Wearing bike helmets makes sense

February 12, 2013

Regarding the Feb. 8 Metro article “Md. bicyclists want to put the brakes on helmet bill”:

I’ll be 72 later this month. If I hadn’t been wearing a helmet when riding with my bike group on Key Biscayne, Fla., life would have ended for me at age 39.

We were going about 20 mph, drafting close to one another when my front tire touched the rear tire of the rider in front of me. I was launched into the air, landing on my head. I woke up in the emergency room with some fractures; my badly damaged helmet, an old style of rigid foam, ended up being used in bicycle safety lectures in schools.

Two years ago, a friend from high school was riding his bike on Long Island without a helmet. He had a heart attack and crashed. The doctors got his heart back under control, but he barely survived his head injuries.

Richard Johnson, Potomac

●I’m a 70-year cyclist who loves the District’s promotion of cycling. I’m startled by pro-biker groups that oppose helmet mandates.

Helmet legislation such as that under consideration in Maryland will save lives, and passage of the bill will nudge the bikeshare system to provide helmets.

Will it discourage biking or bike safety? No.

Want to be seen by drivers? Use a brightly colored helmet, jacket and bike, as I do.

William G. Shepherd, Washington

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