bike helmets

Darth Vader

I am looking at buying a new helmet. My current one dates back to 1992. I want one with a visor (because of my sitting position and glasses) so it seems I need to get a full mountain bike helmet. The only one of these I have tried so far barely fitted, even with a large size, so I am still looking. Out of curiosity I looked on Wikipedia and discovered that there is quite a lot of arguing about the benefit or otherwise of a helmet, given their design. If you are interested pop over there and have a read. There are more interesting stats on wikipedia, this time from the UK.

cycling is beneficial to health – the benefits outweigh the risks by up to 20:1

Cycling is no more dangerous than being a pedestrian. A UK opponent of compulsion has pointed out that it “still takes at least 8000 years of average cycling to produce one clinically severe head injury and 22,000 years for one death”

Six times as many pedestrians as cyclists are killed by motor traffic, yet travel surveys show annual mileage walked is only five times that cycled; a mile of walking must be more “dangerous” than a mile of cycling

And here is a finding that uses quite a lot of statistics from the Bicycle Federation of Australia, who find:

The fact that little or no obvious effect can be seen in hospital data does not imply cyclists choosing to wear lightweight, comfortable, well fitting  helmets, will not benefit, provided they do not ride on more dangerous roads or take less care.  The relatively small effects from helmet laws must, however, be contrasted with the large effect on numbers of cyclists and better responses from other road safety campaigns

Maybe the the visor will be the most useful bit of the helmet and I should just by a cheap one.

I feel a need to write to Myth Busters

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