Does being safe make us stupid? Studies say yes.

If we think we are safe, we ignore the obvious dangers around us.

In an interesting article, Bike Helmets Might not be so Good at Saving Lives a blogger has looked at several articles written about bicycle helmets and what has occurred.

Generally, the studies he quotes show that helmet use has gone up, and ridership has gone down. Head injuries or cycling fatalities have not decreased to the same percentage. Consequently, it is easy to see that wearing a helmet does not mean you are safer with cycling.

However, it is this quote that made me think.

Individual cases do not prove anything. Statistics do.

He’s right. Whenever I quote statistics someone argues that they know of a case where…….. Two things generally happen. If you track down the case you find it either did not happen the way it was described, or it was not near as bad as described.

The world is not a first aid practical exam. Unless you are working on a ski patrol, the chances of you using your wilderness first aid knowledge are slim nil and none. Yet we justify those one in a million situations to prove we need helmets, EMT’s in the wilderness, and padded trees.

We also have the media, of which I hopefully am included, that is making the information much more available to all of us. I post disaster and fatality information on Facebook. So now that I think about it, I’m contributing to the problem.


We need to engage our heads first when thinking safety and not just react. We need to engage our heads when we talk statistics and not fall back on wildly inflated third hand stories. We need to use our heads to protect our heads rather than rely on a factory in china.

What makes this really stupid is it comes from the land of no one wears a hockey helmet.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2011 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law,

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