Why helmets?

Mandatory bicycle helmet laws: why? What kind of injuries are bicycle helmets supposed to reduce or stop?

A cursory web search delivers two types of web sites, those of people and orgs vehemently against bicycle helmets, and those moderately in favour. The ones against point out that bicycle helmets rarely every help, but since you cannot prove a negative, there is little other data they can point to. The burden of proof lies with the pro-helmet group, but those tend to stick to vague statements along the lines of “a bicycle helmet protects you in the case of crashes, but also in the case of falls.”

Neither type of website tries to explain what kind of injuries a bicyclist is likely to have, and how a helmet would help against these injuries, or fail to do so.

This lack of data unfortunately and pro-actively turns any discussion about bicycle helmets into one fuelled purely by myths and assumptions, and a political one to boot.

The only figures I could find were at the totally unrelated blog of Toby Sterling, who points out that most lethal bike accidents in Amsterdam in 2006 were the result of bicycles stopping in the blind spot of large trucks, even though blind spot mirrors have been obligatory since 2003.

Well, internets, have you useful links for me?

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