Thursday, March 19, 2009

Is cycling dangerous - or is that all media sensationalism?

Here's a link to a piece from a Washington, DC, alternative paper, as it appeared in the Denver, CO, Examiner. Read it and see if I'm not right in my synopsis: The more cyclists, the safer it appears to be for each one. Helmet wearing is good and promotes individual safety. If we lean on people to wear helmets and they resist by simply not riding, does the safety of all of us suffer?

1 comment:

Khal said...

The media sucks. Someone can drive drunk and run you down, or a text-messaging a-hole can rear end you, and what does the paper say: "the cyclist was not wearing a helmet". As if a helmet can stop a badly driven car.

Sure, a helmet is excellent protection against a brain injury and should be worn. But aside from launching yourself off a rock on a bit of singletrack, or hitting a slick bit of road, you shouldn't ever have to use it. Like seat belts and air bags, helmets are protection of the last resort when all else fails.

I think the problem a lot of us have with all this helmet rhetoric isn't with the helmet, which is good, but with the idea that no one will work for better traffic safety. We will just let the roads get less and less safe, let drivers become more and more incompetent, and hand the cyclist or motorcyclist a helmet and say "good luck, sucker; try to get home alive". Yeah, sure.