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Cycle helmets can prevent or reduce injury – but what is the legal position?
August 8, 2018


There has been a re-emergence of the debate around whether cycling helmets should be made compulsory although the approach varies from country to country.

In the UK, you are not required to wear a cycling helmet, but it is highly recommended. There are some who say that wearing a helmet makes cyclists less risk aware and puts them at greater risk. The issue is hotly debated amongst cyclists and arises all the time in cases involving cycling accidents where helmets were not worn and more so where it resulted in an individual suffering a head injury which can have catastrophic effects.

A major study of the effects of using cycling helmets concluded that the use of helmets can reduce the risks of a serious head injury by nearly 70%. The study also found neck injuries are not associated with helmet use but cyclists who wear helmets reduce their chance of a fatal head injury by 65%.

Courts are increasingly making modest reductions in compensation to reflect the failure to wear a helmet where it is proved that the injuries would have been prevented or at least reduced by the use of a helmet. The arguments are similar to those relating to the use of seatbelts although, in the past, judges have often refused to make deductions in cycling claims because, unlike with seatbelts, the use of a helmet is not compulsory. Recent research, however, is likely to lead to reductions for failing to wear a helmet considerably more likely.

If you have been injured as a result of a cycling accident or a road traffic accident which was not your fault, please contact our Personal Injury Team. Our Team is made up of specialist personal injury lawyers who have many years of experience in dealing with such cases.

Asad Amin
August 2018

The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.