It is a common sight in cities and towns around the world to see cyclists wearing protective helmets while out on their bikes. After all, wearing a helmet while cycling can prove to be a life-saving action, should an accident occur. With this in mind, it is easy to conclude that it is better to wear a cycle helmet. However, is a helmet really necessary, and does it actually offer a great deal of protection?
First of all, it is worth noting that there is a good deal of debate among cyclists and safety advocates on which helmet is best and how much protection it really offers. Generally speaking, many experts will agree that a bike helmet should be worn in order to protect against serious head injuries. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, an estimated 58 per cent of head injuries suffered while cycling could have been prevented had the cyclist been wearing a helmet.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a helmet is a cycling essential. Many people feel that a helmet is an unnecessary restriction, and that it could even potentially increase the risk of injury, due to the false sense of security it might give the wearer. Others consider it to be an uncomfortable piece of equipment that impinges on the freedom of cycling.
The pros and cons of wearing a helmet while cycling really come down to personal opinion and circumstance. Though it is generally accepted to be a good idea to wear a helmet, it is not always required. In fact, in some countries, it is not even considered necessary. In the UK, where the wearing of a helmet is encouraged, it is only legally required for cyclists aged sixteen and over.
That said, cyclists should always weigh up the risks of going without a helmet and think about the environment they are riding in. If the roads are busy with cars, the potential for accidents is high and the risk of serious injury is increased. On the other hand, if the cyclist is riding in a quiet country lane with minimal risk, then it may be a good idea to choose to go without head protection.
Ultimately, it comes down to the individual to make the decision as to whether wearing a cycle helmet is better or not. Though there are no hard and fast rules, it is generally advocated that cyclists wear a helmet while out on the roads, as this could potentially save their life should the worst happen. In any case, it is always worth considering the various risks and options before making a decision.