It’s a balance, healthy kids versus safe kids, health adults versus safe adults, polluted air versus clean air or more importantly, personal choice versus you telling me what to do.

Study from Sweden looks at the effects of cycling after a 2005 law requiring children to wear helmets while riding bikes.

This article came from a study by the Swedish Association of Transportation Planners. The article, What happens when you mandate helmet-wearing among young Swedish cyclists? is based on the study.

These are quotes from the article. Emphasize in bold is mine.

Mandatory helmet laws have been controversial in that they seem to have a limited effect on the number of head injuries, if at all, but instead are correlated with a decrease in cycling numbers.

Graph 1 shows the number of head injuries as a share of injuries to all parts of the body. The downward sloping lines indicate that head injuries are falling faster than other injuries.



As we can see there does not seem to be a difference between the trends of the different modes, suggesting that if there is any fall in the share of head injuries it is likely to be an effect of something that also applies to other or all road users.

However there does seem to be another effect of helmet laws, namely a decline in cycling among school children. In 1983 57% of children aged 7-9 had permission from their parents to bike to school without adult companion, and for the age group 10-12, 94% had such permission. By the year 2007 this had decreased to 25% and 79% respectively. Bearing in mind, the helmet law was introduced in 2005, we can’t be sure of a correlation, because the data consists of surveys from 1983 and then 2007. But we do also have data recording that the share of school journeys by bicycle fell from 33% in 2006 one year after the legislation to 29% in year 2012. The evidence does suggest that the effect of the helmet law primarily is that fewer children bike to school.


So the data does show a decline in cycling, but without annual surveys it’s hard to be sure of a correlation. However, a Danish report made the same link between declining cycling to school and helmet promotion and safety/scare campaigns. They determined that half the decline in cycling was caused by these campaigns, and half was caused by other factors such as more car traffic and longer distances to school.

From my perspective, laws telling me how to live don’t work, and this study shows that. Whether I wear a helmet is more personal issue that I should be allowed to decide.

More importantly, cycling increases the cyclist’s health, decreases air pollution and general promotes health. That is a greater benefit to all of us then the individual benefit of forcing someone to do something they may or may not want to do.

See: What happens when you mandate helmet-wearing among young Swedish cyclists?

Other Articles about this subject:

Bike Share programs flourish when helmets are not required              

Study shows that head injuries are on the rise on the slopes even though more people are wearing helmets                                                                                                            

Law requires helmets, injuries down fatalities up?                                 

Great editorial questioning why we need laws to “protect” us from ourselves.

Survey of UK physicians shows them against mandatory bicycle helmet laws.

Recent UK poll shows that 10% of cyclists would quite biking if there was a compulsory helmet law.  





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If you want a safer bicycle helmet get one with MIPS

Some people like doing crazy things. And that’s the way we want to keep it. By absorbing the damaging rotational violence from a n angled fall, MIPS Protection System makes great helmets even more protecting.
Spacer MIPS AB, the patented Multi-directional Impact Protection System, will be launched in more than 20 new helmet models this year alone. MIPS will be available in helmets across all categories including road, mountain, commuter, youth and women’s bike helmets from 661, Fox, Lazer, POC, Scott Sports, Smith Optics, Sweet Protection, Triple 8, and more.

“Much like how airbags became a safety standard in cars, we see MIPS as an equally important safety component in helmets,” says MIPS CEO Johan Thiel. “For 2015, we are pleased to add several new brand partners and to expand the product offering with some of our long-standing customers.”

The MIPS brain protection system reduces rotational forces on the brain caused by angled impacts to the head. In a MIPS helmet, the shell and liner are separated by a low friction layer that lets the helmet slide relative to the head during impact. The MIPS design was inspired by the cerebral spinal fluid surrounding the human brain, which allows it to slide inside the head on impact. MIPS mimics this protective mechanism by giving the helmet its own low-friction layer which also slides to absorb much of the energy created by an angled blow to the head.


Mips logotype
Brain Protection System
For more information contact: Johan Thiel, CEO of MIPS AB,
E-mail: johan.thiel Mobile: +46 73-399 65 88


Point 65 Sweden acquires Boblbee: A line of backpacks developed to protect your gear


Point 65 Sweden
acquires Boblbee.

Point 65 Sweden has acquired iconic, Swedish, backpack and bag producer, Boblbee and is re-launching the awesome product line under the Point 65 Sweden brand.

Richard Ohman, Founder of Point 65 Sweden:
“We are following our original strategy, to branch out beyond paddle sports and enter the general Outdoor world. Boblbee is the perfect vehicle to take the first step in realizing our vision. These are truly unique products with super cool design, outstanding quality, engineering, and attention to detail. There is nothing else like these packs out there”.

Management has been merged and manufacturing consolidated with Point 65’s. Boblbee’s current distribution network will be integrated with Point 65’s, making the products globally available.

Point 65 Packs boast the best back protection in the world. Germany´s technical inspection association, TÜV, rates these packs higher than any purpose-made back protection.

Also the best gear protection. The Point 65 packs not only protect your back —your gear and electronics are also safe.
Laptops, tablets, cameras, and other valuables are secure in your Point 65 packs. The packs can survive your worst wipe out, cycle crash and withstand being driven over by a car, leaving your laptop intact.

The packs are ergonomically sound. The comfortable back piece continues all the way to the end of the lower back while the center of gravity is kept high. This makes for a pack that is exceptionally easy to carry even with a heavy load.

The products are mainly targeted for everyday use like going to work or school, shopping, travelling etc. They are super cool, extremely comfortable and you never have to worry about your electronics getting banged around while moving through airports, subways, and crowds.
The lightweight packs are great when exploring the outdoors and down right genius for action sports or cycling.

The Point 65 website will launch a pack & bag section spring 2015. Until then please refer to

About Point 65 Sweden
Point 65 Sweden, an innovative outdoor company with unique products within paddle sports and packs.
Point 65 Kayaks Sweden is the leading paddle sports brand in Northern Europe and one of the fastest growing kayak companies in the world. Point 65 Kayaks offers a wide range of kayaks and SUP’s, accessories such as paddles and PFD’s and is the company behind the market changing modular kayaks Tequila!, Martini, Mercury and Apollo kayaks as well as the modular stand up paddle board (SUP) the Rum Runner.
Point 65 Packs Sweden is the company behind the stylish and innovative hard shell packs known for their back and gear protection capabilities, outstanding quality and ergonomically superior carrying comfort.

Point 65 Sweden
Karlbergs strand 4, 171 73 Solna, Sweden | Phone +46 8-663 01 06 | e-mail:

English: Modern sea kayak in west Wales

English: Modern sea kayak in west Wales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)