Do helmets really protect racing cyclists?

Most sport cyclists wear a helmet as it is “obvious” it protects.  Does it?

Since mandatory helmets, deaths of professional cyclists while racing have doubled:

“The helmet rule for professional cyclists was brought by the UCI in 2003 following the death of Andrei Kivlev during the Paris-Nice race.

Since then deaths of professional cyclists while racing have doubled, so where is the protection that helmets are supposed to give a rider?

It seems to me that there is too much emphasis on the part of manufacturers in designing something that looks cool rather than do what it is supposed to do, and that is protect a rider in the event he or she should hit their head.”

Dr Carwyn Hooper from St George’s University in London reports:

“Looking at evidence, it does not matter if people are wearing a helmet or not, any serious accident on a bike is likely to kill them,”

Polystyrene helmets are designed to mitigate falls below 20 km/h. Professional cyclists travel at speeds of 40 to 50 km/h, increasing to 80 km/h in downhill sections.

Why is it deemed essential that racing cyclists wear devices that are not designed to protect them? The Union Cycliste Internationale, the sport’s ruling body, first tried to impose helmets in 1991, but failed. It finally imposed them in 2003, using a tragic accident as an excuse. This opened up a new stream of sponsorship income for professional cycling.

Bicycle helmets:

  1. increase the risk of accidents
  2. increase the risk of neck injury
  3. increase the risk of brain injury

Does the protection compensates for these risks?

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