Nothing does as much to protect a cyclist in an accident as a bike helmet. It can reduce the odds of head injuries, brain injuries and even death.
However, you often see cyclists braving the roads without this critical piece of equipment. Why do they do it? Here are a few of the main excuses they give:
- They do not like the way that the helmet looks.
- They don't like the way it feels while riding.
- They have heard that drivers pass closer to cyclists with helmets on, potentially increasing the odds of a crash.
- They still feel like they are in danger, with or without the helmet.
- They feel like they ride in a safe, controlled manner and there is no reason to have a helmet on.
- They feel like they cannot hear or see as well with one on.
- They want to feel like they are "part of nature" and the helmet takes away from that experience.
- They do not want to pay for an expensive helmet.
- They have crashed repeatedly before without hitting their head, so they think it won't happen in a future crash.
- They do not want to have "helmet hair," especially if they are commuting to work or to school.
Here's the problem: Not wearing a helmet means you don't have any protection when someone else makes a mistake. You can only control how you ride. You can't predict when drivers are going to cut you off or turn into you. Do you really trust all other drivers that much?
If you do get involved in an accident, make sure you know what legal rights you have to financial compensation.