Why Do You not Wear a Bike Helmet?

4 year old boy wearing a yellow bike helmet and smiling

Someone please enlighten me. Is it so that your hair doesn’t get ruined? Are you too hot? It’s not cool? I honestly cannot wrap my head around (no pun intended) why people do not wear bike helmets. And I’m not talking a select few. Everyday I see many many people cycling around Toronto (of all places – it’s the worst for city for bikes) without helmets on their heads. What could possibly be more important than keeping your brain safe and potentially keeping yourself alive? bike helmet

Maybe it’s because I did some of my Occupational Therapy practical training in acute physical medicine and have seen what brain injury looks like. Or maybe because my parents refused (thanks mom & dad) to let us leave the house on a bike without a helmet growing up. Or maybe its because my dad (who is an avid but by no means a daredevil cyclist) has cracked numerous helmets, but you literally could not pay me to go for a ride without a bucket on my head.

Some Stats… bike helmet

I did a little reading about the stats of injuries caused by this and it’s mind blowing (again no pun intended.. ok maybe a bit). Of the 18,000 traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that occur in one year in Ontario, 15% of those are a result of a cycling accident. That’s 2700 people in Ontario alone! (BIST). When a mandatory helmet law was enforced in Victoria, Australia (helmet use went up from 31% to 75%) and there was a 51% decrease in the number of cyclist head injuries (Toronto Star).

light skinned man wearing a black bike helmet

If you know me, and you don’t wear a helmet, you’ve definitely had me preach at you. I feel like I usually am able to keep my judgey opinions to myself, except for this. Don’t vaccinate your kids? Whatever. I don’t agree with you, but I’m not going to inject my opinion into your life. But seriously, you can borrow my hair dryer and straightener when you get to my house and fix your hair… at least you’ll be alive to have hair to fix.

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