The Sober Truth About Bicycle Safety

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Before my planned post on the joys of cycling to end HIV and AIDS stigma, I have to pause for a safety PSA. The Sober Truth is that cycling is dangerous. 677 cyclists were killed in 2011 and 48,000 were injured. These stats remind me of recent events:

Nude cycling is hot, but wear a helmet!
(Image Credit.)
  • I fell twice and my helmet saved me from serious injury.
  • A fellow ALC rider’s brother crashed, requiring facial surgery.
  • A Tour of Palm Springs rider was killed by a truck when she ran a stop sign.

Evidence supports helmet use for cycling safety. (See my prior post on helmets for citation.) Yet resistance to the use of helmets remains high.

I see riders at all levels — racers on carbon, hipsters on fixies, grandmothers on cruisers — thinking they’re the bomb for riding with their hair blowing in the breeze. But at the risk of sounding authoritarian, I say that such riding is irresponsible. If you don’t mind the risk of injury or death, what about your loved ones?

I’m not alone. the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says:

All bicyclists should wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash.

(See the NHTSA document DOT HS 81 743.) Your helmet will probably save your life some day…and you won’t even know that you hit your head until you see the impact site on the helmet. (As the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute says: “Did you crash it? Replace!”)

Manitoba has this to say about helmets and safety:


Protect your nut and you’re more likely to survive.
Love,Your Bear

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