Are helmets the answer? Helmets may be the most well known aspect of safe cycling, but some argue that wearing a bicycle helmet is only one step toward cycling safely and preventing injury in a bicycle accident.
Many argue that while helmets may help to prevent some injuries, they keep riders far less safe than a basic knowledge of bicycle and road safety would. After all, helmets can do nothing to prevent accidents. Helmets have become the easiest, most visible way to promote safe cycling, but that is just the beginning. Statistics also show that since helmets became widespread, the rates of head injury have been on the rise.
Granted, the spike in bicycle related casualties does not account for the much higher number of people who now cycle for transportation, often on busy city roads. Among those who cycle safely, experts agree that helmet usage can help prevent serious injury in an unavoidable accident. Helmets are clearly not the problem. What is reckless is assuming that a helmet is all a bicycle rider needs to be safe on the road. Hand signals, utilization of bicycle lanes and lights in poor visibility can all help prevent accidents.
Motorists should also be familiar with cycling laws and respect their shared rights to the road. Like driving, there is no one solution to keeping cyclists safe. It would be foolish and irresponsible to assume that seat belts alone keep drivers safe in their cars, just as it is shortsighted to equate bicycle cycle safety with a helmet. Helmets can make a huge difference for a cyclist injured by another’s negligence, but road safety can help prevent many common accidents.
Dudek Law Firm, APC – San Diego personal injury attorney