E564 – Helmets & Hi Viz

Screenshot from video meeting. There are 4 boxes with 3 people, all in bright yellow jackets with headphones.
Joan, Armando, and Guthrie (aka Bob Vance) donned their brightest yellow jackets to record this episode, while Aaron’s camera went blank, preserving his all-black look.

Do helmets protect our heads in bike crashes or make it more likely we’ll get into a crash? Do high viz clothes and gear actually make us more visible to people driving cars? Why do we spend so much time talking about helmets when better infrastructure would make us safer than helmets ever could? We don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but that didn’t stop us from talking about them! Aaron, Armando, Guthrie, and Joan chat safety culture in the bike world.

The Stuff We Talked About
Via Twitter user @cathasach4bikes: 
“Regular reminder that no one makes helmets for Black girls’ everyday hair. This means that Black girls are disproportionately excluded from bike safety classes that require helmets. This should be the real helmet discussion.”

“Bike helmets – a dangerous fixation? On the bike helmet’s place in the cycling safety discourse in the United States”
Applied Mobilities, by Gregg Culver

“How US helmet laws are used against cyclists of colour and homeless people”
From the Guardian, April 20: “In Seattle, 43% of citations since 2017 have gone towards homeless people, while Black cyclists received citations at nearly four times the rate of white cyclists”

“Why It Makes Sense to Bike without a Helmet”
“…if we start looking into the research, there’s a strong argument to be made that wearing a bike helmet may actually increase your risk of injury, and increase the risk of injury of all the cyclists around you.”

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