Where’s the Helmets for Motorists Campaign?

motoring-helmet-014“You have made a sound decision to purchase your Davies, Craig Motoring Helmet. Wear it and don’t feel self-conscious. Driving even for the most proficient is dangerous.”

Yes, someone used to manufacture helmets for motorists. (via Copenhagenize)


Perhaps not according to a recent study of head injuries in Arizona by the Arizona Department of Health Services. The study found the primary causes of death for closed head injuries were firearms (44%), motor vehicles (21%) and falling (20%).

The motor vehicle causes of death were further broken down as follows:

  • 38% pedestrians
  • 34% motorcyclists
  • 24% motor vehicle occupants
  • 4% bicyclists

Apparently we need helmets not only for motorists but pedestrians as well.

So what about the causes of non-fatal closed head injuries? Most of them (47%) are caused by motor vehicle collisions, which again breaks down as follows:

  • 67% motor vehicle occupants
  • 15% motorcyclists
  • 11% pedestrians
  • 4% bicyclists

Of course not all non-fatal bicycling-related closed head injuries were due to motor vehicle collisions. According to this study, only half were. Even still, if we double the bicycling numbers, far more motor vehicle occupants receive closed head injuries and far more die from them.

Given this data, why are helmets heavily promoted for bicyclists but not at all for motor vehicle occupants? Why do these helmet campaigns make cycling without a helmet sound unsafe yet we don’t expect motorists to wear them?

And just to be clear, this isn’t about being anti-helmet. This is more of a call to be realistic about cycling safety and against the continous message that cycling is unsafe and always requires a helmet.


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