Other Bicycle Helmet Campaigns

There are many other helmet campaigns that helped to push the safety for all people. Wearing a helmet is a simple action, in return it protects the most important part of human body. Below is a list of existing helmet campaigns: (it is evident that wearing a bicycle helmet successfully decrease the risk of head injury, as the campaigns emerged in different parts of the world)

  1. Helmet.org. This website provides a lot of information regarding to helmet. Whether you have a question about helmet, going on this site is the best choice to look for your answer. The site also included statistics from various researches that proved how effect helmets are protecting us.
  2. Headway. Headway continues its efforts to promote the use of cycle helmets, and campaigns to make it compulsory for children under the age of 16 to wear helmets while cycling. From contact with our Groups and Branches across the UK, we know that this is an ongoing issue that affects a large number of our service users and their families. By encouraging cyclists to wear helmets we are fulfilling one of our crucial aims – to help reduce the prevalence of brain injury in society.
  3. Above All, Wear a Helmet. Even though this campaign is aimed for motorcyclists, the same concept applies of wearing a bicycle helmet. The campaign aims to improve the safety of drivers and passengers of motorbikes and scooters and advocates the compulsory wearing of helmets for all journeys.
  4. No Excuse, Wear a Helmet. The campaign features three images which appear on two dozen posters throughout the city in high bike-traffic areas. In two images, bikers not wearing helmets have sustained injuries from a crash. In the third, a female biker was protected by her helmet.
  5. No Helmet, No Ride competition is designed to provide an interactive way for children to learn about the importance of always wearing a helmet when riding a wheeled device. In 2014 the competition called on primary school students to create a video, radio ad or illustrated story around the theme ‘No Helmet, No Ride’. 

    These are all some fascinating and inspiring campaigns!
    Be sure to wear a helmet at all time, a life saver is within your action.



How successful is mandatory helmet law?

There are a lot of voices and opinions calling for the repeal of the mandatory helmet law for cyclists, as well as calls to either remove existing cycling infrastructure or stop government spending on such programs, due to safety concerns. Both calls are unfounded.

Helmet_law copy Helmet_law copy1

When helmet legislation was enacted in 1991, the number of people cycling has flourished. There is no significant sign of widespread paradox opposition to the law, if there is, it is no more than mandatory helmets for motorcyclist or requiring to fasten seat belts in automobiles.

There are solid evidences of how helmet successfully protected cyclists from suffering fatal head injuries. The rate of head injuries have declined about 29% immediately following mandatory helmet legislation. The reduction was unrelated to any other changes occurring in cycling around the time. Put in plainly, helmets worked as intended.

Between 1991 and 2010, research shown that bicycle-related injuries (head injuries that were serious enough to require hospital admission) in New South Wales has declined. In addition, the increase arm injury rates reflect what is happening in the cycling environment, such as general safety improvements and the behavior of cyclists. By comparing arm and head injury rates highlights the importance of wearing a helmet.

Before the helmet law, the head-injury rate was consistently higher than that for arm injuries. But after the mandatory helmet law, head injuries dropped below arm injuries and the two gradually diverged. Arm injury numbers increased steadily at a rate of 3.3% a year (in a situation when cycling rates is increasing), yet head injuries stayed relatively flat. By 2006, the head injury rate had fallen to almost half that of arm injuries. In that time, arm injuries rose by 145%, yet head injuries rose by just 20%    (in the past decade alone, cycling participants increased by 51%).



Bike Helmets On Campus

This happens a lot when I am walking around the campus in the University of New South Wales, people bicycling without a helmet. What surprises me more is that they have their helmets either sitting on the bicycle handle or in their bags.  Do you need to wear a helmet when riding to classes even when it is about 500 meters away?

What can happen to a head dropped from the normal height where you ride,which is about 5 feet up, when it hits the concrete walkway.The gravitational force (9.81 meter per second square )will be exerted  to the heads when people experience from that drop height. Bike helmets are tested in a two meter drop, a little higher, but that 5 feet is all the impact that will need to mess up the brain. This is just falling from that height without any given speed. Forward speed will make it even worse! Remember these vector graphs?

Think about random things that happen when you ride on campus. Do you ever get distracted by passing members of the opposite gender, especially there are a lot of young girls in the university? Same gender, some cool and fit guys? Have you had near-collisions or collisions with pedestrians? Do you ever go on a class in a hurry just to make it on time? Have you ever seen a patch of crack or sand on a campus sidewalk? Are these sidewalk cracks where a bike wheel can catch? Do people ever leave cans or bottles around that could turn your front wheel? Do you ever extend your ride off campus to go somewhere close by going to a detour that will emerge with traffic? All these factors have to be considered when you are not wearing a helmet. Accidents can happen anytime, that is why they are called accidents.

Nobody keeps track of how many of those accidents were on a campus when they crashed. But we do know that you are making a major investment in yourself for a lifetime of good returns, and you do not want a fuddled brain to bring that to an end. Head injuries can cause multiple parts of your body to paralyze, and experience amnesia and other brain related symptoms.

Helmets are everywhere, even a cheap one can save your head from fatal injuries. You can lock it with your bike. It really would not mess up your hair much in a short ride. Give it a try!

(This article is more about logical and emotional comments)


Dutch As An Epitome

Netherlands is one of the country that does not have mandatory helmet law, and yet their injury rate is one of the lowest in the world (Comparing the amount of the distance they have traveled with fatal accidents happened per kilo meter, it is the lowest among any other country.) What are the policies that make this significant progress? How did the Dutch achieve it?

First and the most important reason, bicycling is super safe in in the Netherlands. The average bicycling speed in the Netherlands is as slow as a jogger, which is about 4-5km per hour. In addition, bikers have their own pathway, they do not have to share lanes with other vehicles. The bicycle infrastructure is connected to everywhere else.

Helmet requirement discourages bicycling. The Netherlands does not have the mandatory helmet laws since it is counterproductive. Hence, wearing a bicycle helmet do not necessarily makes people feel safer. In some research they found that wearing a bicycle helmet have a physiological impact while bicycling, which makes people feel danger is within the reach in any second.

What do you think about these arguments? Do you feel safer not to wear a bicycle helmet if bike pathways are separated?

Traffic Conditions Play An Important Role (Listening to the hub)

According to the Cycling Promotion Fund, in conjunction with the National Heart Foundation conducted a survey of 1000 Australian adults in relation to whether or not they ride a bike for transport. The survey here is useful for understanding why people do not use bicycle as their means of conveyance.

  1. Unsafe road conditions: 46.4%
  2. Speed/volume of traffic: 41.8%
  3. Don’t feel safe riding: 41.4%
  4. Lack of bicycle lanes/trails: 34.6%
  5. Destinations too far away: 29.9%
  6. No place to park/store bike: 23.5%
  7. Do not own a bike: 22.5%
  8. Weather conditions: 22.1%
  9. Not fit enough: 21.8%
  10. Too hilly: 19.6%
  11. Don’t feel confident riding: 18.6%
  12. Not enough time: 16.7%
  13. Don’t like wearing a helmet: 15.7%
  14. No place to change/shower: 14.6%
  15. Health problems: 14.4%

The first four factors are all about traffic and road conditions, which means people do not feel safe riding while sharing the lane with automobiles. The lack of specific lanes and pathways for bicycle is an important factor that contributed to the issues around Mandatory Helmet Laws in Australia. Since the number of cyclists are increasing each year, the traffic and path way can not sustain the surge of cyclists. As a result, this is one factor that contributed to other researcher’s argument for not wearing a helmets. Helmets failed to reduce the injury rates. This is not true, they have to consider the increasing number of people cycling.

By targeting to improve road conditions, the number of people cycling is likely to go up. However, since the traffic condition remained the same, the Mandatory Helmet Law is there to protect and ensure everyone’s safety.
American academic quoted : “the most hostile city(Sydney) to cyclists in the developed world.”


Looking At The Other Side: Contentious Issure Around MHL

As discussed earlier, New Zealand and Australia are the two countries that required people of all age to wear a bicycle helmet at all time. There is no federal law in the U.S requiring bicycle helmets. The states are localities began adopting laws in 1987. Most are limited to children under 18. Some states have passed the law regarding to MHL but are repealed later. Israel experimented with national legislation, but repealed the law in 2011 after a four year trial. Here are some of the objectives against MHL:

  • They do not improve injury rates
  • Discourage regular recreation exercise in an era of high obesity
  • Unnecessary
  • Intrusion of individual freedom

There are studies that have proven that the Mandatory Helmet Laws has not reduced head injury rates. Dr Dorothy Robinson from the University of New England, who found ‘enforced helmet laws discourage cycling but produce no obvious response in percentage of head injuries’.

MHLs change people’s behavior and perception of risk. Some cyclists take more risks while riding with a helmet than they would without, while studies have shown that some motorists drive closer to helmeted cyclists, than unhelmeted ones. This tendency for individuals to react to a perceived increase in safety by taking more risk is known as risk compensation.

I am not encouraging people not to wear a bicycle helmet but rather to provide an insight on why some countries do not require MHL, and why people hated MHL. What are your thoughts on this?  Below is a collection of tweets that included #helmet lawsScreen Shot 2015-10-11 at 18.15.53 Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 18.16.05 Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 18.16.11 Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 18.16.45 Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 18.16.58 Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 18.17.15 Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 18.17.27
Interesting right..?


Why don’t people wear helmets?

Have you ever ride the bicycle without wearing a bicycle helmet? I believe everyone has done it somehow. What are your reasons for not wearing a helmet?

  • The helmet design looks silly and ugly
  • There is no need to wear one when traveling across a short distance/ traveling within the area where vehicles are prohibited
  • Helmets hindered/lessen peripheral vision
  • Wearing a helmet doesn’t reduce the risk of accidents
  • Helmet fails to protect your from  head injuries when traveling above 10~15 km/h
  • Wearing bicycle helmets make riding a bicycle harder
  • Helmet gives headache
  • Helmet messed up hairstyle
  • Wearing helmet in summer is especially hot and distracting

Take a vote on: