Should wearing helmet be optional?

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I found this interesting video.. do you think mandatory helmet law is actually deterring people from cycling?
I know some people don't want to use bike share because of mandatory helmet.

 

Alphbetadog

Active Member
Do we really need another law to regulate our freedom? I almost always wear mine, but occasionally jump on the bike just to ride a few houses down to the neighbors, and do indeed feel a bit more vulnerable, and am taking more of a chance - I know that. But I don't need to be braking the law.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Do we really need another law to regulate our freedom? I almost always wear mine, but occasionally jump on the bike just to ride a few houses down to the neighbors, and do indeed feel a bit more vulnerable, and am taking more of a chance - I know that. But I don't need to be braking the law.

With all due respect, there are a great many threats to our freedoms and liberties rampant these days, some of them quite dire and frightening. Bicycle helmet laws don't even make the top ten. Or even the top fifty.
 

ebikemom

Well-Known Member
What an interesting article! I do think it is interesting that from the *individual* perspective, doctors find that people wearing helmets get fewer injuries, but from a population-based analysis, fewer cycle, so then there are more deaths from lack of exercise. To me the moral of the story is that I should, for my personal safety, wear a helmet. But, that perhaps helmet-wearing should not be the law.
 

christob

Well-Known Member
I mostly wear a helmet. Mostly. But I’ve taken to riding my summer morning commutes to work (6.7 miles, 98% dedicated paved bike trail) without it (I take it along in my pannier). I wear it on all other rides. Unfortunately the reason is simple convenience... my head sweating is easily 85-99% less without the helmet. So I don’t have to worry about needing an office shower when I get there. I then wear the helmet on my evening commute home (which is often far longer and includes some road riding, usually a total trek of 15-25 miles)
I’m glad Virginia and DC don’t have a mandatory helmet law for adult cyclists, so I don’t have to be a scofflaw on my summer morning ride!
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
After I took a low speed tumble, I never go without a helmet. I landed on my hands and my head bounced off the pavement. Bloodied both hands, one knee, bent my glasses, and broke the tabs off the visor on my helmet. Without the helmet, I would have added bloodied head and a possible concussion. Don't ever consider it won't happen to you, or wearing a helmet is only for a major crash. For as many posts we get for people that are thrilled with loosing weight and feeling better for biking, I don't understand why they would not add protection for their head. Well spoken Mr. Coffee, I feel the exact same way!
 

CodyDog

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Texas Hill Country/Banana Belt, Colorado
I think if your 18 or under, a helmet should be required. Personally, I wear a helmet at all times. Wearing a helmet in traffic or on a trail just make sense to me. I get the thing about just running over to the neighbor or down the street without one.
 

Bob H

Active Member
I always wear a helmet as it has saved me a couple of times. If anyone asks my advise, I always tell them to wear a helmet. However, if they made me King, I still wouldn't pass a law making other people wear one. Ultimately, it is a decision that the individual should make - my opinion.
 
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p0ppyman

Guest
Absolutely. And health care providers should be free to refuse you services if you sustain a head injury while riding a bike without a helmet. And health insurers should be free to cancel your coverage if you choose to ride a bicycle without a helmet.

Let freedom ring, but let it ring far and wide from the mountains, from the valleys, from the fruited plains, etc.
 

Bob H

Active Member
Absolutely. And health care providers should be free to refuse you services if you sustain a head injury while riding a bike without a helmet. And health insurers should be free to cancel your coverage if you choose to ride a bicycle without a helmet.

Let freedom ring, but let it ring far and wide from the mountains, from the valleys, from the fruited plains, etc.

And I guess your health care providers should be free to refuse you service if you are overweight because you eat too much or don't exercise - probably way worse overall than not wearing a bike helmet. By all means, lets have a bunch of petty bureaucrats sit down and legislate all areas of our lives.
 
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p0ppyman

Guest
And I guess your health care providers should be free to refuse you service if you are overweight because you eat too much or don't exercise - probably way worse overall than not wearing a bike helmet. By all means, lets have a bunch of petty bureaucrats sit down and legislate all areas of our lives.

It was a "tongue in cheek" retort to freedom to ride without a helmet. My 64 years of experience in America informs me many people have different definitions for freedom. In my book freedom means liberty, which is freedom to do as you please.

If you want the freedom to ride without a helmet you need to allow others the liberty to do as they please as well with all it's ramifications. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

The question of should or should not be required to ride with a helmet is moot. I always ride with a helmet.
 

Citycrosser

Active Member
For those of you advocating for mandatory helmets, do you also advocate for mandatory car helmets? A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that car accidents were the 2nd leading cause of head trauma (behind falls) in children and "Among kids who suffered a head injury in a car accident, fewer than half were wearing a seatbelt." Less than half were wearing a seatbelt but still suffered head trauma. Car helmets for all!

Why legislate mandatory bicycle helmets and not car helmets? Or walking helmets? Stairway helmets? Helmets on airplanes? Why stop with bicycles?

I personally wear an armored motorcycle suit with full face helmet and motorcycle boots upon leaving my bed in the morning. You can't be too safe!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Should be user choice, if adult.

I wish I could say I haven't fallen off my bikes in 60 years, but that string was broken last April when I hit a thin layer of mud. My rear wheel slid out and I went down. Kind of slid on my backside, so helmet wasn't needed. Still glad I wear it.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Not wearing helmet is legal in Indiana, even on motorcycles. Don't know about children.
I've gone over handlebars 5 times in 5 years as front wheel locked up or whipped to the side. I hit the chin every time. I never hit the skull. Helmet has been useless so far. Tried to buy a vented bike helmet with chin guard two months before last accident, not searchable on internet, broke my chin 11/23/17. 7 weeks with jaw wired shut! Lost 23 lb. Secret code for search engines is "downhill mountain bike racing helmet" or fox rampage (which I bought & wear).
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
We have a helmet law for kids in New Mexico for under 18 (bikes, skateboards, scooter, skates, tricycles). I only see about 25% of the kids wearing helmets. I see the same thing with bikes for +18 riders. Road bikes (Tour de France types) always were helmets, spandex, and clip-on shoes along with most MTB on single track trails. Everyone else on regular bikes riding paved or hard packed trails never were a helmet, no bright clothing, or even have lights for street or night riding.

I wear a helmet on every ride because I sit very tall in the saddle at 6'3" and it is a long ways down with a lot of force at +270lbs. I had a few single track falls and my head bounced off the ground. I even hit my head on low branches when riding at night and a helmet saved me from cuts/bruises. I even started to wear G-Form knee and elbow pads because of a couple of low speed falls on paved roads. So much blood running down my leg and it took months to finally heal. I once wiped out on a tight turn on a muddy single track trail after work with my commuter backpack on. I landed mostly on my back pack and it acted like a airbag and cushion my fall. I still landed on my left shoulder and my head did bounce off the ground. I would be in much worst shape other than a sore shoulder for a week without the backpack and helmet on that fall.

I always ride with:
Helmet (with front/rear lights)
Eye protection
padded gloves
Neon riding bike shirts
MTB shorts with spandex and padded bottom
Northwave MTB shoes
G-Form Knee/elbow pads
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
The way I see helmet use is more for the people that have to scrape you off the ground if you wreck as a courtesy to them. Like avalanche transceivers do for backcountry touring.

Cyclists rode for years without helmets and it would be interesting to see if there is any data on how many head injuries there were per year during that time. When MTB's came along in the 80's there were not many helmets even available at that time and we rode blissfully unaware that one was even necessary. However as time has gone on there are now many different helmet options and a lot of peer pressure to wear one.

That said I did a tour of town last night without one. But when riding in a more serious fashion I always do, especially if I am riding with someone or a group for the aforementioned reason. I believe that it should remain a personal decision and let Murphy's law be the only one that applies.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Atlanta
Absolutely not but I don't want to pay for your ignorance. Required takes a freedom, feels like i am losing enough of them these days. However having fallen enough times when moving at less then .5 mph I always wear mine, even on the quickest test drives across the street to the parking lot. I have also slid along the ground on my helmet for a more than few feet from a 30 mph fall. I would like a signed statement something to the effect I choose not wear my helmet, I will be exempt from insurance claims (which eventually come back to me through raised rates) and ANY assistance needed including getting to the hospital to eating through a straw and not knowing who i am for the rest of how long my own resources will allow me to live.
 
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lilrich

Member
I own three helmets, one motorcycle (not DOT approved) and two bicycle. They make nice wall hangings. I don't like any person or government telling me what to do, especially for my own good. I smoke and own guns (not saying how many). I like my freedom even the ones the government was so gracious to dole out to me. The second amendment says we have the right to defend ourselves against oppressive governments, even our own.