Should you wear a bike helmet?

Should you wear a bike helmet?

Bicycle helmets are compulsory in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, among others, but as the Guardian’s Peter Walker explains this does not help save lives. Despite a series of helmet promotion campaigns in the UK, a growing amount of evidence suggests forcing people to wear protective headgear leads to greater risk-taking and can even put people off cycling altogether, exacerbating the crises in obesity and inactive living
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50 Comments

  1. Thomayam Upright on August 3, 2019 at 1:39 am

    I always alert people to wear a helmet when cycling. I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I’m 58 years old and I had both hips replaced. Cycling has many, many health benefits. The main problem is weight. You wanna lose that flab, get on a bike every day. It will change your life. You feel better. The best part is you don’t have to ride fast to enjoy cycling. Cycling also slows down the aging process. So, put the hammer down, fast or slow. 🙂



  2. hmmm on August 3, 2019 at 1:41 am

    I agree, when car users (both drivers and passengers)have to wear helmets, then make cyclists wear helmets.
    Visibility and distraction (itches, fit, sweat etc) are my biggest reasons for not wearing one, unless racing or downhilling.



  3. molokofreak on August 3, 2019 at 1:41 am

    try ride in woods on 20 mph without helmet.



  4. shane fitzsimons on August 3, 2019 at 1:45 am

    My helmet saved my life.
    It should be by law like seat belts



  5. thou ist on August 3, 2019 at 1:45 am

    I mean, if people have to wear seatbelts than why not cyclists have to wear helmets? Sure, we should be focusing on other ways to make things safer for the cyclists, but you might as well.

    Anyway, the study about bike helmet wearers taking more risks is flawed because gambling is irrelevant to cycling and is done in a totally different environment. And your statement that most head injuries happen to those in cars is also irrelevant because there are more people who travel by car.
    Also, the sort of people who cycle to work are more likely to be physically active as it is, so the argument that less people will cycle is also flawed



  6. patrick M on August 3, 2019 at 1:45 am

    A lot of seemingly intelligent people talking essentially, drivel. I love the process of cycling and I try to cycle every day in Birmingham. Only a fool would cycle without a helmet on the dangerous roads of my locality.



  7. Leon Kerkdijk on August 3, 2019 at 1:46 am

    The answer is NO! Greetings from The Netherlands.



  8. CauliflowerEars1 on August 3, 2019 at 1:47 am

    According to a French study in 2008, head injuries are involved in the deaths of over 40% of drivers killed in car crashes. Compusary helmets for drivers? Of course that’s ridiculous as it is with cyclists or pedestrians, but In the case of driving, everyone’s health would be improved if less people chose to drive. Public health improves when more people cycle.



  9. Tracy Lane on August 3, 2019 at 1:48 am

    That was a fancy commercial about a the truck mirror at 70 mph, perhaps paid for by the helmet industry?



  10. Samurai on August 3, 2019 at 1:49 am

    I got a vocal from splice……



  11. one bicycle on August 3, 2019 at 1:49 am

    Uk is hopeless



  12. diggler2002 on August 3, 2019 at 1:50 am

    This video is contradictory. It is anti compulsory helmet, but their leading example doesn’t reflect conditions in Britain. Ok, if there is no motorised traffic, then you can do away with helmets, but that isn’t the case is it? So the issue is not compulsory helmets, the issue is cycling free from high speed motorised vehicles. Bike paths costs a fortune to build. The cheaper option is to allow cycling on footpaths and reduce the speed limit on local roads to 40km/h.



  13. Kathleen O'Donnell on August 3, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Interesting. Can’t really recommend helmuts anymore to my friends and family.



  14. bruce thornton on August 3, 2019 at 1:52 am

    Anyone who is drunk is at risk of falling and hitting their head. They should be wearing helmets.



  15. SkeletalBasis on August 3, 2019 at 1:52 am

    It’s shameful that the video focuses entirely on death rather than injury. Of the serious bike riders In my circle of acquaintances and their children, virtually all have had a serious accident — potholes, animals, night, other cyclists, just one involving a car, all but one still alive. Wear a helmet to avoid gouges, bangs, and scrapes, for chrissake.



  16. diggler2002 on August 3, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Amsterdam is so different from Sydney that there are few lessons to be learned. Sydney is hilly, hot in summer, very spread out and doesn’t have a cycling culture. Sydney is better suited to electric bikes and a 40km/h limit on local roads and 15km/h on footpaths.



  17. reverend su on August 3, 2019 at 1:55 am

    in skate/BMX park I rarely wore a helmet but on the road I always do…mainly because I’m not worried about my actions but actions of others, a car could tap you and you go flying.



  18. Reed Martin on August 3, 2019 at 1:55 am

    Bicycle accidents can (and do) happen to anyone. Just ask Bono, who was in a very serious, almost grievous accident in Central Park while cycling. So, if the issue is looking uncool or surviving a spill without a head injury or serious brain damage when a careless Rollerblader crashes into you, best to be wearing a helmet after all. And they do make models that look cool these days so just find one that you like, that looks threaded and aerodynamic.



  19. Backgammon 88 on August 3, 2019 at 1:56 am

    In Australia you wear the helmet to protect you from evil crows…



  20. danny jensen on August 3, 2019 at 1:57 am

    Stupid NOT to wear a helmet nomatter where, when or how you ride your bike…



  21. ksiit on August 3, 2019 at 1:59 am

    I lived in US, Australia and China. I do cycling in Australia and China, not US lol! Personally, wearing a helmet is responsible thing to do. I thus do wear one in China and Australia. For public sectors, it seems no need to regulate helmets issue rather than building a bike friendly environment.



  22. Dat_boii _at7 on August 3, 2019 at 2:00 am

    I’d be dead without one so??



  23. DUPPSS on August 3, 2019 at 2:00 am

    Nope I don’t wear a helmet never will



  24. Melaine White on August 3, 2019 at 2:00 am

    Of those hundred deaths, why so mum on how many were wearing helmets? Of those hundred deaths, how many were a drunk cyclist, cyclist at night with no lights, a US cyclist keeping right not left, and so on? That is, how many of these hundred could have been me who doesn’t cycle stupid, helmet or not. Also, wouldn’t mandatory mirrors reduce bike accidents, don’t we need more and more laws…to keep us safe.



  25. Anthony Duncalf on August 3, 2019 at 2:00 am

    Cycling is meant to give a sense of freedom. Telling people to wear a block of polystyrene on their heads when there is no proof you are more likely going to bang your head than falling off a ladder is taking away that freedom for no logical reason. I’ve been riding a bike since the early 90s and the only time i have banged my head is from doing a wheelie and missing the back brake. The stats just don’t add up.



  26. Danfuerth Gillis on August 3, 2019 at 2:02 am

    The problem is as vehicles are being driven faster you have to cycle aggressive and always ride by intersections peeking at both sides down while your hands are already on the brakes anticipating a stopage. The only reason I ride with a helmet is because I don’t ride a bike, I race on a bike so the speeds I average are minimum 30 km hr to 45 km hr ( 14 kg alloy road bike). cycling around my neighborhood I don’t wear a helmet as I am going slow.



  27. QuadQ on August 3, 2019 at 2:04 am

    Not sure about compulsory, I came off my bike load of times as a kid, broken arm, collar bone, wrist, multiple cuts requiring stitches but never any head injury, just lucky maybe



  28. TheKnightsShield on August 3, 2019 at 2:04 am

    I’ve ridden my bike without my helmet on a couple of occasions, accidentally, I might add, and it always felt strange. I always wear one, even if I’m only going a short distance, as you never know what might happen. I try to ride to the side of the road as much as possible, but I often take the lane when it’s too narrow. I’ve never had any problems with close passes, even when commuting to work and back.



  29. Jay Kalra on August 3, 2019 at 2:06 am

    Yea!



  30. Diogo Castro on August 3, 2019 at 2:07 am

    It’s a fact that if you hit a stone with your head you’re gonna have a serious injury. The fact that it may not happen so often among cyclists doesn’t justify one shouldn’t be prepared.



  31. SpaghettiCyclist on August 3, 2019 at 2:09 am

    My helmet is most practical as it holds both my rear view mirror and my camera.
    This said, I’m fully aware that the protection offered is limited to minor accidents and there’s nothing a helmet could do if a driver decided (touch wood!) to use their vehicle as a weapon against me. Only a dimwit wouldn’t understand this.



  32. Jonas Hellborg on August 3, 2019 at 2:09 am

    that “risk compensation” is really interesting. I do find i’m more careful on my fixed gear bike than on my road bike, the latter having better stopping power. And I vote for dressing for safety, cycling in a safe manner, plus I really want my tax payer money to add more and more cycling lanes in London, because they are great for safety and for reducing the overall annoyance level! 🙂



  33. Nizam J on August 3, 2019 at 2:10 am

    no



  34. Sam Courant on August 3, 2019 at 2:10 am

    Misleading title. The video is not about whether you should wear a helmet, which you obviously should, but about the unintended consequences of helmet legislation. I wouldn’t complain about this if it was just some guy on the internet but the Guardian really should do better.



  35. Mike Burke on August 3, 2019 at 2:13 am

    I’ve seen the evidence. One dead mate. I find it particularly hard to be detached about the claim that the benefits of exercise balance out death. Surely this one’s a false dichotomy writ large.



  36. Georgy Koentges on August 3, 2019 at 2:14 am

    A pathetic film. If the evidence suggests increased risk-taking after wearing helmets one would not expect a major drop in death rates. The fact that people might decide against cycling as a consequence of having to wear a helmet again should increase mortality if the author’s logic is correct. It is just nonsensical. One can and should only compare biking with vs biking without helmets. This will speak for itself. One also needs to look at how and against what heads are banging in normal traffic. Tjhis is not the ground, this is the hard edge of a car. Do your background research before you spew stuff around that is not based on solid science.



  37. David Arruda on August 3, 2019 at 2:16 am

    I can barely breathe with a helmet on



  38. samuel quandt on August 3, 2019 at 2:21 am

    Bike helmets are a scam by the shareholders at big-bike corporations! Even worse then the greedy money hounds who make seat belts!



  39. TotalVikingPower on August 3, 2019 at 2:24 am

    Great conten !



  40. smthnss on August 3, 2019 at 2:25 am

    The only reason why I wear a helmet is because I want to be able to eat and speak when a motorist eventually sends me into a wheelchair.



  41. Ian Thompson on August 3, 2019 at 2:25 am

    What kind of an effing question is it? Of course we should!



  42. pierrelarouge on August 3, 2019 at 2:26 am

    Enough rules in this country without forcing people to wear stinking helmets, if you gonna force helmets then force people to eat less then 3000 calories a day and force them not to smoke.



  43. Marko Radovic on August 3, 2019 at 2:29 am

    in my opionion the answer is very simple. except children grown ups shouldnt be forced to wear helmet. some degree of freedom should exist.



  44. Ren Hood on August 3, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Yeah idc if wearing a helmet will reduce the chances of head injury, I’m not gonna wear a helmet like I’m in third grade



  45. 띵똥땡 on August 3, 2019 at 2:30 am

    I ride bicycle without helmet for 12 years… finally i got a helmet 2 weeks ago.. but the helmet gives me a bad headach and now i dont wear it anymore



  46. Blu on August 3, 2019 at 2:30 am

    I didn’t wear a helmet for about 6 years. I got really lucky in those years, I have fell many times, but never injured my head, once. Also went down hills at 35 mph a few times, was sketchy as hell, never once fell. I’m not going to push my luck anymore, though. The next time I bike ride, I will be wearing a helmet.



  47. BXL BXL on August 3, 2019 at 2:31 am

    I always wear a helmet. As a pedestrian, in the office, when grocery shopping, in my garden, at the nude beach, in bed, when I’m sewing.
    I can’t even remember the last time I took it off. You can’t be too careful in life 🙂



  48. Daryl Veal on August 3, 2019 at 2:33 am

    Yeah, every one of those people who live on their couch would adopt healthy lifestyles and become cyclists if there were no helmet laws. Yeah, that makes sense!



  49. Luke Farrugia on August 3, 2019 at 2:35 am

    Cycling isnt dangerous..the environment is…which makes cycling, dangerous.

    And helmets are proven to reduce injury from serious impact.

    So the logical thing to do is wear a helmet till you are in a safe environment.

    Wearing a helmet isnt always required. But the ridiculousness of suggesting helmets arent required full stop is ludicrous.

    Especially in particular countries with little cycling infrastructure and a culture of anti cycling.



  50. Luke Farrugia on August 3, 2019 at 2:38 am

    So if people take less risks when theres no safety equipment qhy dont we strip cars of seatbelts, airbags, crumple zones, collision bars. Why dont we not have dedicated baby seats and booster seats.

    Not even the glorious Scandinavia have removed these from cars. If your logic is sound then we should. Because it would be better and safer for everyone to have absolutely zero protection when on the roads.