Just put it on. Now!

So Bradley Wiggins is being shouted at for saying everyone should wear a cycling helmet.  “Infringement of my rights”, “Doesn’t make the roads any safer”, “Nanny State” comes the cry.  

Here is an account of the incident that led to Wiggins’ call from someone who claims to have been there (I don’t know if this is true) and here is the BBC News report.  It appears to me that this sad death was caused by getting in the blind spot of a large vehicle.  And the point about a blind spot is that the driver of the vehicle cannot see what is in it.  It’s easy to get into a dangerous road position, especially if you are in a hurry, and it would have taken rather more than a cycle helmet to save this cyclist. 

It’s only a few years ago that a child in my road was knocked off their bike by a car travelling a bit too fast.  The child was within 50 yards of home, there were several of them playing out there on bikes.   He hit his head on the edge of the kerb as he fell, and he wasn’t wearing a helmet.  As it turned out, he was lucky.  The hospital spotted the bleed on his brain eventually, and after surgery and a few weeks, he was fine.  If he’d been wearing a cycle helmet, it wouldn’t have stopped him from breaking his leg.  But it would have stopped life threatening injuries. 

Wearing a helmet won’t make you a safer cyclist, any more than wearing a seatbelt makes you a safer driver.  But like a seatbelt, a cycle helmet might just save your life.  So quit whinging.  Just put it on.  Every time you cycle anywhere.

And yes, I wear the Hi Viz vest too.  It makes me look like a right idiot.  But it makes me look like a very visible idiot.  


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