As a life-long cyclist and a bicycle attorney, I am constantly amazed by the number of people I still see riding around without helmets. The most common offenders in my personal experience are kids and casual cyclists. Setting aside for a moment the fact that New Jersey (and most other states) REQUIRE helmet usage by anyone under the age of 17, using a helmet is just good common sense.
Need some help thinking about why? Here are a few short hypotheticals and practical advice I found in a recent article in the Vancouver Sun which should help you reach the right answer:
1. ” You are on your way home . . . down a hill on a bike path, when you lose control and find yourself flying over the handlebars. Do you think it would be better to be: a) wearing a bicycle helmet; or b) sporting your well-worn baseball cap?
2. “Your seven-year-old son asks why he’s wearing a helmet and you are not as the two of you set out. Do you say: a) your head is harder than his; b) lecture him about the evils of the nanny state and tell him to take his off too; or c) sheepishly realize it might be better to set a good example.”
Of course, as the Sun article’s author noted, “there is ample evidence to prove that bicycle helmets offer effective protection from head injuries” in crashes, and “buying and wearing bicycle helmets is a small [price to pay for the safety and security they provide]”.
THE POINT: BE SAFE. WEAR A HELMET!