Last week the celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay on social media advised he was recently involved in a collision whilst riding his cycle. He advised that if he had not been wearing the helmet he would have died. Images illustrated the helmet had almost disintegrated due to the impact.  

There are arguments for and against as to whether helmets should be mandatory though the Olympic and World champion and now Commissioner of Active Travel England, Chris Boardman in 2014 stated the helmet issue would not be in his top ten cycling safety list. 

You should wear a cycle helmet that conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened. Evidence suggests that a correctly fitted helmet will reduce your risk of sustaining a head injury in certain circumstances. 

How Cycle Helmets Work 

Cycle helmets protect the head by reducing the rate at which the skull and brain are accelerated or decelerated by an impact. The helmet acts like a shock absorber. As it is impacted, the expanded polystyrene liner is intended to crush, dissipating the energy over a rapidly increasing area like a cone. 

Helmets reduce the force of an impact only while the polystyrene liner is compressing. Once the liner is fully compacted, a helmet offers no further protection and passes residual energy straight on to the skull and brain. There is no evidence to suggest that helmets continue to provide a reduced level of brain protection beyond their design limits. 

There have been arguments for and against the mandatory use of helmets. 


Headway the leading brain injury charity, and other professional bodies such as the British Medical Association, the Association of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, the Bicycle Initiative Trust and numerous doctors and neurosurgeons across the UK state cycle helmets save lives and can prevent people sustaining lifelong brain injuries. 

A 2019 study from the NHS England Trauma Audit and Research Network dataset, found that cycle helmet use was associated with a significant reduction in severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). 47.6% of patients who were not wearing a helmet sustained a severe TBI, compared to 19.1% of patients who were wearing a helmet (Dodds N, Johnson R, Walton B, et al, 2019). 


Many cycling groups feel that if mandatory helmets are imposed that many people who wear without bikes would give up their pastime. In addition, a recent paper from the University of Bath has illustrated that wearing helmets can actually mean more unsafe conditions in that they found other road users had risk aversion in that they would give an extra 8.6 cams space when passing cyclists to those without a helmet on. 

The Highway Code changed recently to cater for the extra space though unfortunately you witness daily occurrences illustrating near misses and collisions. As a result the experienced Personal Injury team at McHale and Co will help cyclists in helmets and without. Contact myself, Paul Carroll at McHale and Co and I will assist with your needs