Data shows bike helmet popularity falling, while experts emphasise risks of going without

Cycle helmets are getting less love online these days, with search interest in bike helmets decreasing by almost half (44%) compared to last year, despite research showing the risks of going without. Search interest for bike helmets has now dropped 30% below pre-covid levels.

Adam Cross, Customer Care Manager at bicycle retailer Paul’s Cycles shares insights on the importance of helmets in cycling safety, and offers advice on how to check if your helmet is safe.

Cross says: “While it’s important to remember that cycle helmets don’t prevent collisions from happening, they play a crucial role in protecting cyclists from serious injuries. Helmets act as a safeguard by absorbing impact and reducing the risk of severe head trauma.”

“The decline in search interest regarding bike helmets could suggest that some people are unaware of or unconvinced by the safety benefits of wearing one.”

Wearing cycle helmets lowers the risk of severe brain injury, ICU requirement, neurosurgical intervention, and mortality, according to a study in the British Medical Journal.* As many as 97%** of cyclist fatalities are cyclists who weren’t wearing a helmet when a crash happened, US data reveals.

In the UK, there’s no law forcing you to wear a helmet while cycling, but choosing not to could have more than just safety implications. It might also affect your pocket, especially if you’re involved in an accident*** and hoping for compensation.

Some argue that making it mandatory would discourage people from cycling and that there are other more effective ways to improve cycling safety, such as improving infrastructure. However, when it comes to individual safety decisions about cycling, research studies like the one published in the British Medical Journal highlight the importance of helmets in ensuring one’s safety while cycling.

“The resistance against helmet usage frequently comes down to comfort and style concerns.” says Cross, “However, finding the perfect helmet is simply a matter of knowing what to look for. From the type of activity to the right size, selecting the ideal helmet is a tailored experience.

“Choosing a helmet doesn’t mean compromising on style for safety. Today’s market offers an array of options that combine both, proving that protective gear can also be a fashion statement.”

Knowing how to check if your helmet is safe is crucial. Here are some top tips from Cross:

  1. Look for a safety standards sticker inside the helmet, such as those set by the European Committee for Standardization (EN) or equivalent.
  2. Another sticker to look out for is the small yellow dot that identifies MIPS technology. This Multi-directional Impact Protection System reduces rotational forces during a crash.
  3. The replacement frequency of a helmet depends on its usage, materials, and overall construction.
  4. Some materials, like polystyrene, can degrade over time, so it is essential to know the components of your cycle helmet.
  5. It is generally recommended to replace your helmet every 3-5 years, even if you haven’t been in an accident.
  6. If your helmet has been in a crash or damaged in any way, it is crucial to replace it as it may not provide optimal protection.

Cross also provides advice on different types of cycling helmets, including road bikes, commuter bike helmets, and dirt bike helmets. Check out their full report** for more information.

Sources:
* https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/9/e027845
** https://helmets.org/stats.htm#:~:text=Bicycle%20lanes%20and%20helmets%20may%20reduce%20the%20risk%20of%20death
*** https://www.rwkgoodman.com/info-hub/parents-safety-warning-as-1-in-10-cyclist-casualties-under-the-age-of-16/
Full report: https://www.paulscycles.co.uk/blog/different-types-cycling-helmets/

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4262 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.