"Bicycle helmet laws could do more harm than good"
Helmet laws like those in effect in Australia levy a substantial cost on healthcare systems because savings from fewer head injuries pale in comparison to the costs incurred by decreases in cycling, a mathematical model concludes.
Piet de Jong, a mathematician at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, estimates that bicycle helmet laws would cost the US $4.8 billion per year, Netherlands $1.9 billion, and the U.K $0.4 billion.
However, one critic contends that de Jong's methods overestimate the health benefits of cycling, as well as the drop in cyclists caused by helmet laws.
"There's a lot of uncertainty around it," de Jong admits. "I try to reconcile all these various numbers or proportions that impinge on the question of whether helmet laws are very useful." . . . .