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[personal profile] katherineh
For years and years I have cycled without a bicycle helmet. I'd looked at the stats and felt convinced that it is safer overall if everyone cycles without one (not including racing or mountain biking). In my new commute I'd noticed that the cars and vans pass really closely the nearer to my destination I get. Then I noticed that far more of the other cyclists have helmets on than at the beginning of my journey. The difference between people who work with computers and people who work in a hospital? I don't know but I felt increasingly unsafe and threatened so I went and bought a helmet. I don't mind wearing it, I mostly forget it's there so whatever. I think cars are now passing closer than before but maybe that's my own bias.

I feel like a traitor though. I feel like I'm contributing in a little way to the idea that cycling is dangerous and unsafe. That I need to protect myself rather than cars needing to take care.

Date: 2017-03-03 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nevboo.livejournal.com
I have a similar problem when horse riding, I don't mind wearing hiviz but when I don't I feel like I am not taking enough care that people can see me. They can, they just don't care and drivers don't take responsibility or realise there is a risk.

Date: 2017-03-18 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lsur.livejournal.com
I have never worn a helmet but am in two minds about it. For kids, fine, but the stats are not as clear as you'd think. Apparently something called 'risk compensation' comes into play. That means, we all have a level of perceived risk we can live with. Some people need more risk, others play it safe.
Whenever the perceived risk changes so does our behaviour to compensate. If you feel safer, you act more recklessly to make up for it.
In my experience cycling in Cambridge, I came across cyclists practically in full body armour who were a menace to all other road users. Not sporty cyclists either, just vicars' wives and, well, vicars.


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