Helmet wars: Fact and Fiction
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Safekids News, Issue 20, p.2-3 (2003)
Keywords:helmets; children; cycle safety
"The latest skirmish in the 'helmet war' has just occurred in two eminent academic journals: British Medical Journal(1) and the Injury Prevention journal.(2) At the core of the debate is the opinion on one side that helmets are effective and thus should be worn, and that compulsory use through legislation is the best method of achieving use.(2, 3) The counter argument is that helmets are not that effective, compulsory use is an unnecessary imposition upon cyclists, and the focus upon cycle injuries deters people from seeing the positive aspects of cycling such as improved health through exercise.(4, 5) Both sides claim support from research and use rhetoric to buttress their arguments.
Before making my plea for a ceasefire, the following summarises the main points made by the protagonists: The text in italics summarises some of the more common and negative assertions about the efficacy of bicycle helmets, followed by my response." (John Wren)