There’s a strange social stigma attached to wearing helmets, as though there is something undesirable about wanting to protect your brain. From a young age, those who enjoy biking experience peer pressure to ditch their helmet when riding. This can lead to a refusal to wear a helmet as an adult. Doing so, however, puts you at an unnecessary amount of risk for a severe or even fatal injury in the event of a crash with a motor vehicle.
Wearing a helmet decreases the chance of a head injury by 50 percent and the potential for an injury to your face, head or neck by 33 percent. A substantial number of the cyclists who die in car/bicycle crashes each year were not wearing helmets. Investing in a good helmet is the responsible thing to do, as it protects your head, your life and your loved ones from the fallout of a potential crash.
Injuries to your head can completely change your life
Although many cyclists who experience a crash with a car without a helmet die, others survive with severe or catastrophic injuries. While no single piece of safety equipment can prevent all potential injuries, a helmet does offer the protection of reduced risk for a head injury. Head injuries are particularly worrisome because of how critical the physical integrity of your brain is.
Your brain controls everything about you, from your mood and overall personality to your ability to use your limbs and remember things. Trauma to your head can result in damage to or swelling in your brain, which can have devastating and unpredictable results. Traumatic brain injuries can impact your ability to walk, speak clearly, perform your job or even maintain healthy relationships.
Helmet use shows you are a responsible biker
Many people in vehicles find cyclists and bike messengers annoying. Sometimes, that attitude can also impact law enforcement. Police officers may have a negative opinion of cyclists, leaving those who bike on public roads at risk of being mistreated by police or wrongfully blamed for a crash they didn’t cause. Maintaining a polite demeanor when interacting with police can help, but so can wearing a helmet.
Having a helmet on when you’re in a crash can protect your body. It can also guard against preconceptions about irresponsible cyclists. Wearing a helmet shows that you take safety seriously and understand the risks of the road. This can help establish to law enforcement that you are responsible and don’t do dangerous things like turn in front of cars suddenly or swerve around vehicles without staying in a lane.