Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Helmets Cause Auto Drivers to Hit Cyclists?

I want to be the first blogger to link to this one:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/5334208.stm

A study showed a cyclist wearing a helmet is more likely to get knocked off the bike by a passing motorist than a non-helmeted cyclist.

This is very interesting. I need to digest this and gather my thoughts before I make a comment.

5 comments:

Jim said...

The helmet says: "I'm an experienced cyclist, accustomed to riding in close proximity to moving cars. You can trust me to behave predictably. You don't have to worry about me."

The lack of helmet says: "I am a rank amateur, I could veer sharply to the left at any second. You'd best give me a lot of room."

rigtenzin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rigtenzin said...

Here's what I'm really thinking when I hear about studies like this one: what's in it for me?

What information from this report can help me be safer?

I can't answer this, because I think the differences between drivers in England and the U.S. might be too different.

I've never driven a car in England. When I've traveled there, I've noticed how narrow the streets are. People I know who have driven in both places (England and the U.S.) say U.S. drivers are spoiled. We feel we need lots of room on both sides of our cars. In England, they don't have that luxury. So they may be more accustomed to passing closely to obstacles like oncoming cars, parked cars, and bicyclists.

Sophzilla said...

If you're in a really bad mood, and feel like picking off a bicyclist, I for one would hit the person in wearing the helmet. They'll fare better. I don't want to kill anyone. I'm not crazy.

Anonymous said...

I heard this one while driving through Omaha. I was curious how big the study was. It makes sense that people would see the helmet as a visual cue. But at least from what they said in the radio interview, they didn't convince me that the closeness was due to assuming it was an experienced cyclist. I thought they may be assuming that it's safer to get close because the helmet will protect the cyclist. Not true at all but I could see that being some of the causation.

My own first hand experience is that the more I hug the curb when cycling, the more people are willing to squeeze by me even when it means they're partially in the lane of oncoming traffic and at that with oncoming traffic. I'd love to see somone study that too.

Blog Archive