Bike Helmets: For and Against


Reasons why people should be required to wear bike helmets:

• Many bicyclists don’t understand the dangers associated with bicycle riding.
• According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 97% of bicyclists killed in 1997 reportedly weren’t wearing helmets.
• Many studies show that bicycle helmets can reduce head injuries by up to 95%.
• New helmets are more comfortable and offer more protection than older models. The prices have dropped dramatically.
• Use of bicycle helmets is 80-85% effective in lessening head and brain injuries.

Reasons why people should not be required to wear bike helmets:

• People should have the right to decide whether or not they want to wear a bike helmet for protection.
• A helmet seems to give a false sense of security to the cyclist who may ride less cautiously. As a result, riders wearing a helmet are more likely to have an accident.
• Bike helmets are uncomfortable and inconvenient. Bike helmets are an additional cost for bike riders.
• The number of cyclists killed annually due to head injury is less than 1% of the total number of head injury fatalities in the U.S.
• After helmet laws went into effect in Australia, bicycling was reduced by 38%. People chose not to ride bikes since they had to wear a helmet.