During injury prevention week, Chris Evans MP reminds us of the importance of ensuring personal safety by opting to wear a helmet. Since the pandemic, cycling has become an increasingly popular mode of exercise. Despite the fact around. 80% of bicycle crashes involve head injuries, only 18% of cyclists wear helmets.
Wearing a helmet whilst cycling is not a legal requirement in the UK. A cycle helmet is designed to reduce the impact on a person’s head in falls or collisions while minimising side effects such as interference with peripheral vision. Recent studies have found that cycle helmets can offer protection to the head, but not in every scenario.
For example, a recent academic study showed that cycle helmets offer “effective protection at low speeds of less than 30 mph.” Helmets have proven to be 85 % effective in mitigating head and brain injuries, making the use of helmets the single most effective way to reduce head injuries and fatalities resulting from bicycle crashes.
The same study also concluded that cycle helmets offer protection against secondary impacts against the ground after the initial collision, but that helmets became less protective the faster cars are travelling and were of “minimal” use in crashes with cars travelling at more than 30 mph.
Chris Evans MP said
“I believe that it is a personal choice whether to wear a cycle helmet or not and for parents to make that choice for their children. But, the statistics on their ability to prevent head injuries speak for themselves. It is the single most important thing we can do to prevent personal injury.”
“It is also important to remember that cycle helmets don’t prevent collisions from happening. To prevent injuries, we need to work to create a safer environment for cyclists. This means driving safely in accordance with local speed limits and prioritising the safety of fellow drivers and cyclists.