By misterque (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2011 at 00:10:42
As someone who has looked after many catastrophic and preventable cycling head injuries I will make the anecdotal observation and come down on the side of helmet wearing and enforced legislation for it. This means I support helmet laws, education, better bike lanes, education, more cyclists and education.
If you need evidence then I suggest you look at the Cochrane Collaboration Review that concludes that helmet legislation prevents head injury in cyclists. The review non-evangelically concludes that this benefit even outweighs the community health benefit of the decreased exercise benefit of deterred cyclists. The study openly discusses it's weaknesses, limitations, unanswered questions and areas of future study. Please do not dismiss this conclusion because it is critical of the data that is available. This means that ALL the data is poor and making a contradictory decision would use the same data as well.
I would suggest that helmet laws be added for roller blading, skateboarding, ladder climbing, and any other habits that can send a person crashing onto their head faster than they can react. Nanny state hear we come. :) We have heard all these arguments against bike helmets before, however they were in the guise of: anti-seatbelts, anti-airbags, anti-motorbike helmet, anti-gun control, and even anti-climate change. It is easy to emotionally render a study useless by ignorantly picking away at it. The Cochrane Collaboration was created to study questions with tools that counteract as many of those biases as humanly possible.
Fight for bike education (by including bike safety in the vehicle licensing bureau), fight for bike lanes everywhere, but do it wearing your bike helmet. Fighting against bike helmets just wastes the time you can spend on the hard stuff. The evidence says so.
Comment edited by misterque on 2011-07-07 00:11:16
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