When you purchase a bicycle for the first time, you should definitely buy a bicycle helmet to go with it. It’s in your best interests to adopt the “no helmet, no ride” policy whenever you think about taking your bicycle out for quick spin. Rather safe than sorry, right?
We asked Google the question, “should I wear a bicycle helmet?”, and were amazed by some of the answers that we received.
There are strong arguments and advocates for both sides of the coin. A few articles and YouTube videos suggest that wearing a helmet isn’t necessary because there are many things that can influence your safety on a bicycle. The truth is that many of these are out of our control. But we can control whether we wear a helmet or not… so why wouldn’t you want to?
In the UK, cyclists are not required by law to wear a helmet, so it is down to personal preference and whether or not you think it will provide protection. Some people argue that cycling helmets aren’t tested for true crash conditions and therefore would offer little protection in a high-speed crash.
In Queensland, Australia, there are very strict laws relating to the use of bicycles. Anyone who transgresses these laws ends up paying a hefty fine.
“When you ride a bicycle, motorised foot scooter or a personal mobility device like a Segway, you must wear an Australian Standard (AS) approved bicycle helmet” – a clear instruction from the government. The exceptions for not wearing a helmet are also listed, and require you to carry a doctor’s certificate.
Two very different approaches to the question around cycling helmets. Personal preference versus an instruction by law. So would a bicycle helmet really protect your head if you were involved in a high-speed cycling accident?
There are a number of variables that need to be taken into consideration to determine if a cycling helmet will keep your head safe. It’s important to not fool yourself into thinking that because you are wearing a helmet you are “bullet proof”. You still need to be careful when you ride a bicycle and not push the boundaries too far. Remember, you could easily end up over the front of your handle bars.
Watching riders in the pro peloton descending mountain passes at speeds of over 100km/h is phenomenal. It’s clear that they trust their equipment. It would be interesting to ask them if they thought wearing a helmet was important, or if they would be confident to descend at that speed without any protection.
Let’s face it, a cycling helmet is not the most fashionable accessory in the world, but things can change in an instant. There is only so much that we can control. The most important purchase for any cyclist, regardless of your cycling preference, is definitely a bicycle helmet! It won’t prevent accidents from happening, but studies have shown that cycling helmets do decrease the severity of head injuries from cycling accidents.
And now that you have your head protected, we can start to discuss your other protection needs and why you should consider cycling insurance. For now, though enjoy the ride and stay safe on the roads.