Car industry talks bike helmets, silent on car helmets
Engineers at the University of Adelaide have designed a helmet-like headband. But the car industry has not shown any interest
Experience from Australia, France and Sweden shows that among car occupants who end up at the hospital, the head often has the worst injury. In Sweden, car occupants need more hospital days for head injury than any other road user group.
Engineers at the University of Adelaide have designed a helmet-like headband which would reduce the number of injuries by 44 %. For some reason the car industry has not picked this up. But they have started some campaigns for cyclists to wear helmets.
In The Netherlands, the safest country for bicycling, Volvo ran a campaign encouraging helmet use among children. They noted in a press release that 35 children die on Dutch roads every year, but neglected to mention that most of them were likely run over by a motorist. Volvia, Volvo's financing arm, has a blog about child safety. Apart from addressing what type of helmet is best for children, they assert that small children can't breathe on bicycles because of the strong headwind! Volvia hasn't seemed to notice that most cycling parents in Sweden have the child seat behind them, blocking the wind from the child.
The development of a protective headband for car occupants
VTI, Trafikskador 1998-2005 enligt patientstatistik
Cykla lugnt och säkert i sommar. Volvia – Barnsäkerhetsbloggen
Classic Race giver skolebørn tryghed - Danmarks Radio
CAA Bike Safety
Here's a little more about Scottish cycling organisation Spokes and their policies regarding helmet promotion. Perhaps something for other organisations to look into and emulate.
Helmets feedback & factsheet - Spokes
Spokes advertising policy
Car manufacturer Renault has this poster at a London school cycle shed telling children to wear helmets and reflective arm bands when cycling. Photo Tim Lennon @lucullus
Renault is giving out material on traffic safety to schools. In their press release they quote a happy teacher who says the children have learned to "not be a clown when crossing the street" and to wear a helmet when cycling or roller-skating.
12 millions de jeunes sensibilisés ā la sécurité routičre via le programme « Sécurité pour tous » - Renault
This article has now been translated into French:
L’industrie automobile se préoccupe plus du casque vélo que du casque pour automobiliste - Carfree.fr
Oil company Shell Nederland is sponsoring a bicycle helmet campaign for children in the Netherlands.
VVN en Shell starten ‘Helm op je Hoofd’-campagne
Isn't the car industry a wonderful world of conflicts of interests? Not only because of the reported research in, and development of, car helmets leading the car industry to invest in bike helmets rather than car helmets. This in itself is interesting to say the least. It gets a bit stranger still if you consider the research from the University of Bath, which seems to show that wearing helmets actually heightens the risk of cars passing by more closely - and therefore heightening the risk of accidents. For more information on this research, please start at:
Thanks for your comment Valérie. It all comes back to cars. A big helmet study says that 90% of cyclist deaths involve cars, and recommends cyclists should wear helmets. Says it all I think.
Helmets for preventing head and facial injuries in bicyclists. Cochrane Library
An interesting study from Norway shows that people cycle slower after they remove their helmets. People are not machines, so you can't just slap on protective equipment without considering the psychology.
Risk compensation and bicycle helmets.
Routine helmet users reported higher experienced risk and cycled slower when they did not wear their helmet in the experiment than when they did wear their helmet, although there was no corresponding change in heart rate variability.
Some more links on Shell giving away helmets at schools in The Netherlands, the worlds safest country for cycling.
VVN en Shell starten ‘Helm op je Hoofd’-campagne
Gratis fietshelm voor Zoetermeerse schoolkinderen. Fietsberaad
Helmet ads fit so well with car ads. This newspaper makes a lot of money from car ads, and sells bicycle helmets to anyone with their loyalty card. Göteborgs-Posten 23 august.
Volvo has developed a bicycle helmet with a car detector (so far it only detects Volvos). The helmet has a special blinking light that comes on when a car is detected nearby. Volvohjälm varnar Volvoförare för cyklister (som bär Volvohjälmen). Cyklistbloggen
The American Automobile Association says that cyclists should wear helmets, and notes that 60% of cyclists killed were not wearing a helmet. They omit that 100% of car drivers killed weren't either.
Why bike helmets are the last thing we should be worrying about. Treehugger
Newspaper editors: Don't be shy! Place your scaremongering helmet article next to a glowing review of the latest car. Front page of Dagens Nyheter, May 21st 2016.
The director of Motorförarnas helnykterhetsförbund (The Swedish Car Driver's Association of Teetolers) writes a letter to the editor of the newspaper Mitti, telling cyclists to wear helmets.
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