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A bicycle crash helmet is recommended whether obligatory or not

Helmet bicycle obligatory children

14/07/2015

What often happens is that when something becomes a legal requirement, there are always opposing views that can somtimes involve the majority being opposed to it. Making something an obligation is not always the best way to achieve the goal, which is to save lives by using a crash helmet.

With all the legal obligations that already exist and those in the pipeline, the law states that cyclists must wear a helmet in specific cases. Those under 16 years of age are obliged to always use this safety system when riding a bicycle, whether in an urban area or on open roads.

For those over 16 years of age a helmet is not obligatory while riding in an urban area but must be worn on open roads. There are few exceptions, these are: long uphill stretches of road, medical reasons or in extreme heat. The question is, when a helmet is not obligatory, what should we do? Use one or not?

The regulations don’t leave us in any doubt, but when deciding it comes down to common sense. It is true to say that pedestrians don’t need to wear a helmet (they can still fall and hurt their head), but cyclists are not pedestrians: they are in charge of a vehicle that can use the roads the same as a car, a motorbike or a wagon. Therefore as road users they are at risk of having a collision, as we can no doubt imagine.

In a collision or even a simple incident, a cyclist can lose their balance and fall over, with a high chance of hitting their head on the road surface, the curb or a car. The use of a helmet doesn’t guarantee they won’t injure themselves but it will reduce the probability of serious injury by a large margin.

The choice is a personal one and so depends on whether a person should decide to use one or not. Nobody else can decide for you but the pros and cons should be carefully considered. If we respect all the regulations and drive carefully, there is no reason for anything to happen. In the hypothetical case that something should go wrong, a helmet may make a difference in avoiding any injury. This is the main difference in whether you use a helmet or not: it might help to avoid any possible injury.

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