Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why do you wear a helmet?

Sometimes I wonder: why I even wear a helmet? I used to wear it every time I went mountain biking with my brother but at that time it seemed logical. We rode on narrow trials, uneven surfaces, slippery, wet, muddy or loose. There was a high chance of falling off the bike in such conditions and it happened occasionally. In fact, I am certain that in one situation the helmet saved my brother's life.

Bicycle helmet - not much protection against heavy vehicles. (Source: unknown)

But why would I wear a helmet in the city? I still do it even though I can't find many logical arguments to wear it:
  • my head sweats more in a helmet, no matter how well-ventilated it would be,
  • it offers protection against those low speed falls, none of which are very likely to happen when I ride on a hard, smooth, dry, paved road,
  • it offers virtually no protection against fast-moving cars - if hit by a car, my chances for survival are low no matter if I wear a helmet or not.
The only positive sides of wearing a helmet I could find, are:
  • it is white, so it stands out better in traffic making me more visible,
  • in winter it keeps my head warmer,
  • it gives me a psychological boost making me feel "protected".
Perhaps the last line answers my question. Still, sometimes I wonder if it is that beneficial (in the city). Fortunately, I can decide on my own as there is no law that would force me to wear it.

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