Study suggests that cyclists wearing helmets take more risks
Posted: November 16, 2015
Posted in: Bicycle Accidents
A recent study carried out by psychologists at the University of Bath suggests that where helmets are meant to keep cyclists safer on the roads, it actually results in cyclists being more daring, and even unsafe. Where different studies have suggested this before, the University of Bath has come forward with material evidence, showing that by wearing a helmet, you are actually increasing your overall level of danger.
The experiment found that as soon as you clip on a well-designed, foam-lined helmet, you immediately feel safer about getting on your bike. Without realising, this makes you far more likely to take risks, feeling safer, and in turn seeking more of a thrill. The study concluded that where you are obviously protecting your head more efficiently, you are cycling in a way that potentially puts your whole body at a greater risk.
80 volunteers told they were involved in an eye-tracking experiment
Where testing the theory was very challenging, Dr Tim Gamble and Dr Ian Walker, from the University of Bath, devised a way of testing the cyclists in a way that prevented them from knowing they were being tested, which would have influenced their behaviour. They said to the 80 volunteers that they were actually involved in an eye-tracking experiment, which required them to wear a head-mounted camera. The camera was attached either to a helmet or a baseball cap at random. The risk was measured by asking the volunteers to say when to stop a balloon being inflated, those wearing the helmets allowed it to be blown up far more.
The research continues.
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