A recent high court case in the UK where a cyclist and motorcyclist collided (Smith v Finch 2009), the judge ruled that the cyclist could have been found partly liable if wearing a helmet would have prevented or reduced his or her injuries. What this means is that cyclists who don’t wear helmets can be found guilty of contributory negligence if they are injured in a road accident in the UK. Ouch!
In an interview with BikeRadar, Richard Brooks from a UK law firm explained the ruling in that if you are injured and a cycle helmet could have reduced your injuries, you may not be able to recover full compensation.
He also added, “Cyclists who “expose themselves to a greater degree of injury” by not wearing a helmet can now be found to be negligent, even though it is not a legal requirement in the UK to wear head protection when cycling. However, for this to happen it would have to be proved – using medical and other evidence – that a helmet would have prevented all of their injuries or made them a good deal less severe.”
Interesting judgement this and one I’m sure will be opening up debates amongst cyclists. That said,I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on this, so please leave a comment below.