Check Your Head

Not only does wearing a bike helmet totally mess up your hipster haircut (not in that good messed-up way, of course), but it also makes you more likely to be hit by car, according to an article we just read in

Scientific American


Last year British psychologist Ian Walker attached ultrasonic sensors to his bike and rode around Bath, allowing 2,300 cars to pass him while he was either a) wearing a helmet, b) not wearing a helmet or c) not wearing a helmet but wearing a long brown wig (in order to see how drivers treat women bikers).

The results: 23 percent more vehicles came within a one-meter danger zone whenever Walker was wearing a helmet. And if he wore the wig, he got an extra 2.2 inches. (And what lady doesn’t need an extra 2.2 inches?)

Of course, if a biker does get hit, that helmet sure is gonna be helpful. (The wig, not so much.) But Walker’s findings do tell us a little bit about the way drivers react to bikers on the road.

No word on how they treat bike messengers, such as the one outside our building this morning, who have giant “I hate cars” stickers on their fenders, but we can probably make an educated guess on that one. – Keith Plocek

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