Joseph Stromberg writes about science for Vox. He has recently written three articles about bike safety. First, he argues that "cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs and ride through red lights". Second, he argues that it should not be illegal to cycle without a helmet. "Let's start thinking of biking as a normal, safe activity, like walking — and helmets as an optional accessory for people who are really into it." Third, he looks at some data on the frequencies of different sorts of bicycling accidents in the US.
"Bicycle helmets do an outstanding job of keeping our skulls intact in a major crash. But they do almost nothing to prevent concussions and other significant brain injuries—and the very government agency created to protect us is part of the problem. The time has come to demand something safer."
Abstract: Cycling is popular among children, but results in thousands of injuries annually. In recent years, many states and localities have enacted bicycle helmet laws. We examine direct and indirect effects of these laws on injuries. Using hospital-level panel data and triple difference models, we find helmet laws are associated with reductions in bicycle-related head injuries among children. However, laws also are associated with decreases in non-head cycling injuries, as well as increases in head injuries from other wheeled sports. Thus, the observed reduction in bicycle-related head injuries may be due to reductions in bicycle riding induced by the laws. [FULL TEXT PDF] [more inside]
Kranium is a bike helmet that is made from cardboard and out performs the standard polystyrene-filled lids.