Does the use of a bike helmet save human lives? Data and advices.

Through superficiality, exuberance and negligence of the drivers and often also of the cyclists themselves, deaths and accidents of cyclists are increasing, while the number of injured or deceased motorists decreases exponentially.

It is not uncommon to see drivers of motorized vehicles that violate regulations regarding distance and behavior to be maintained for the respect of those who ride bikes (both as an amateur and professionally) but, certainly, the data we find in the chart below give rise to some doubts ; do the security measures we use really help save our lives in the event of an accident or should we upgrade? From the graph it can be seen that apparently while road safety is increasing, measures to prevent possible injuries by cyclists decrease in effectiveness. At this point a fundamental distinction must be made between pro and amateurs as, on average, a professional “rides” at speeds above 50 km / h while an amateur remains almost always below 30 km / h. At lower speeds you can consider not wearing a helmet but you must always keep in mind that if you travel on roads open to traffic, the danger is imminent … while increasing speed makes it essential to use helmets that comply with European regulations and standards . In recent years there has in fact been an invasion of obsolete security devices and missing certifications, so it is possible that many cyclists, especially amateurs have opted for apparently beautiful, durable and cheap helmets but that do not actually play their main task is to protect the skull. In a world where bikes, cars and motorcycles live together on the same roads, it is inevitable to have conflicting opinions on safety, in fact according to the US National National Highway Transportation Safety Administration there is a correlation between helmet use and cycling deaths / accidents.

As can be seen from the graph, starting from the United States in which in some areas the use of the helmet is even mandatory, the deaths are greater and as you go down with the percentage of people wearing a helmet while riding a bike, almost the deaths per billion kilometers traveled are proportionally lower. This makes us think that rules that oblige the use of the helmet are even counter-productive.

What surely makes the difference is the prudence and the right assessment of the risks related to cycling both by the drivers of other vehicles and by the cyclists themselves, trying to choose routes with little traffic or even better closed to traffic (as we often do when we organize our guided tours), thus ensuring serenity and a positive experience.

On the other hand, however, according to the data we see in the graph below that separates the injuries to the limbs from the brain injury (unlike the above graphs in which all accidents were taken into account) we note that a greater use of the helmet is associated with a lower percentage of accidents involving the head:

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We can note the same thing by comparing the percentage of helmet use and purely celebratory injuries:

It could also be true that a helmet many times may not be enough to make us “immune” in critical cases as incidents with much heavier means but surely having the head protected properly during an impact or a fall can only have positive effects … certainly we will not be able to protect the whole body but before declaring that the helmet is obsolete we should think about it!

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