California state Senator Carol Liu’s introduction of SB 192 got me thinking. Why stop at cycling in a misguided attempt to save lives? If we all work together, we can use mandatory helmet laws to also falsely attempt to reduce the vast number of pedestrian fatalities. After all, there were 4,743 pedestrian fatalities nationwide in 2012, compared with 726 bicyclists.
And why stop there? There were over 22,000 people who died while vehicle occupants. Surely had they been wearing a helmet, numerous lives would have been saved.
To that end, I’ve taken inspiration from a Danish campaign I found on the Copenhagenize site (a fantastic site, by the way). If you’d like to help support a good cause, update your avatar or icon with this downloadable English adaptation of the poster.
But you’ll need facts to support the cause, so here are a few:
- According to a UK study, “Using London’s HEMS dataset, serious head injuries are more frequent, and have a higher total cost, than serious injuries to any other body region” for pedestrians.
- 36% of pedestrians killed in 2012 had a BAC level of .8 or higher, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Helmets will also protect these walkers in collisions with fences, light poles, and other pedestrians.
- According to the New York State Department of health, “More than one-third of injured pedestrians who were hospitalized sustained a” traumatic brain injury. Even though we don’t really have any studies that support it, surely helmets will help in some of those cases.
- Just Google “pedestrian head injury” and you’ll see how many news stories about pedestrian head injuries there are. Once again, surely helmets will prevent some of those injuries.
- An Australian study reports that having car occupants wear head protection, “the annual reduction in harm would be in the order of $380 million. The benefit of padding the head is that the head is protected from strikes with unpadded automotive components, exterior objects and in vehicles that predate any eventual introduction of padded interiors.””
Time to spread the word!