Bicycles Helmets? A Waste of Money?

Here’s a silly study. It purports to measure the effectiveness of bicycle helmets by looking at the  (minimal) changes in fatality rates since cyclists began using them in droves in the 1990s.  The Big Missing in the data is the reduction in the number of serious head injuries resulting from increased helmet usage.  Deaths are tragic to loved ones.  Head injuries are ruinously costly to families and societies.

This is the first concise summary I found on the effectiveness of helmets in reducing head injuries. The meta-analysis concluded that  “helmets provide a 63 to 88% reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists.”

The data in the silly study are apparently culled from a 2010Transport Canada study. The article is festooned with Canadian Maple Leafs, suggesting Government of Canada sanction, but it was prepared by a cyclist-rights guy in Ottawa, Ontario.  His organization‘s stated objective has been to oppose “various politicians, bureaucrats, safety lobbyists, and misguided members of certain cycling organizations who would have cyclists ghettoized into bike lanes and onto bike paths, and slap foam hats on everyone’s head” The organization is defunct but the website lives on.


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