The helmet could be mandatory for cyclists in New York

More and more people want to do their part taking care of our planet with small but very important actions, such as avoiding as much as possible the use of cars trying to stop the permanent contamination by CO2 emissions.

Each year the number of people who have dusted off their old bicycle or acquired one to move sustainably grows, but at the same time, the cases of cyclist deaths are also increasing.

Cyclist Deaths Cases in New York reach alarming levels

The media seem not to stop giving bad news regarding automobile accidents, some of the most popular cases have been:

A 52-year-old man has been the 19-case of car collisions fatalities in Brooklyn in 2019 to-date, mostly by vehicles when running a light.

This was a high-profile case because it was captured by a camera and that video went viral where it shows a gray car jumping a red light at a high speed, running over the man who did not even have time to react.

And the red numbers are still increasing, so the New York government began to think about actions, one of them called “Vision Zero”, an initiative to strengthen the presence of the police to reduce cases of traffic violations by motorists.

But when the question was asked about whether cyclists should take responsibility for their own safety, it was proposed that the use of helmets on cyclists who travel on the streets or roads along with cars and trucks became mandatory.

Undoubtedly a somewhat hurried and incomplete proposal that arises from the alarming figures of 6 months, which have already doubled since last year.

And due to the accelerated pace with which people are trying to have better habits for the benefit of the environment, unforeseen problems begin to arise that are fixed on the march, however, this debate should open and find definitive solutions.

Is wearing a helmet a viable remedy?

We all know that the helmet is essential to prevent accidents from falls, however, it is already proven they do not represent efficient protection for the type of accidents occurring in large cities such as New York.

The run-over by vehicles is the major cause of deaths in urban cyclists, where the helmet protects almost nothing because the impact is received in the rest of the body, in addition to the physical damage caused by the impulse that makes them get thrown in the air.

One of the most complete studies conducted in Seattle has shown that the helmet barely protected 10% of the damage from being run over, so making it mandatory does not represent any significant measure, instead, the government is asked to proceed with efficient actions and not symbolic, and wash their hands after.

What researchers and experts propose to reduce the number of deaths

Those who actively practice urban cycling have raised their voices by demonstrating against the mandatory helmet law, because it makes this activity somewhat less safe due to visibility blocking, but also mentioned another major disadvantage:

It would affect the “Citi Bike” program by putting obstacles to people to use bicycles as a more frequent means of transport, where they have now reached 43 million rides safely, which in addition to helping the environment, would decrease the rates of diseases from lack of activity.

They have also realized the protection a helmet can give in these cases is merely anecdotal, it is spoken of but rarely seen as a result, so the solution must be found in something that has been demand for a long time.

What has been proven that makes cycling activity much safer is investing in the infrastructure for exclusive bicycling, in addition to strengthening laws against speeding and other behaviors that can cause accidents to both cyclists and pedestrians.