Bike Helmets, should they be mandatory?

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Most people have fond memories of learning to ride a bike. They also probably remember their parents reminding them to wear a helmet. And that seems like good advice. Riding your bike can be dangerous, especially in traffic, and if you fall a helmet can protect you from serious head injury. But there is a debate going on about how necessary bike helmets really are.
To a lot of people this may be a surprise. How could someone argue against the benefits of helmets. One article shows that of 653 bike related deaths in 2008, only 8% were wearing helmets. This would suggest that a lot of deaths could be prevented by wearing helmets and they should be mandatory.
But the opposing side has a strong argument as well. Another article shows that less than 1% of head injury deaths each year in the US are bike related. Driving and even walking are more dangerous in this respect and no one is suggesting mandatory helmet laws for those activities.220px-Bicyclehelmet_da_060713.jpg
There is also the argument that mandatory helmet laws decrease the likelihood that a person will choose to ride their bike. This is of course a bad thing as cycling is both great exercise and good for the environment. An article looking at mandatory helmet laws in Australia showed almost a 30% drop in the number of cyclists after the law was passed.
Clearly it's a complicated issue and it will likely be some time before it's decided. For now the best thing to do, whether you're wearing a helmet or not, is to follow traffic laws and pay vigilant attention


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With the low availability of public transportation available in Minneapolis, I would disagree with implementing a law that would bring about unnecessary fines to a lot of commuters that just need to get from A to B. People know the risks, and obviously, if someone doesn't value their own health, then they shouldn't be punished for it by big government.

I agree that people should have the choice of whether or not to wear a helmet. As you mentioned in your article the danger level of bike riding is very low, however it is always better to be safe than sorry. I think it is more important that children wear their helmets as they are just learning so they are more likely to have a tough fall and they are less aware of the dangers of cars and other potential accident factors. However it seems that this responsibility of installing the habit of wearing a helmet falls on the parents and therefore a law is unnecessary.

I also think that the main group of people that need to wear helmets are children. We have all learned in previous chapters of our Psych book that our brains aren't fully developed until we are older. Since children are the ones who are just learning how to ride their bikes and are the ones who fall more often (hopefully), they need to be protected. I think adults should have the choice to wear a helmet or not. Most people aren't going to want to feel babied and like they're being forced to do something so miniscule.

I think that people should be able to decide whether or not they want to wear a helmet. One person not wearing a helmet is not going to affect other people they are only putting themselves in danger. I think that if making it mandatory to wear a helmet is going decrease the number of bikers it is not worth it. Since children are at the highest risk for falling of their bikes it should be mandatory for them until the age of about 12 and then it should be up to the biker himself or herself to decide this. Do you think science could determine until what age is it best to wear helmets

As many other people have stated it should be the individuals opinion to decide whether or not they should wear a helmet; however, I do believe it should be mandatory for children to wear helmets. As an adult you have better stability and are less likely to fall off your bike, which is the cause for head injuries. Helmets are a great way to save lives however it will just end up causing petitions if a law that requires someone to wear a helmet ever gets passed.

How do you think this connects to the things that we have been covering in class lately? What implications does it have?

I think wearing a helmet should be made a law. It's so dangerous riding with vehicles. A helmet can save your life. here are some stats. Also, when riding at night - I think it is necessary to have a front and back light. Here's some tips for riding at night with a bike light

I agree with the majority of the comments above, in that a person should be able to choose whether they wear a helmet when riding a bike. However, I believe that bike companies, helmet companies, and even health departments need to get the word out about the great advantages of wearing a helmet, and the risks one takes when they choose not to. This way, people are even more aware and informed, and more numbers would wear helmets! In addition, I do think that it is important for children to get into the habit of wearing a helmet when riding bikes. This needs to be the responsibility of the parents, whether it be through rules, or simply by example.

I also agree with most comments above. I think that it should be the persons decision whether or not to wear a helmet, when they are of age to make responsible, mature decisions. Therefore, I would say children should be required to wear helmets, it helps to teach them safety. I also would say though that if one is to be riding a bike on the actual road itself, not the sidewalk, then they should possibly be required to wear a helmet. These bikers, I have come to notice while being at the U, bike awfully close to the cars. That situation could be very dangerous and if a car did accidentally hit the biker, having a helmet on would help to prevent some injuries to an extent.

Even though wearing a helmet makes you much more safe, I believe that people have the right to choose to wear a helmet. It's a risk that people take and if they want to be stupid and not wear a helmet, they shouldn't need to.

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This page contains a single entry by wils1587 published on February 24, 2012 3:03 PM.

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