This article was published in 2003, in Newsletter 49.


It is a few months since the Newsletter had a letter about helmets.

My recent experience is this: I took a corner, not that fast, on a damp road, and my bike slid away from under me. (I think I hit a man-hole cover which had been worn smooth and then polished by the traffic.)

Gravity, as usual, won. I hit the road, cracked my pelvis and cracked the helmet. That last point tells you all I want to say (my wife tells me that I am becoming a bore about helmets, but I don’t care!). This reference http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/308/6943/1537 (BMJ 1994;308:1537-1540) has already been quoted in the Newsletter, but if you missed it, have a look.

Guy Pooley

Of course a helmet can prevent certain kinds of injury in a low-speed crash. Nor does the Campaign discourage anyone from wearing a helmet. The problem most cycle campaigners have with helmets is the way they are promoted, leading ultimately to compulsion. Compulsion is known to reduce numbers cycling significantly, and this is more serious in terms of loss of health benefits than the savings in casualties – Editor.