It is at first surprising to many people that the wearing of helmets by cyclists is a controversial subject. However, cycling safety is a much more complex issue than many people realise, where best evidence and real-world experience sometimes conflict with received opinion. Key considerations about risk when cycling, what influences cycling safety and the inter-relationships between safety interventions, cycle use, behaviour and health (both individual and public) are often poorly understood. In particular, opinions as to whether cycle helmets are an appropriate, proportionate or effective intervention are often dominated by emotion and expressed with exaggeration, which can make it difficult to know what to believe.
The Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation (BHRF) and cyclehelmets.org were established to provide a resource of best-available factual information and to challenge evidence and policies that do not stand up to scrutiny. BHRF is pro-cycling and pro-health and seeks to judge the evidence on its merits.
This overview is an attempt to distill the most important evidence and arguments about cycle helmets. Readers are invited to explore the cyclehelmets.org website for comprehensive information on the topics covered with in-depth technical analysis and references.
Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation: “Cycle helmets – an overview”.
Metafilter: “What is wrong with bicycle helmets?”
Résumé : le casque à vélo, c’est aussi utile que le casque pour le piéton.