I am all for helmets being compulsory…here’s why.

I hear of a lot of talk about Bradley Wiggins calling for bicycle helmets to be compulsory. I agree with him. They should be compulsory..here is why:

Back in 2006 I had a bicycle accident where a van swerved into me. Won’t go into too much detail but basically it was the drivers fault, he lost control of his van and I was hit.

I suffered a few injuries including chipped vertebrae (and three of my vertebrae are compressed), broken hand, chipped teeth, damaged coccyx and the top part of my left arm seems to be permanently numb and just feels odd. I have mentioned my accident before on my blog, probably in connection with the return of my love of cycling. That was this year, six years after the day that kind of changed my life.

I ended up in hospital for a week and off work for over 15 weeks. I couldn’t even bath myself as I was in plaster for ages and couldn’t bend down! I had depression for years and still have it to a degree.

I was wearing a helmet, that was cracked in five plus places. It was a mess! What if that was just my head? I managed to break bones in that accident, I managed to break my teeth! It is something that I don’t really want to think about. I personally feel that that helmet saved me from developing a head injury and probably saved my life. OK I don’t know this for a fact but now I am back on my bike, I am wearing a helmet and my daughter wears one in her trailer too. I wouldn’t risk not wearing a helmet. It takes a few pounds to buy and a few seconds to put on. If anything happened to me now I have my daughter and I wasn’t wearing a helmet…if anything happened to her and she wasn’t wearing a helmet, now that is something I don’t want to ever ever think about. How guilty would I feel?

My life may of been a bit different now if I wasn’t wearing mine. All in all I have a good life. I still suffer with my back and coccyx but I can deal with that, especially knowing that it could of been a lot worse.

Edited to say: Apparently Bradley Wiggins said that it is due to legal reasons why people should wear helmets not due to safety. I do know for a fact that it certainly is easier legally if you wear a helmet. This post still stands and I personally think it should be compulsory mainly for safety reasons.

13 comments

  1. holliesmith40 says:

    What a hideous experience – but proof surely that wearing a helmet has GOT to be a better bet than not wearing one? Thanks Kelly, I think it’s a great post. x

  2. Kylie Hodges (@kykaree) says:

    My little boy is 3 and we got his first bike for his birthday. I asked his grandparents to buy him a helmet and they said “oh he won’t wear it”.

    No helmet no ride, that’s the rule. He has never been on his bike without his helmet, fortunately for us our local PCSO Dougie is always patrolling on his bike, with his helmet on, so Joseph knows its the right thing to do.

    I can’t believe the number of kids who ride around without a helmet, shocking.

    • kelly says:

      My daughter wears a helmet and she will be forced to wear a helmet. Although she will never know what happened to me, not until she is a lot older. I am going to make sure she chooses what she wants to do without the fear that I had when I first got back on my bike! She will however be taught the risks involved. Daddy can do that! 😉

  3. @SAHDandproud says:

    I know you commented on my post about this and your accident sounds terrible but, as you said, could’ve been so much worse.
    I think if we teach our little ones to wear them at the earliest age possible and to be sensible when cycling and not take risks then we’ll get a generation who are responsible road users, who’ll understand the environmental and health benefits to cycling, and one that will automatically reach for their helmets when they get on their bikes.

    • kelly says:

      It could of been a lot worse, I was very very lucky. I agree with you, start at a young age and hopefully they will have a life-time of safe cycling. I hope my daughter does! I am never going to pass on my fears and anxieties to her, hence me being back on my bike!

  4. paul doyle says:

    So often I see families riding out with their kids, none of which wearing helmets. I’ve actually seen adults wearing helmets leading the kids along on their bikes without helmets! whats that all about? Agree with Wiggo.. Compulsory as well as awareness courses in the same way you have to pass any other test to ride on the road.

    • kelly says:

      I have seen very similar as well. I agree with you about awareness courses. I would like to go on one of them, especially before my daughter reaches the age where she starts to ride a bike.

  5. helloitsgemma says:

    I agree. A friend saw someone come off a cycle. Their head hit the kerb, they weren’t wearing a helmet and died in front of her. It can be as easy as that.
    That said, I enjoy using the Boris Bikes in London and I’m not sure who feasible it would be provide helmets as well.
    Personally, I would like to see more respect for cyclists and better cycling facilities. I’d love to see more people cycling – as in Scandinavia. I’m often really shocked by car drivers careless attitude to cyclists and also the negative comments I hear from people about cyclists. They aren’t always perfect but so much better than cars.
    I think if we could improve our attitude cycling would be safer and an option for more people.
    helloitsgemma recently posted..What I did at the OlympicsMy Profile

    • kelly says:

      That must of been a horrible experience for your friend. The attitude towards cyclists is very mixed. I hear so many people say that they are for cycling and so many that are against. I agree with you about the Boris Bikes, the helmets would probably get damaged/stolen. Although maybe this needs to be addressed in some way. Maybe have locations, even offices that already exist near where these bikes are kept where you pay a refundable deposit for the helmets and get one from there?

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