Why is it so important to wear a cycle helmet?
It is not hard to imagine how much it hurts to hit your head on the road. If you fall off your bike at full speed, there is also a high risk that you will suffer severe brain injury when you hit the ground head first. However, you can reduce the risks. The solution is a cycle helmet.
Severe cranial trauma and rotational force against the head. Yes, it is just as horrible as it sounds. Rotational force is when you fall off your bike and land obliquely on the street rather than straight on your head. Cyclists without cycle helmets are a high-risk group for this type of injury. And yet many adults do not wear a cycle helmet as often as they should. Are you one of them? We have put together some facts and arguments about why a cycle helmet should be worn by everyone.
This is what you risk
The most common injuries to the head in a cycling accident are to the temple or back of the head. In the worst case scenario, very strong force to the head may cause death. If you survive but suffer a serious injury, it may have major consequences for the rest of your life. Even mild head injuries may lead to lifelong problems such as tiredness, chronic pain and cognitive difficulties.
‘Cyclists are the biggest group that are seriously injured in traffic.’
The statistics speak for themselves
The organisation NTF (the National Society for Road Safety) works to improve road safety in Sweden. In its work to make cycling safer, it compiles statistics for injuries in connection with accidents:
- Cyclists are the biggest group that are seriously injured in traffic. Of 4,200 people with serious injuries in 2018, around 2,000 were cyclists.
- 80% of those injured seriously are injured without the involvement of another road user.
- When an accident leads to death, head injuries are the most common cause.
There is therefore every reason to consider wearing a cycle helmet. Even if the number of those with serious injuries is relatively small, in relation to the numbers of people actually cycling every day in Sweden, you do not want to be one of those unlucky enough to be injured. It is simply not worth the risk of not wearing a cycle helmet and you would regret it if you had an accident.
Cycle helmets help
According to NTF, a cycle helmet reduces the risk of head injuries by half. Two thirds of serious head injuries could be avoided and the number of people with very serious injuries would fall by 25% if everyone wore a cycle helmet. The insurance company Folksam, which regularly tests various cycle helmets on the Swedish market, writes in its 2020 report that, in half of accidents with a fatal outcome, the cyclist would have survived if they had worn a helmet.
Cycle helmets are law for children
Since 2005, it has been the law in Sweden for children under 15 to wear a cycle helmet when cycling. Most people think it is a good law. Which makes it a bit of a mystery why many adults don’t do the same thing voluntarily. After all, the law is based on facts and statistics on the excellent ability of cycle helmets to reduce cranial trauma, which should also apply to adult heads, shouldn’t it?
‘Common sense dictates that you should protect your head in traffic.’
So let common sense be your guide
Common sense dictates that you should protect your head in traffic. But only around 40% of adult cyclists currently wear a helmet. Everyone who does not wear one no doubt has their own reasons and at Hövding we are working diligently to overcome these obstacles. Our entire journey of innovation began with a survey in which cyclists expressed a desire for an ‘invisible’ cycle helmet. If one existed, they would be happy to use it, they said. We now have the third generation of Hövding. It is perhaps not entirely invisible, but it provides world-beating protection in cycling accidents, and this is our contribution to reducing injuries and improving the statistics.
READ MORE: Hövding – Airbag for urban cyclists