25 March 2014

Do Helmets Attract Cars?

I'll be the first to admit that my skills at scientific reasoning and statistical analysis aren't the best.  Still, I had to wonder when I came across a study claiming that bicycle helmets attract cars.

All right, that last statement is an exaggeration.  What the study really concluded is that drivers give less room to cyclists wearing helmets than to bare-pated ones, or those wearing other kinds of headgear.

That same study also implied that whatever protection a helmet affords is cancelled out by the narrower berths drivers give to helmeted cyclists and an alleged tendency of cyclists to take more risks when they have armor on their domes.

It leads me to wonder whether some study concluded that wearing seat belts encourages drivers to speed, take tight turns or even drive after drinking.  After all, wouldn't a seat belt lull a driver into a false sense of safety?

Wouldn't it also cause trucks to pull closer, or for planes to fly lower over the driver who wears one?

1 comment:

  1. Helmets attract cars -- the concept implies that drivers can subconsciously reason that it is OK to drive closer to a helmeted cyclist.
    Fairly certain that is seriously over estimating their reasoning abilities and their level of malice to another human being :)
    The catch cry is usually "Sorry mate, I didn't see you!" Known as SMIDSY here in Oz. Car drivers just don't see you, whether on a bike, helmeted or simply walking.