Thank you Rob Archer for pointing out that speed is the real culprit in injuries sustained from not wearing cycling helmets. Holland, like Florida, has wide cycling lanes, in some instances wider than our roads and the penalties for hitting a cyclist are severe, and always deemed as the motor vehicle’s fault. Our roads are far smaller and the motorist is king generally.
Obviously in Australia, where helmets are compulsory, there are fewer head injury deaths. There are now, as a result, fewer cyclists, but perhaps that is a good thing as the ones that do, are more responsible. You say Richard Branson who attributed wearing a helmet to not having a serious head injury was mistaken, but I prefer to listen to both him and his doctor, after all he was there, but of course did not prevent other injuries to his body. You are right we need to change the laws and build better roads like Holland and reduce motorised speeds, but in the meantime any protection we can take for the cyclist should be welcome. It is easier to wear a helmet in the short term, than change the whole of the road structure overnight and change the attitude of motorists and speeding laws. I do support lower town speed limits and I am all for lower speed limits in towns and training for both children and adults on cycles. I am in agreement with Mr Archer and glad to see he is a wearer of one himself. Usually, if you get other injuries from coming off a cycle, most times you can recover as in motorised accidents, given reasonable speeds.
The head trauma wards injuries as a result of cycling, as my surgeon friend said, could have been prevented by the simple wearing of a cycling helmet. He did add most of these were over short distances like a short visit to the shop when a helmet was thought not required.
Gerry Byrne, Snettisham