Wearing a Bicycle Helmet Might Actually INCREASE Your Risk of Injury

Because I'm fond of pointing out counter-cultural perspectives -- the stay-at-home mom myth is one of them -- I think you'll enjoy reading about this study that found wearing a helmet while biking may increase a rider's risk of an injury.

Using a bicycle fitted with a computer and an ultrasonic distance detector, a male British researcher recorded data from some 2,500 speeding motorists while splitting his time riding with and without a helmet.

One could call it coincidence that the two times the researcher was struck (by a bus and truck), he was wearing a helmet. The really interesting and worrisome part of the research is that, without fail, drivers felt safer navigating around bikers wearing helmets. Instead, drivers reduced the distance between them and bicyclists, meaning less room to navigate. And bus and truck drivers were the worst offenders.

By the way, if you're a woman, your luck may be slightly better. When the male researcher donned a long wig while biking, drivers kept a wider distance.

Noble Intent September 11, 2006

EurekAlert September 11, 2006

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