I like this assessment of risk for deciding how much protection we need. It’s from a discussion about e-scooters but equally applies to cycling (or high school rugby). We misuse facts to justify treating less-common activities (cycling) as riskier than mainstream ones (driving).

Rick Mycroft: Always wear a helmet, because the road doesn’t care what you fell off of. Dragonfrog: Do you wear a helmet to walk? If not, then you’re not in fact talking about “always”, you’re taking into account some measure of the raw, unadjusted, likelihood of a crash and ensuing head injury, and deciding which of those those likelihoods to adjust with some compensating control like a helmet.  But, have you compared the raw, unadjusted, likelihoods of crashes leading to head injuries of all activities you do, to set a threshold of likelihood above which you consistently wear a helmet and below which you don’t?  I’ve tried to do so, which is why I don’t generally wear a helmet to bicycle - beause I’ve compared the best studies I could find on unadjusted rates of head injury per (various denominators - hour of activity, km travelled, etc.), and found the statistics didn’t justify wearing a helmet to ride a bike and then taking it off to do… well, basically anything else. Specifically including walking.  Now, one head injury per 10,000 exposures is pretty darn high, so I’d wear a helmet to ride one of those things too (mind you, one injury to the remainder of the body per 10,000 exposures is high enough that I’d mostly avoid the activity altogether, particularly since I already have a bike).   theodore604: I can’t get over the fact that I occasionally ride my bike to work and grown ass adults would tease me about wearing a helmet Dragonfrog: I don’t bug people for wearing a helmet to cycle, but I very definitely don’t bug people for NOT wearing a helmet to cycle. Because the health benefits of riding a bike so very far outstrip the difference between wearing a helmet and not, and I don’t want to contribute to anyone choosing not to ride.

John Kyle @JohnKyle