It isn’t the law here in Denmark to wear cycle helmets and whenever it is mooted it never seems to happen. I wonder if it is because we have a sense of security by using a lot of dedicated cycle paths rather than having to weave around car traffic or the awareness of car drivers to the large cycling population. Maybe it’s a vanity thing. Whatever it is, I see very few cyclists wearing helmets beyond the more sporty ones on my commute to my son’s school or any other time of the day for that matter. In fact recent figures suggest that only 17% of cyclists in Copenhagen wear helmets. Some very interesting arguments are raised here.
There are a lot of arguments that suggest studies have over estimated the safety benefits of cycle helmets. Also many cycle accident related injuries are similar to mine and not head injuries. When I was a teenager I worked in Halfords selling, amongst other exciting items, cycle helmets. The biggest thing we were taught in our training was that unless a helmet is worn correctly it is useless. In the UK you can regularly see cyclists wearing helmets pushed back on their heads, exposing their forehead, which according to what I was taught renders them useless.
However after smashing my elbow up and becoming the Bionic Woman last month, I am aware that I could have smashed up my head instead. And that is something of a sobering thought.
I am still, however, unsure about wearing one. I am not sure how I will feel once I get back on a bike in a few months – whether the feeling of security will take time to return. I am also not sure if the next time I mount my bike I shall be wearing a helmet. I am not sure if it will make a difference in an accident, research suggests not in the kind of cycling environment I exist in but nevertheless I am giving it careful thought.
I am interested in your views – if you cycle here (or anywhere else for that matter) do you wear a cycle helmet?