Wearing a helmet is a personal preference, some people can't cycle with one, some people can’t cycle without one. It’s like smoking – a choice which carries social taboo. I on the other hand have a marmite attitude to the helmet wearing world with a strange tendency to sport a helmet on weekdays but to go solo on weekends. After analysing the reasons for this habit, I can only link my weekday helmet wearing as a means of conforming to the regimented, strict, dull connotations that the working week embodies. You might say that during my daily commute I am your very own cycling metaphor for working 9-5...What a great achievement!
Weekends are for letting my hair down, they are for fun and frivolity and helmets are not for fun and frivolity. It is clear that I have an inconsistent habit which ignores the main reasoning as to why people wear helmets, SAFETY.
Well, after a little swotting up about whether helmets are actually effective at protecting your head in accidents, I have chosen to believe the following argument-
- You have a '14% greater chance of getting into an accident with a helmet on' Norwegian Transport Økonomisk Institut (TØI).
- Pedestrians have higher risk of injury than people on bicycles do
These are bold statements and I am clearly in the camp of #wearyourhairfreewithpride. The points above are quoted by Mikael Colville-Anderson in his engaging presentation, 'Why we shouldn't bike with a helmet':
The gist of the presentation is that the culture of fear we live in has created a bubble wrap society. Fear is lucrative and companies can make money off of fear, which is where the bike helmet comes in. Creating the notion that cycling is dangerous is ideal for companies to make money selling safety gear. There are studies which show that car drivers give less room when overtaking cyclists with helmets than without because of the assumption that a cyclist wearing a helmet is confident and protected from cars. Colville-Anderson makes the clear point that it is more dangerous to drive in a car than to cycle, and so on, so on...
So if I believe Colville-Anderson's argument then why else do I squash my gorgeous locks into a helmet during the week? Here are the helpmychaincameoff alternative reasons as to why I wear a helmet:
- Keeps my hair dry in the pouring rain
- The peak keeps the wind and sun out from my eyes
- My work colleagues, friends and family frown at me and give me snarly looks if I don't put one on. They don't know the anti - HELMET TRUTH!
And then maybe I should wear one of these instead? What do you think?
|Source: regenkapje Flickr|
What's your helmet habit? Do you wear a helmet?