View Full Version : bike helmets inspire unsafe driving

05-14-2007, 09:33 AM
I found an interesting article (http://ride-me.blogspot.com/2007/05/bike-helmets-inspire-unsafe-driving.html) about research being done in England focused at the safety perceptions of motorists when they encounter a cyclist NOT wearing a helmet.
Interesting. I wonder if it's true?

05-14-2007, 10:23 AM
this was posted here a while back, and i was sad to see boing boing promoting it again. as someone with some science under her belt, i suspect the motion detector was recording the cyclist's *own* behaviour. dunno about you, but when i forget my helmet, i give cars way more space. a motion detector wouldn't know the difference.

also, remember that when a car does knock you over, if your head hits the pavement, that sporty li'l cap ain't gonna protect your noggin. other (better) studies show that a helmet does protect you when you have an accident.

05-14-2007, 10:24 AM
I couldn't agree more. I do not wear a helmet because I feel that if I did I would feel like it's OK to fall and be less careful. I believe that drivers see helmet wearing cyclists as "protected" - ok to hit em, they've got a helmet.

05-14-2007, 10:31 AM
yah cept if you do fall and arnt wearing a helmet, its game over. i doubt cars notice if you are wearing a helmet or not imo

and the lady who doors you certainly didnt notice you one way or the other

05-14-2007, 12:35 PM
I'm a safe rider, but I've still been unexpectedly airborne on 4 occasions riding Portland streets (1 hit/run car, 2 jaywalking pedestrians and once my own stupid fault by hitting a curb I thought was sloped. It was dark and raining. OK?). I remember the impact of each of those accidents on the back of my helmet on to the pavement. On two of those (the car and a jay walking ped) had I not been wearing a helmet I have no doubt I would not be typing these letters now. Maybe dead, maybe not. At least severely brain damaged? Undoubtedly. Maybe you could get away with not wearing a helmet, but if you're in a wreck you can't go back on shoulda.
I also think that helmetted riders are more conscious riders. There is nothing more irritating to me when I am behind the wheel than to have an unhelmeted rider dart out into the street or weave down the middle of it. Sometimes at night without lights! Check out the road-rage in some of the other threads. As more people turn to bikes those who don't generalize careless, endangering riding on to the rest of us.

05-14-2007, 02:41 PM
boing boing (perhaps feeling a little guilty?) just posted about a madison cyclist getting his head run over by a truck that didn't stop at a red light:

you can click the link without losing your lunch -- the cyclist was wearing a helmet. the cyclist's head is intact, but the photo of the crushed helmet gives one a chilling idea of how it would have gone down without the helmet.

of course none of us plans to end up under a car, or even sprawled on the pavement. but it happens an awful lot anyway. and in the immortal words of former vice president dan quayle: "...[W]hat a waste it is to lose one's mind or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."

norse rider
05-14-2007, 03:03 PM
This I find very odd, could someone tell me please how it makes sense to NOT wear a helmet? It is us on the road right next to vehicles that are two to twnety tons. Any piece of equipment that would help me survive that encounter I am going to use. I guess I would just like to hear a rational logical explanation of why someone would not wear a helmet. I for one cannot imagine getting on a bike ever without a helmet, even to bike the four blocks to the store.