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Transport Blog
16 September 2006
"Cyclists who wear helmets are more likely to be hit..."Well, that's what the Telegraph says but it's not what the report says. The report says that drivers get closer to cyclists wearing helmets, which is not quite the same thing. What we really need is an analysis of accidents. What proportion of cyclists are wearing a helmet. What proportion of cycling fatalities were wearing a helmet. But it appears that we don't.

Having said that, I have long had doubts about the safety benefits of wearing a helmet. As with trains, it is far better to avoid the accident than attempt to survive it. A helmet is bound to a distraction. It had never occurred to me that it might have an effect on other road users.

Patrick Crozier • PermalinkFeedback (4)Cycling


  1. I’m very sceptical about ‘surveys’ and ‘reports.’ I find it very hard to believe that a driver would get closer to a cyclist because he/she is wearing a helmet. I just give cyclists a wide berth regardless.

    Posted by Paul Biggs on  17 September 2006 at 10:03 pm

  2. I wear helmet allways. IMHO it is better

    Posted by Jacques on  18 September 2006 at 05:10 pm

  3. This particular report was a proper scientific one, but not exactly rigorous: it was one professor on a bike.  But he had an infrared detector rigged to the bike and did actually measure the distances involved.  On the one hand, there just being one subject, there are all sorts of conceivable variations he’s failed to account for—type of bike, style of riding, rider’s clothes, etc.  On the other hand, there just being one subject, he’s done a pretty good job of ruling out all sorts of extraneous factors and concentrating on the helmet.

    Posted by Squander Two on  21 September 2006 at 12:45 am

  4. I realize it’s old news, but the whole article is absurd. BTW, the link in the article is dead, now it’s here:,-cyclists-warned.html

    Like Squander Two said, it’s one man, and this one man managed to ignore other factors. And he was hit twice?! Was he trying to prove a point that helmets are dangerous? And I guess that by now drivers got used to cyclists wearing helmets, and don’t consider them as more “experienced”.

    Always wear your helmets, people!

    Posted by BikeShake on  11 January 2009 at 01:20 am

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