Recent articles in the New York Times and the Fort Collins Coloradoan, including my response, discuss the idea that if we, as a nation, want to increase bicycle ridership, there are a number of cities giving up on encouraging riders to wear helmets. As a resident in one of the most bike-friendly towns and the Injury Prevention Coordinator for the University of Colorado Health – Northern Region, I believe ridership and safety are a win-win for everyone. We don’t have to give up one for the other.
Working for a Level II trauma center, we’ve seen our fair share of bicycle-related injuries resulting from someone not wearing a helmet. Lives are forever altered and hind sight is always 20-20. It’s true that helmets cannot guarantee invincibility, but they do provide an 88% chance of reducing a head injury. I’ll take those odds in my favor any day.