One in 10 would stop cycling if forced to wear a helmet, poll suggests

Institute of Advanced Motorists surveyed 4,000 cyclists

The IAM poll suggests 10 percent would quit cycling altogether if they were forced to wear helmets

We got an emphatic response to last week’s question of the week – Should cycle helmets be made compulsory? – and a new poll from the UK’s Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) reinforces what a lot of you were saying.


A survey of more than 4,000 cyclists found just 20 percent thought helmets should be made compulsory, while 10 percent suggested they’d give up cycling altogether if it became law. Another 30 percent said they’d risk hefty penalties and defy any law which forced them to wear a lid.

Some 60 percent of respondents already wore helmets, while a similar figure felt it should be their own choice to wear one or not. Compared with bright clothing and bike lights, helmets weren’t seen as a priority. “One in 10 cyclists being prepared to give up cycling shows how controversial compulsory helmets would be,” said IAM’s cycling manager Duncan Pickering. “But generally people aren’t anti-helmet – they see it as an issue of choice.


“Ultimately, fewer than 10 percent voted that they didn’t think wearing a cycle helmet was beneficial at all, so if cyclists feel safer wearing one it makes sense to do so. But cyclists can improve their safety and confidence a lot by taking training. Many accidents involving cyclists could be prevented by cyclists positioning themselves more defensively in relation to larger vehicles.”