Helmet Wars! Protection

Last week I did a comic about helmets which led to the first abusive comments ever here at Mimi & Eunice (they remain unpublished). Most of my friends and loved ones weren’t crazy about that strip either. Yet, for some reason, after its lukewarm-to-hostile response I was surprisingly and effortlessly inspired to do 6 more comics about bike helmets! Comics that my friends and loved ones were sure to dislike, on an issue that has never been and will never be resolved. As my friend Gordon wrote,

Oh, Jeez, Nina, you’ve entered the HELMET WARS, in which anarchists and libertarians fight bitterly with helmet fascists and helmet nannies to the bitter end!!  Only there is no end!!!

Why my Muse drags me into these things I cannot know, but my job is to obey Her. And so I bring you a new 7-part miniseries: Helmet Wars! To kick it off, here’s the not-cleaned-up version of that first comic (this one has a swear word!):

Please note: I wear a helmet.

11 comments to Helmet Wars! Protection

  • Jason Shiga

    I heard some actuarial data suggesting we could save thousands of lives every year by mandating pedestrians and drivers wear helmets too. I imagine the main reason we don’t have such legislation is because it would be infringing on our own liberty, as opposed to someone else’s in the case of current helmet laws.
    All that said, I do wear a helmet. I have one friend who were it not for a helmet would not be breathing here today (his helmet cracked in half due to the impact; his skull didn’t).

  • Helmets are probably best compared to bullet proof vests.

    They help save the lives of those who would otherwise suffer mortal injuries.

    Downsides are mental distraction, physical encumbrance, and tendency to imbue the wearer with a feeling of invulnerability inclining them to take risks and enter situations they otherwise wouldn’t.

    There is a sweet spot between risk of injury warranting their wearing, and their wearing increasing the risk of injury – and it will vary from person to person – even changing according to the person’s change in competence.

  • nasch

    Where are you getting your facts? According to the IIHS, non-helmeted cyclists suffer VASTLY more fatalities than helmeted ones.


    One source isn’t the end-all of course, but for them to be so drastically and utterly wrong as you suggest, I would expect to see some pretty convincing evidence.

  • Dog_Vomit

    Nina, I hate wearing helmets too. They make me feel like a freaking first grader with training wheels. I will never wear one for a ride around the lake on a paved path.

  • nwmom

    You SHOULD wear a fucking helmet. Fucking can be a dangerous activity!

  • Johnnycycle

    Helmets, armor, protective clothing all will do what it does, protect you, but it has its limits and it can be breached. unless you know its limits you have no idea how protected you are, plus it’s your option to wear it if you don’t you don’t, Its your life and your safety, if you take a hit and you slam the ground head first you’re done, even glancing blows can kill, armor may or may not save you but it may give a better chance than not wearing it. You know the score and the risks if you choose not to wear it, it is your choice, and that should be respected.

  • How about freedom? huh?

    The Helmeters are the nanny staters who don’t want to allow salt on the table in New York or insist on taxing cigarettes( because tobacco companies give more to Republicans instead of libtards ).

    Ron Paul!

  • Ennis

    See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1410838/?tool=pmcentrez as well. There’s no evidence that helmets even protect against head injuries in actual usage. If there were, you’d think it would show up when you have a 40% increase in helmet wearing in a few months.

  • Mary

    I have naturally (hopelessly) curly hair. I don’t wear a helmet. I don’t know what the chances of my getting into a head-harming accident are, and I don’t know what to what degree a helmet might protect me from such accidents, but I know there is a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT chance that within 5 minutes of putting it on, a helmet will give me hat hair. Like, I KNOW that will happen. And I’m pretty sure the other is – unimaginably horrible, yes – but also fairly unlikely.

    People sneer at my logic, but I believe many “dangerous things” (eating a raisin you dropped on the floor, walking to the store by yourself after 10 at night) can benefit from personal risk analysis. When you think of all the bad things that can happen to a person, you realize that most of the time most of them don’t. I know, sometimes they do, but almost anything seems better to me than living in a climate of perpetual fear. When did “Have a safe day” replace “goodbye” and “have fun”?

  • Chris

    I wear a helmet and would make my kids wear one, but if other adults insist on not wearing one, I’ll just make contingency plans for life without them.

  • Dutchy

    It is more than ironic how worried people are for the safety of others on bicycles, in a country where any idiot can buy fire arms at his local supermarket…

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