If there is one piece of safety equipment that every cyclist knows they need, it is probably a helmet. However, despite most people recognizing that helmets could protect them from injury and potentially save their lives, many cyclists choose to forgo wearing a helmet when cycling on public roads.
Unfortunately, statistics paint a pretty grim picture about the risks involved in not utilizing protective gear when out on your bike. Regardless of how many other cyclists you pass in the street without a helmet, choosing to go without one means taking on extra risk of injury whenever you ride.
What do we know about those who wear helmets?
Research shows that those who wear helmets are in the minority, regardless of age. Only 42% of children wear helmets when they go out on their bikes, and the adults aren’t helping to set a good example. Just 29% of adult cyclists wear a helmet while riding. Cyclists without helmets are more likely than those with helmets to die or require hospitalization after a crash with a motor vehicle.
Researchers found that men are far more likely than women to go out on a bicycle without a helmet. They also found that race played a role in protective gear use, with white and Asian/Pacific Islander cyclists more frequently reporting helmet use than black or Latino cyclists.
Why don’t all cyclists wear helmets?
People may have different reasons for not wanting to wear a helmet. Some think they only need helmets for long rides or rides on roads with higher speed limits. Some people dislike how they feel or how they look.
Given that California state law does not require that adult cyclists wear helmets, some people feel like riding without one is a way to assert their freedom.
Committing to always wearing a helmet when you ride will keep you safer. It will also help set a good example for your children and any other children who see you out on the Los Angeles roads. Wearing the right protective gear and following traffic laws can help you avoid getting seriously hurt in a bicycle crash with a car.