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)


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..?