TEDxCopenhagen – Mikael Colville-Andersen – Why We Shouldn’t Bike with a Helmet

TEDxCopenhagen – Mikael Colville-Andersen – Why We Shouldn’t Bike with a Helmet


Translator: Diana Khakimova
Reviewer: Capa Girl Thanks for calling me
a young man! It’s really cool to be here.
Being hanging out with TED — The good life.
Those three words probably mean a whole lot of different things
to a whole lot of different people. I have my own personal factors
for what the good life means to me and my family. One of those things is bicycles or rather people on bicycles. A symphony of human powered movement
across the cityscape. It’s a large part of what I do. Promoting urban cycling
in cities around the world. This is the age of lists, of measuring,
of ratings, and indexes. And it’s interesting to see
how we try to determine, where the good life
is being lived. Not long ago,
It was done with simple lists of world’s richest countries,
world’s poorest contries, richest cities,
poorest cities. Money was the key factor
in determining quality of life. Now, things are much different
as we all know. Now we have stuff like
the world’s happiest nation survey, which continues to baffle
and confuse the Danish people, year after year
by placing them number one. I still don’t get it. A lifestyle magazine Monocle has developed a world’s
most liveable cities index a few years ago,
using an interesting combination of statistical parameters
and personal taste. And this is the a — It’s not working. Gentelmen? — The list of the world top twenty —
(Laughter) Most liveable cities for 2010. Now, I’m completely biased
when I say that any liveable city’s worth its so
well-featured bicycles, great numbers of bicycles
on the urban landscape. And if you look at these citiest — You are looking at —
Now, there you go — It’s interesting to note
that 12 of these cities, including the top 8, all have
respectable levels of bicycle traffic, of citizen cyclists
on their bike lanes and streets. Most of the rest of the cities
are trying — they’re doing what they can to re-establish the bicycle as transport
as it used to be in cities and towns all around the world — I didn’t actually press that. But this really is a modern catchphrase
these “liveable cities.” It’s as though we’re trying to redefine
what our cities should be like and try to return to how they used to be
and in most cases — were meant to be. One thing’s for sure — Can you tell me where to point this? (Danish) One thing is certain the bicycle
is hot all over the world. The bicycle is back. Cities and towns around the planet
are trying to encourage people to choose the bicycle
as transport, and provide the infrastructure
necessary for them to do so. That was a teaser.
(Laughter) It really is a no-brainer. It really is the most obvious things to do, the bicycle is the most
potent medicine we possess, the most powerful tool,
the most effective tool in our toolbox for this rebuilding
of our liveable cities. There couldn’t possibly be anything standing
in the way of promoting urban cycling. Or could there? Damn!
There was. Welcome to the culture of fear. There are great many books and essays
written on the subject by people far more clever than I am. I can guarantee that. The German sociologist Ulrich Beck wrote,
about over 20 years ago, that once homosapience
are no longer hungry, they become afraid. Probably doesn’t mean that we’re all scared
shitless because you’ve just had lunch — But I did cut my finger
on the Sushi box, and I’ve heard about bacteria today,
so I’m a little bit worried. The Norwegian philosopher
Lars Svensen wrote that fear has become that feeling
that controls the public. The cultural fear
is many many things, but the most potent
example of the culture fear is this almost pornographic obsession
we’ve developed with safety equipment — Never before have we lived lives so safe
and so free of danger as we do right now
in the Western World. And yet the culture fear
has developed a kind of, I don’t know,
a bubble wrap society. I’m quite sure that the culture fear
can exist on its own, but it really is made
all powerful by the simple fact that if there is something
we can get people to be scared of, there’s a long line of people
waiting to make money off of it. Fear is lucrative. Fear is big business. One of the more odd, and perhaps,
more extreme examples is this. This is the thud guard helmet. thudguard.com I couldn’t’ve made this up
if I’d tried. This is an actual product
available online as we speak out of the UK. These are helmets
that children should wear, “should” according to the people,
of course, who are selling them, in the home — Sitting on their bums, playing in the living-room
or in the kitchen. I think their slogan is ‘learning
to walk in a world of hard surfaces’. They called all sorts of scientific facts —
(Laughter) For me this really is — the ultimate example
of the slippery slope that we’re on. Is this really where we wanna be headed
after 250 000 years of homosapiens? (Laughter) I don’t know.
Another example — Another example
is close to home. Apart from the Netherlands
Denmark is the safest country in the world in which to ride a bicycle.
Never before has it been so safe to do so
then it is right now. So for me it was a bit bizzard
to see this recent wave of bicycle helmet promotion
in this country. And when it started
I became sincerely curious. I knew nothing about it.
I decided to check out the facts for myself. This is what I was taught to do. To my surprise, it didn’t take me
very long to figure out that bicycle helmet doesn’t have a very impressive
track safety record, scientifically. Scientists, the scientific community
has been completely split, for years, on the subject. Fifty-fifty, down the middle.
If you look at it this way, if a bicycle helmet was
a vaccine or a medicine, there’s no way you’d be anyway close
to getting approved by Ministry of Health, there is simply not enough proof. Now, it’s been over two and a half years
researching this subject, and damn,
do I need a new hobby? I can tell you that right now. When you come from
a literally background this is, you know, reading scientific reports,
is not that much fun. But it is amazing,
the things you’ve found out. I mean, it’s an ocean of science
out there but, you know, there’re actually scientific studies
that show your risk of brain injury is higher when you are
in a helmet, and that you have 14% greater chance
of getting into an accident with a helmet on. These are not things
that we hear about too often so much for showing us
the big picture — The way that these helmets are tested — well, actually industrial design
of the helmets, first of all — My son helped me out with this. From an industrial design perspective these helmets are designed,
I found out, to protect the head from non-life threating impacts
in solo accidents under 20km/h. We can all hear that exludes
getting hit by the car, so please, don’t do that. Whether you’re wearing it or not. The way that they’re tested in
the laboratory is interesting. They’re tested only for impact
on the crown of the head. They’re not even tested
for impact on any of the sides. And, actually, the test
that they go through the laboratory, is nothing more than a simulation
of a pedestrian falling and hitting their head
on the sidewalk. So, I thought, ‘Wow’ —
It’s true — Well, you know, wouldn’t that really make
them great for, you know, pedestrians? I was surprised to find out that pedestrians
are at higher risk of head injury than people on bicycles do. You know, it’s my amazement
that Danish Road Safety Council doesn’t have any campaigns
for pedestrian helmets. I was shocked. So, I made one for them —
(Laughter) (Applause) The PDF is freely available for download,
at no cost for a tax payer — It works better in Danish, but it says,
“A walking helmet is a good helmet.” And, if it is a slippery slope
that we are on, then this is probably
a very good idea. But the thing about the culture fear,
is it doesn’t really worry about facts or science. They’re a nuisance.
They clatter up the ideology, and they can’t get away of making
a lot of good money, as well. So, I thought, you know,
hey, pedestrian helmets, ha-ha What about, hey, motorist helmets? Maybe motorists should wear helmets?
Wouldn’t that be funny? Boy, was I amazed when I found out that motorists’ helmets are actually
and all seriousness being invented — I could’ve even made this up — The Sweeds played with the idea,
of course, the Sweeds in the 1960s — But in the late 1980s the helmet,
the TOG, came on to the market, the company, sold and produced it,
said, ‘Enough is enough’. In 2001, the University of Adealide
and Monach University in Australia They did so after the Australian Government
study showed that that country could save up to $400 million a year
in reduced injury and death, reduced societal harm,
as it’s called, if everybody inside the cars
were wearing protective headgear even with seatbelts and airbags —
(Laughter) Does anybody here own one? Have you ever seen them on sale
at the supermarket? Have you ever been offered a free one
when you buy a car? No! God, that might be logical
or rational — Another teaser, sorry — I’ve discovered — well, I didn’t discover, but
the helmet industry is actually very interested in everybody buying their products,
you know, there’s no surprise there. I’ve discovered that one of the other main promoters
of helmets is the insurance industry. Even in this country.
Again, no-brainer as to why. What I did discover was that the automobile industry
is one of the main promoters of bicycle helmets. And why?
It’s simple. Really. The bicycle is a real and immediate threat
for the dominants of car culture in our cities. And the reason you’ve never been given
the opportunity to purchase these fine products is that the car industry won’t touch them.
They excel at marketing their products. And, you know, if — They know that it would be a catastrophy
for car sales if we start telling people, “You know what, driving a car is proven
to be statistically incredibly dangerous, and we removed that false sense of security
that people have about their cars.” If word got out
that 1.2 million people a year are killed in car accidents
all around the world. Over 40 000
in the United States alone. If you think about that, taht’s a world trade center
every month, year in and year out. But, no, no. People would stop buying cars,
driving them less, they might start taking public transport or,
hmm, God, forbid take bicycles in our cities. We can’t have that.
Of course not. If we apply a logic
to the culture of fear, which is not something
that happens very often, so, that might be
the first time ever — This is what we would be doing.
We would — Instead of telling the pedestrian and the cyclists,
‘Watch out and take care,’ instead of, like, the campaigns
like these recent ones from Denmark, of all places, placing the responsibility
on the vulnerable traffic users, we would be attacking
the problem at the root. We’d see simple campaigns
like this one. This is just one I made up,
and, you know, the sky’s the limit — (Laughter) Speaking directly to the motorists,
I’m a motorists as well. I mean I’m happy to say that, but, you know what,
after reading so much up on the subject, I drive less than I’ve ever had in my life.
I’ve been scared out of the car, really. Once you start looking
at the statistics and what not. But this would be,
speaking directly at the problem, we would see an idea
as a simple as this one: health warnings on cars —
(Laughter) We would see legislation
saying that 30% of the surface area, each side of the car has to include
the health warning, just like on packets of cigarettes. You know what the great thing is? Every single health warning
on a pack of cigarettes applies directly to car traffic. We don’t even have to write new texts,
we just copy – paste them. (Laughter) It’s true.
You know. Okay, I made one up at the top left,
but still — It’s true. This would have an amazing societal effect
if this idea saw the light of day. This would change behavior
in a flash, I can tell you. As it is now, all aroung the world,
we are, what I call, ignoring the bull
in society’s china shop, the elephant in the china shop,
as we say in Danish. Instead of trying to tame it, and sometimes it feels like
we’ve completely and utterly given up on trying to tame the distructive capabilities
of the automobile in our cities. Despite the oceans of science
to back up the idea, despite the whole catalogue of ideas
that there is out there to do so. Instead a war on bicycle is being waged.
It sounds dramatic, but it’s true — Cycling has become a bit of a bad brand
in Denmark over the past 3 years. For the first time in 125 years the public,
and not least, the press, and the newspaper above us here are,
some of our worst offenders — are focusing on the percieved negatives
about riding a bicycle. I mean, take 2008 as an example. This was a banner year for urban cycling
all around the world. Cycling levels were up everywhere
in almost every OECD country. Bicycle sales were up
across the board. All of these things
also in the Netherlands, which is really the only country
we compare ourselves to. It was also the first year of hardcore
bicycle helmet promotion in Denmark. Real emotional propaganda. The result in this country: bicycle sales fell 5%.
The only place where it happened! The number of cyclists being counted entering the city centre in Copenhagen
fell by over 10 000. Over 10 000 fewer cyclists in Copenhagen.
From 2007 to 2008. Those numbers haven’t recovered yet — We’ve seen in every country around the world
that this is the main problem with promoting bicycle helmets:
people stop cycling. In every region every country in the world
where helmets’ve been promoted and, even worse, legislated, if you really wanna
kill off the bicycles, legislate it, people are being scared away
from a very, you know, intelligent, life-extending sustainable zero carbon
blah-blah-blah transport form, by making it look like
it’s much more dangerous than it is. We’ve seen it across the board in Sweden,
in Australia, in America and so on. And now here in Denmark.
But not in most of the rest of Europe, because this is where Cycling Federations
fight against promotion and legislation. And, hey, I know these people,
they know their science as well. They wanna see more people gettig on
the bicycles instead of scaring people off. This is a campaign
from the European Cyclist Federation. What a world of difference — We cycle 30% less in this country
than we did in 1990. If we still cycle that extra 30%,
we could save 1500 lives a year. That’s a conservative estimate. Because the health benefits of cycling
of 20 times greater than any risk involved. We should be doing everything in our power
to promote the bicycle as transport, to market it positively,
to sell this product to the people — Historically, traditionally, knowledge and
by extension, rationality were handed down by, wise men, tribal leaders, later by scientists
or people connected to scientists. These days it seems like
the show is being run by, really, a very small group
of communication consultants on personal crusades projecting their
personal worries on to millions of other people. And, you know what,
if anything scares the hell out of me it’s that. But I am an optimist. This was a bit of Naomi Klienesque,
Bjorn Lomborgian approach to the subject, but I’ve figured, hey it’s a WikiLeaks week
in the Western World, so let’s just — So let’s just get it out there — But I am an optimist. I just think that rationality, liveable cities,
the humble bicycle as transport, if these aren’t ideas worth spreading
then I really don’t know what is. This is one of my favorite quotes
about the bicycles, also my favorite son helping me out here.
I only have one, so — “The steel horse fills a gap in modern life,
it is an answer not only to its needs, but also to its aspirations.
It’s quite certainly here to stay.” It was written in 1869.
History really is repeating itself. The bicycle is back, it never really went away,
but now the bicycle is back. And not only is it a powerful symbol
of transport possibilites in cities but it is also, if we want it to be a powerful symbol
of rationality, of the good life
and of liveable cities — So, I think we should just choose
to go a little bit retro, a little bit of common sense
back in to our societies, and I think we should let rationality
become the new black. Thank you very much. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “TEDxCopenhagen – Mikael Colville-Andersen – Why We Shouldn’t Bike with a Helmet

  1. Not very convincing. I personally started to wear helmets when I got myself a MTB (they can be too fast on difficult terrain to risk a crash without head protection) and I will never ride a bike without one again, even in town. Why? Because when you crash due to unexpected obstacles, you go head first and have no time to react with hands or anything. Also, there's nothing you can do to prepare yourself when you collide with a car. You either see nothing (car is behind) or you are too busy braking, and at the end you hit a hard road surface or a metal object with your head. My first helmet lasted over a decade, then within few months I had two big ones that ended with concussions. Third helmet now, and several years without any accident. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be so 'vocal' now if I didn't wear a helmet when I had those crashes.

  2. I wear a helmet but I object to compulsory helmets. It's a ridiculous idea that I should be required to wear a helmet to cycle to a shop, 100 metres away, on a quiet country road.

  3. wouldnt save your body in a car crash but for cycling on trails or just falling from a bike then it will help

  4. I used to bike to work in the UK. No helmet, but the reception id get at work for coming to work on a bike was not positive. my employer wouldn't provide any where to store my bike, and if i stored it in the small car park other staff used for their cars, they'd be disgusted my bike was taking up space that they felt was exclusively for vehicles. The UK has a pretty hateful attitude toward cyclists unfortunately. Verbal abuse when out on your bike is commonplace.

  5. This speech is not coherent. He keeps wandering about different subjects and I keep wondering what the point of this speech is? If he's trying to demote the use of helmet, he's not doing a very good job at it. I'm not even sure his entire speech is about against the use of helmet or just about bike riding in different countries in general? Because of the title of this video, I keep waiting and waiting for him to get to the point why we shouldn't wear a helmet. But I didn't get an answer. If he wants to demote the use of helmets, try and give us a couple reasons and specific examples to prove his theory rather than talking endlessly about other subjects. There's no argument support his theory except the fact that "the helmet is only tested on the top part of it and it's more useful for pedestrians". Is it? I guess everytime I walk out on the street I should wear a helmet now? This is ridiculous. If he's so insisted about not wearing a helmet, let's do a test just between me and him. We both will ride a bike at 20 Miles/hr, blind folded, then hit a brick wall at 20 miles/hr. Blind folded because just like in an accident, you don't know when you will get hit so you can't take your hands/arms and cover up your head just before you get hit. I will wear a helmet while he doesn't. Let's see who's gonna get hurt more, me or him.

  6. I had two bike accidents recently, one was last year and one this year. In both cases I was riding in nature, off-road and both times my speed was under 20 km/h. The first time I stopped where I shouldn't have, lost my balance and fell on my side.. slid down a steep slope for a few meters only to be stopped by a tree. The helmet took the blow instead of my head. I was able to get up, drag the bike back up with the help of a friend and continue the ride.

    The second time I stupidly fell on a downhill track while trying to stop. Went over the handlebars and broke two ribs but my head survived just fine thanks to the helmet. If I wasn't wearing it, I'd at least have a bruise to show for it.

    Just my two cents.

  7. so the whole "more likely to crash while wearing a helmet", being a mountain biker. having a full face helmet and having full pads all over my body makes me feel more confident which allows me skill to grow. 🙂

  8. I'm happy to say, 7 years later, that in France people are beginning to use the bike for everyday transport, in spite of helmets being heavily advertised. Personally, I don't wear one because in over forty years and a few accidents (which mostly happened long before anybody even thought about helmets for cycling) I've never even slightly bumped my head anywhere.

  9. The media has pushed a peculiar hate of cyclists by motorists and even pedestrians in the UK which prevents people from participating in this wonderful activity.

  10. I invite this guy to have a 10min ride at the streets of Brazil, or any other South-american country and he will definitely change his mind about helmets. Maybe in Europe riding a bike around is a 100% safe leisure for everyone, but Helmet is a must at the rest of the world…

  11. Also is proven that watching TED talkers while at home or at work in the event of a defective Airliner falling upon your rooftop is more dangerous that staying vigilantly beside your window lookin for the nexT Airbus or Boeing to hit your home or workplace…. IDIOCRACY REASONING IS HERE!!!!

  12. Great presentation. It's so tiring to hear others tell me what I should be doing without consideration to perhaps, in this case, I'm mitigating risk in other ways. Another angle could have been the cost of helmets and possibly status icon. The rich neighborhood here even the youngest kids have helmets while in the poor neighborhoods few people have helmets.

  13. Listening to this and seeing all of the other TED stuff in the right hand column leads me to the conclusion that there
    are too many TED talks. Go for a ride on your bicycle.

  14. Pedestrians wearing helmets would cut down on head injuries sustained from being hit by cars too, but you don't see laws enforcing that!

  15. Be wary of correlations….Science training 101…..Correlations do NOT mean causation….The people that had bike accidents may have been wearing helmets but what and where is the evidence that the safety helmet itself was the cause of the accidents?….Also, if buying a safety helmet puts someone off riding a bike, then i doubt they would be that into it anyway….More just the occasional neighbourhoold rider rather than anyone that would venture that far with it.

  16. Translated to Italian, "helmet" became "chance". I wonder why translating when it will only make everyone a lot more confused: both those who speak english and those who don't.

  17. As a mountain biker I wear a helmet every time I ride and always will, but would not support a mandatory helmet law here in the UK – we live in a nanny state world, but this is one that should be left to personal choice.

  18. could it be that cyclists who wear helmets are more likely to ride on the side of the road instead of on sidewalk have anything to do with the disproportional accidents on cyclists who wear helmets than who don't? Just my observation

  19. Great video and I would add that over here in the UK gas engineers working in domestic houses are given Bump Caps and that's adults not children. Can you believe that. What's also happened is that helmets have become a fashion accessory and your considered uncool by many if your not wearing the latest one.

  20. Why shouldn't wear a helmet?
    Because unless you suffer from Parkinsons disease, you should be able to stay on your bike without any effort.

  21. This guy is a public service disaster on Ted. Unlike European cities that have invested in separated bike lanes, bike only traffic zones, and other bike friendly measures, we in the USA most of the time ride in traffic, drivers on cell phones, on roads with poor shoulders and obstacles. truthfully, no matter where you ride, a helmet makes sense. It isn't about fear knucklehead, it's about cycling accident statistics and common sense.

  22. I know there are many programs out there that will distribute free helmets for the poor, but they are also readily available in most second hand stores for around $10-$15. But if your alright with brain damage, really no need to get one.

  23. I've commuted to/from work by bike for ten years reluctantly wearing a helmet. I've never fallen off until yesterday when I came off on a familiar bit road (spilt diesel I suspect) and I'm so glad I was wearing a helmet. The helmet shows compression marks, has split and has deep scratches where it impacted with the ground around the temple area of my head. I was still dazed and slightly concust even though I was wearing a helmet so without one I think I would be a lot worse. I'll be disposing of this one buying a new one at the next oportunity and continuing to wear one.

  24. Idk how people ride with that because since i learn ride the bike, i never feel confidence with something that reduce your field of vision.

  25. I was hit by a car while biking. 3 PM bright clear day. No helmet..result, huge gash on head,,broken pelvis blood everywhere, scared girlfriend to death ,had my first ambulance ride. Be careful as you can, things happen, that's why it's called an accident.

  26. I tried to add Hungarian translation to this video but YouTube says the community contribution is switched off at this video. If you could switch it on I (and I think many others) would give subtitle to this video on rare languages (like Hungarian).
    So, what now?

  27. I can't speak concerning bicycles, but I was riding a motorcycle not fast, hit a patch of sandy gravel going around a curve, fell and bashed my head hard on the curb.The helmet saved me from a cracked skull.

  28. As a lifetime cyclist, I have to disagree. And, do you know how fragile the brain is? Even as it bumps against the inside of the skull it can press into the brain tissue. It's not like a resilient sponge, it doesn't bounce back.

  29. Statistics can be made to 'prove' a lot of very 'strange' evidence. I personally don't believe you are safer without a helmet and because of that I never ride without one. Anybody got a link to the evidence this guy is claiming.

  30. If you're going to cycle on one of those flighty sport bike where you're practically hanging over the steering wheel then, yeah, you might want to wear a helmet because if you hit a twig or something you're going to be catapulted face-first into the asphalt.
    Reason why we don't have helmets here in the Netherlands (and other European countries) is because our bikes are heavier, sturdier, and we don't go zipping about at over 20kph. If you hit a curb or something on a Dutch bike you'll slip off your seat but you won't go over the bar because it's higher and actually works as a brace to stop your forward momentum, so you tend to end up falling sideways, which is much easier a fall to break with your hands/arms/knees.

  31. I had a cousin that got hit by a car while she was on her bike, dead because she hit her head, but who knows if the helmet could have saved her life, but if she knew she was going to get hit by that car that day do you think she would have put the helmet on?

  32. This guy makes Copenhagen his statistical ground. I have been commuting to and from Copenhagen and all the accidents that required ambulance carry aways (4 in a year) did NOT wear helmets – so either his statistics are plain wrong or …

  33. Collective irrationality/anxiety about the dangers of cycling can be calmed by referencing peer-reviewed studies: One study in the Czech Republic concluded that 4 out of 10 subjects would have survived had they wore a helmet.
    So: always a reason to wear one. Collective fear is a problem but can be re-rationalized in my opinion.

  34. Okay. But what about the MIPS helmet protection system? It's almost a natural reaction to me, but whenever I have the rarity of falling…or crashing, both my arms go over my head, regardless whether wearing a helmet or not. Point being…I'd much rather see cyclists with "High," visibility. Reflective vests. LED lights (very affordable for anyone), which prevent accidents.
    Too many not wearing helmets, get in accidents because of poor visibility. Wearing dark clothing and no lights with just a couple tiny reflectors, is not going to get you noticed by a truck driver at night.

  35. These morons are the same people who believe vaccination is bad for their children.
    I am a doctor in accident and trauuma department and i daily witness real life example where helmet saved the patient from undergoing a neurosurgery or even possible death.

  36. Was just in Amsterdam and saw SOOOO many people without helmets (and the majority were also looking at their phones while riding). Children held on a hard seat in front and one rider CARRYING THEIR BABY… I am still in shock

  37. I’ve had 2 bike accidents in the past 20 years and in both cases I’ve walked away with no head trauma only because I was wearing a helmet. In the past month I had to bury my friend, a father of 3 young kids who went to the corner store to buy his son a lollipop on a Sunday afternoon. Both would have walked away if they had been wearing helmets.
    You raised some interesting / humorous statistics and entertained the crowd but …but I would love to see you talk to my friends wife and explain to her why you think her husband made the right decision on that day not to wear a helmet…

  38. It's very sad, that myself attempted to join, several Bicycle membership Groups in Orlando, Florida & was refused to Join any of them ; without wearing a Absurd Safety Helmet…..! Too much Fear Mongering by those, who profit from the Sales of these Absurd Helmets…….I will continue to Bicycle Ride without these un-necessary Helmets

  39. I always wear a helmet, and good thing 2 weeks ago I had a spill riding my MTB and fell hard and banged my head off a limestone Rock on a mtb trail… without my helmet I surely would have suffered a head injury

  40. Please, some references in science literature will help us while debating with car drivers…
    I could not say: "I've heard it on a TED talk"

  41. Good old dramatic title there. I don't hear any good arguments for not wearing a bike helmet. But a few good arguments for not marketing bike helmets on fear. I guess the title would be more right in saying: "Why marketing bike helmets on fear is killing people" or something…

  42. I support your view and am also an optimist however here in Australia where it is legislated it is quite likely now impossible that it will ever be repealed. It’s undeniable that people cycle less when penalties exist for not wearing a helmet.

  43. This guy is a classic shyster/victimizer. He wants to see others screw themselves over. He does'nt look healthy either. I'll kick him in the head and see how he likes that.

  44. A lousy winter hat kept me from cracking my skull when I skidded on a frozen puddle and fell so you can be damn well sure that a helmet is going to protect your skull.

  45. why do i wear a bike helmet ?
    because i would wear a hat ,with a brim , anyway
    and a helmet dos not blow off easily
    plus it is better ventilated than a cap

  46. If you wear spandex, you should wear a helmet. If you use a bike as transport, government should provide safe infrastructure. You don't need a helmet on a safe road. A helmet prevents practical usage of a bike to go to school, shopping or work. Go to the Netherlands. Only sport cyclist use helmets. 99% of "normal" cyclist do not wear a helmet, bike usage is the highest in the world and the number of accident is the lowest. Mandatory helmets is an excuse not to invent in bicycle infrastructure.

  47. We're back? Where did we go? I've been obsessed with bicycles since I was a very young child, and I'm still obsessed at the age of 55.

  48. I did the i don't want to wear my Knee pads when i use to roller skate, and i end up falling on my R. knee for not listening. Now i have problems walking some times. Wear the damn helmet, and stop making infantile excuses for not wearing one.

  49. Reading the comment section, you will recognize that for most of the commentators, science is just one of many explanations. For me its the only one.

  50. My message to bicyclists who have all the gear, the expensive bikes, spandex pants, helmet, etc., is why do so many of you go flying right through stop signs? I see it all the time. I don't wear a helmet, don't wear fancy bike clothing, only have a 3-speed, $300 bike, and I obey the traffic laws, and stop at stop signs, etc. If you keep flying through stop signs, then yes, keep wearing your helmet. I once told a bicyclist, "Hey those stop signs are for you, too." I've been riding since I was 5yrs old and am now 55. You can do with out a helmet if you are a professional at being cautious. You must anticipate obstacles (simply go slow) and if you are in dense city traffic, then you must anticipate other people's stupidity and carelessness. I personally never put myself in thick traffic. I also have a vision problem so I have to go slow. My ears do most of the work. I will say that when I had a motorcycle, I had a helmet and it did save my life at that time. Do what you want. Be safe. Please stop at stop signs.

  51. I knocked my head once against a no parking sign while locking my bike and a few times while riding through a narrow entrance to a bike trail. And I'd rather mount my headlamp on my helmet than on my head. Those are the reason I wear a bike helmet.

  52. If you have ever fallen or crashed while riding a bicycle and hit your head on the concrete (I have, twice. I’m an avid road cyclist) you KNOW you should wear a helmet. One of my crashes was caused by my front tire blowing. This could happen to anyone. My helmet was cracked; my head was unharmed. WEAR A HELMET!

  53. Despite the inspiring talk, he did not answer the question why not to wear a helmet. I have fallen from my city bike a couple of times, if I did not wear a helmet I would not be writing this comment. No one can persuade me otherwise.

    There is a reason racing bikers wear helmets.

  54. I totally agree. I think they're a waste of time. Mind you, the health warning concerning the materials from which Bicycle helmets are made of.

  55. Ask your knees, palms and elbows how important a helmet is…I wear a helmet for traveling at 180mph on my motorcycle on public roads

  56. this man is the kind of person that would tell a ww1 soldier to not wear helmet cause the introduction of helmets lead to an increment of head injuries, wich is true if you don't consider that all the soldiers that now have head injuries previously were killed.

  57. yeah why not telling people to not wear seatbelts in cars, in the end stastically there's a very low chance you'll end up in a car crash. And they are unconfortable and they ruin your clothes.

  58. Even though I don't wear a helmet myself, from a scientific point of view this talk is heavily flawed. He claims to have spent 2.5 years researching the subject [6:05] and reading scientific reports [6:15] but does not provide a single citation supporting the strong claims he makes. I did a little bit of homework and checked out recent scientific publications on bike helmet effectiveness and found, to my surprise, that the claims made in this video are utterly wrong.

    A recent meta analysis study [Reference see below] from 2018 that includes 179 effect estimates from 55 studies from 1989–2017 concludes with: "Bicycle helmets have consistently been found to reduce head injury, specifically serious and fatal head injury. The results from different meta-analyses are remarkably consistent…".

    And yes, this video is old and new scientific studies have been made in the meanwhile but in the paper I cited, it is made clear that even the publications from 1989 to 2010 consistently found that helmets reduce head injury. So this can't be an excuse.

    In my opinion, this video should be removed to prevent spreading of misinformation — or — the claims he made should be supported by proper citation of scientific papers in the description of the video. But in its current shape, this video is just bad for everybody.

    [Reference]
    "Bicycle helmets – To wear or not to wear? A meta-analyses of the effects of bicycle helmets on injuries.", Høye, A. (2018), Institute of Transport Economics, Gaustadalleen 21, 0349, Oslo, Norway Accident Analysis & Prevention, 117, 85–97. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2018.03.026

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