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        Helmets - Should they be mandatory?

        Did you know there is no law in the UK that requires any cyclist to wear a helmet when cycling?

        This is a controversial topic as there are differing opinions as to whether wearing a helmet should be mandatory by law. There is research that shows that wearing a correctly fitted helmet can effectively prevent serious head injuries however there is contradictory research that shows that the despite wearing a helmet, this does not prevent the brain being damaged from hitting the skull.

        To ensure you are wearing a “correctly fitted helmet” it should meet British Standards (BS EN 1078:1997), is a snug fit and positioned squarely on your head. The helmet should sit just above your eyebrow and not tilt backwards or forwards and lastly, it should be secured with straps that only allow for two fingers to fit between your chin and the strap.

        It is vital that if your helmet is damaged in any accident that it is immediately replaced, this is because if it is damaged it may not protect you properly if you are in further collisions.

        Many oppositions of the helmet think that the major dangers that cyclists face on each journey must be reviewed as a priority. These include investing sufficient funds into cycling infrastructure and updating our laws to better protect vulnerable road users when they are injured in an accident.

        The statistics regarding injuries and the use of helmets makes for interesting reading, for example:

          74% of head injuries could have been prevented if the cyclist had worn a helmet.
          Austria saw a 15-20% drop in the number of hospital admissions for head injuries when they introduced a law requiring all cyclists to wear a helmet.

        However…

          Evidence suggests that drivers passed closer to cyclists who were wearing a helmet when overtaking than those cyclists who were not wearing the helmet as the driver sees them as a less vulnerable road user.
          Very few adults wear helmets in the Netherlands and the number of cyclists killed per travelled mile is the lowest in the world.

        Whether you are a regular commuter or Sunday-afternoon cruiser, our advice is, don’t take the unnecessary risk and wear a correctly fitted helmet.

        If you have sustained injury following an accident on your cycle, please do call us today on 020 3553 7121.


        Gemma Ball
        Paralegal