It seems a contradiction. But according to some reading, The Netherlands, where just about everyone rides a bicycle, those injured in bicycle accidents are most likely to be those wearing helmets. Surely, when a Dutch head hits the ground it is equally painful? Is the head of a Dutch non helmet-wearer harder? Of course not. However, what the investigators found is that the few that do wear helmets in Holland (less than -.5%) it is because they ride mountain bikes or racing bikes. In other words they engage in some form of competitive bicycle riding, which normal bicycle riders don’t. In Holland the danger to bicycle riders is the motor car not the cycling. This is why both are separated as much as possible.
I am sorry for giving you this link. (Just be happy I did not publish the full text!) Here in Australia, the issue of bicycling is truly and well in the hands of sport and fashion. The fact the Government is even thinking of imposing identity on bicycle riders seems to indicate that riding bicycles is seen as dangerous enough in case of accidents. And, they are right. It is dangerous because riding bicycles is much more seen as a sport instead as a way to getting from A-B. The way the rider dresses up. Hours are spent to get into artery-tight lycra. I bet the sperm counts count are drastically lower in male bicycle riders, and I am not even a doctor. The shoes alone costs hundreds and have to be multi ribbed for speed and brightly coloured. If the fashion is not expensive enough, has anyone looked at the cost of those bicycles? You can spend thousands.
Most bicycles in Australia are also highly dangerous. They fall mainly in racing bicycles genre. They are supposed to be ridden with head lower than bum, facing the ground. How dangerous is that? They have very thin tyres. When those tyres are slightly underinflated it doesn’t take much for the steel rim to connect to the road and the inevitable tumble of the rider. Then, we have here, like in America a very aggressive car-riding population. They think nothing of tooting their horn making sure the bicycle rider understands it is the car drivers’ domain. There have been jailing of drivers who were shown to deliberately drive in to bicycle riders.
In Holland it is proven that the car driver is the one who ought to wear helmets. Far more people get head injuries driving cars than riding bicycles.
Here a copy from WWW. “Tree huggers.”
“It’s also Dutch policy not to encourage helmets because overall it is counterproductive; if you could somehow preserve the bicycle use we see today AND also wear helmets, yes, a few deaths would be avoided. But in practice you can’t promote helmets without discouraging cycling – where helmets have been made mandatory, cycling levels drop. That has a public health cost — lack of exercise is far more dangerous than biking without a helmet. The exact value of “far more dangerous” depends on the local risk of cycling – in England the estimate is that per cyclist the risk:reward ratio is about 1:10; here in the US (with our riskier roads) it is about 1:5, but in the Netherlands it is 1:25. That is, for each year of life lost to bicycle crashes in the Netherlands, 25 years are gained from better health because of the exercise.”
“You’re talking about the Netherlands, where helmet use is almost non-existent, bike use is very high, and yet it has the lowest cycling death and injury rate in the world.
If helmets really were effective, the USA would be the safest place to cycle, right?…
the Dutch don’t need bike helmets because cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity – it’s the road environment that is dangerous, and the Dutch have created a safe cycling environment.
The majority of head injuries are sustained by car occupants. Perhaps it is motor vehicle drivers and their passengers who should be wearing helmets?
Similarly, from dr2chase:
Because it doesn’t make sense — cycling there is 5 times safer than cycling here in the US. It would make more sense (that is, the risk is higher) to ask you why you don’t wear a helmet when you drive your car. To put it differently – your risk of head injury per trip or per hour is higher if you drive a car in the US, than if you ride a bike in the Netherlands.”