Sunday, 8 September 2013

Helmet survey - The responses

About a week or so ago, I posted a link to a simple helmet survey I knocked up.
This was in frustration at the simple yes/no leading crap which has being doing the rounds lately on newspaper websites, mainly as a response to a campaign and subsequent comments by Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, and Laura Trott.

I wanted to get a feel for the sort of person who wanted compulsory helmets, and what sort (if any) of riding they did and how long they had been cycling. It is important to note, that there is no deep academic or scientific basis for the questions or results other than my curiosity.

In the end I only got 90 responses, I was hoping for more but it's still more than a lot of the beauty product "surveys in TV ads.

I wanted to export and post the raw data, but it turns out that SurveyMonkey doesn't let you do that with the freebie, but does let you filter the results.

Question 1. 
I had hoped that more none cyclists would respond as they also have a valid viewpoint. I found it interesting that by far the largest proportion reported that their main style was commuting/transport.

Question 2.
Again, interesting that most responses were over 20+ years of experience, which surprised me as I expected a wider spread.

Question 3
Fairly even split for this one overall, with 52% wearing a helmet and 48% not.

Question 4

Expected this result, but not perhaps quite as high with 82% saying that a lid did not make them feel safer from traffic. From personal experience, I find that I suffer more close passes when wearing on and feel that this could be the source, as well as the fact that if a vehicle hits you at speed, then a helmet is not a lot of help.

Question 5
There you go. 95% of people who ride bikes don't think helmets should be compulsory. No surprise apart from the numbers. I expected a fair few more to be in favour actually.

There were only 4 in favour. 2 identified as fast recreational, and 2 as general leisure riders. All four answered that they wore a helmet (no surprise) and 50% feel safer with a lid & the other 50% don't.
All of those had been cycling less than 20 years & 1 less than 5, so presumably have always worn lids. 

60% of all the respondents who cycled for more than 20 years did not wear a helmet. almost 90% reckoned it didn't make them feel safe from traffic, and 100% were against compulsion.


  1. Funny how it's only cyclists that are getting asked about this. Cyclists shouldn't get a say. It's us poor drivers that are getting prosecuted every time a cyclist snuffs it under our wheels. It's drivers who should decide whether cyclists should wear helmets. Not cyclists. No one asked drivers when they banned drink driving or mobiles.
    Cyclists should be made to wear full face crash helmets like real bikers, They should be made to ride 1 foot from the kerb and they should have their speeds restricted to 7mph, that way they wouldn't be such a menace to lorry drivers who have to live with the burden of killing them.

    1. 1)Nope. As the legal system in this country clearly discriminates against cyclists, drivers are unlikely to receive any meaningful penalties for ending another human being's life.In fact they are more likely to get off scot free.

      2)So you equate laws that prevent drivers killing others through distraction/intoxication, with what is at best a personal safety device with a negligible record of preventing injuries. Go you...

      3) Riding that close to the kerb means that cyclists cannot easily avoid potholes, drains, broken glass and other hazards. All of which could easily lead to them falling into the path of passing traffic. We also need extra room so we can compensate for idiotic drivers.

      4) Do you really want to be stuck behind hundreds of cyclists doing 7mph? But sure we will, provided that the vehicles that cause the most damage (such as cars and HGVs) are bound to 5mph.

      5) And in other news, deer to have mandatory blindfolds to avoid disturbing the hunters who shoot them...

  2. Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong.

    Everything in your comment is wrong

    It was open to everyone. Not my fault you didnt see it
    It is drivers that hit & kill cyclists
    It is drivers that are responsible for around 70% of all collisions involving cyclists.
    Drink driving kills people. Any argument that hinges around whether drink driving should be banned fails full stop.
    Make car passengers wear full face crash helmets & flameproof overalls, like real racing drivers.

    Get back under your bridge you sad little man. Next time you come to play, spend 5 minutes on Google and produce some facts to back up your idiotic claims.

  3. hey this is great work :D I do Bike It for Sustrans in S.Tyneside so I have to wear a helmet for work, but just to be a good rolemodel :D

    1. no probs with people wearing helmets IF they want to ( I do sometimes). It's just the pushing for compulsion from the road safety and non-cycling brigades who think they are doing us a favour which I strongly object to

  4. oh man i just read that comment above... either he enjoys trolling, or yes the world really is broken.

    if you have to study for and practice to take 2 tests to gain a licence to use a machine, which requires annual servicing and expensive insurance to operate, while adhering to a book full of rules, I really think that should suggest that it is a privilege associated with huge responsibility and trust to use said machine.


    1. Oh he's definitely a troll! popped up on several blogs on the same day, and was almost as quickly blocked :-)