Cycle Helmets - Are they necessary?

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As with most safety orientated products, bicycle helmets have to pass certain standards prior to being allowed to be sold and Cycle helmets are only designed and tested to withstand an impact equivalent to an average weight rider travelling at a speed of 12 mph falling onto a stationary kerb shaped object from a height of 1 metre, which is equivalent of falling from your bike onto the road or the kerb edge.  Helmets are not tested nor expected to be able to offer full protection if you come into contact with a vehicle which is moving.

As there is currently no legislation in place in the UK making the wearing of cycle helmets compulsory, it becomes a matter of choice and there are both arguments for and against.  If you are in doubt, I would suggest visiting the two main sites which are The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute  and The Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation. If you decide that you should wear a helmet then for that helmet to be able to offer you any worthwhile protection it must be the correct size AND fit and you will find help with this here.

Julie Donovan
Senior Legal Executive - Personal Injury Team 

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