Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Motoring Helmets Don’t Sell, So Why the Bike Helmet Hysteria?

The data are clear. People in motorized vehicles suffer far more head injuries then bicyclists. Find just a few of the charts available here. Over my many years of pushing back against overzealous bike helmet promotions, I’ve enjoyed suggestions by level-headed people that car occupants should wear helmets before any more bike helmet promotions or laws are allowed. That was always an amusing and soothing concept for me. But I had no idea that motoring helmets were ever actually manufactured.

This recent article in Forbes by Carlton Reid, a very level-headed author and bike advocate, reveals the stunning attempt by an entrepreneurial car parts manufacturer to sell motorists on the safety of wearing their helmet while in a motorized vehicle. Over three years, they sold a paltry 500 helmets. Carlton actually found one of those 500 and bought it on eBay.

Every selling point they made matches the points used by bike helmet pushers. And they had so much more evidence backing their claims. So why has our society worldwide, with rare exceptions like the Netherlands, bought into the bike helmet hysteria so blindly? My thought while reading the article was that the car industry was never silly enough to push motoring helmets. Come on, why would they make their product seem dangerous? Duh. But wait, the bike industry readily pushes bike helmets. Doh!

Carlton’s article is a great read for many other reasons beyond the motoring helmets. Enjoy. But really, someone actually made a motoring helmet? And it did not sell. That is a whole new data point for me. Thanks Carlton.