A community with an abundance of helmet-less bicyclists indicates a community where bicyclists feel comfortable and at ease on the streets. A bicycling-friendly community, in other words.
Bicycling is not combat--as this silly Jessica Simpson outfit suggests. (Kneepads?!?) Bicycling is safe.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site