CHOICE membership

Bicycle Helmets


20 years ago (pre-law), I would have expected that insurers would have treated helmet and non-helmet wearers equally. Today is possibly different as the question will always be asked if one could prove whether wearing a helmet would have prevented the injury. Insurers I also expect would take the view of yes, unless it could be proven otherwise. There would always be doubt and maybe be difficult to prove a helmet would not have reduced or eliminated a head injury.

If insurers chose to treated non-helmet wearers and helmet wearers equally should the law change, I expect that we will all pay for the risk through higher premiums.

The only solution for not increasing premiums for all, would be for the non-helmet wearer to accept the risk and liability of ones actions. This is unlikely to ever occur in the world we currently live as (legally) one seems to be able to reduce or avoid responsibility for ones own actions.


This gets down to how deeply Libertarian we choose to be.

Are we rugged individualists, entitled to do as we please (as long as we don’t harm others)? Are we social investments, with responsibilities to take due care of ourselves?


I am not a cyclist and cannot say much about the safety issues of cycling or comfort and freedom of movement for that matter. But I do want to have a say about the logic of this idea of an age cutoff.

This seems aimed more the questions of legal responsibility than inherent danger and more about choosing a compromise instead taking a hard decision. My reasoning is that if there is sufficient risk to make a helmet useful when you are 12 or 16 how does that risk suddenly evaporate when you turn 18? We have a parallel situation with car seat belts. Under 18 the parents are responsible for securing the children but over 18 legal adults must secure themselves. Why apply different logic to bikes?

There is a second issue with exempting adults and that is setting an example for minors. If doing away with the helmet is the grown up thing to do you can see all the boundary-testing teenagers wanting to do the same because they want to be seen as grown up and if it is safe for their daddy it must be safe for them too. Parents who have to say do as I say not as I do are on a losing bet. Giving the excuse that it’s the law is just bringing the law into disrepute to add icing on the cake.

I see no logic in this double standard. If it is a matter of safety and if authorities deem they are justified in infringing on personal freedom by enforcing helmets then they must do so for all. If they decide to the contrary, then they make that decision for all too.


There’s much denial, but:

The University of NSW study presented to an injury prevention conference in Finland this week showed helmets reduced fatal head injuries by about 65 per cent.


I recall watching a TV program many years ago about US residents refusing to wear seat belts.

Ralph Nader referred to the protesters as exercising their constitutional right to die on the roads.

Now we are seeing the same lunatic thinking with persons not wanting to wear bike helmets.


Whether it becomes optional or not, I’ll continue to wear a helmet. I bought a MIPS type helmet (Bell brand) a few months ago after reading up on them after @stormy posted a link in March
Lots of manufacturers now make them.

Not only does a helmet offer some protection in a crash, the visor shades the eyes and the foam offers some protection against flying rocks from cars speeding past on dirt roads, which happens to me a lot… according to Strava I’ve done about 14700km distance and 155km climbing so far this year, mostly on our crappy local dirt roads, so I get a lot of flying rocks (and thick clouds of dust)
:mountain_biking_man: :mountain_biking_man: :mountain_biking_man: