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Mandatory Helmet Laws: A Controversial Topic

While there is much agreement as to the appropriateness of mandatory helmet laws for children, mandatory helmet laws for adults are one of the most controversial topics in the world of cycling.  Proponents argue that helmets help prevent and/or lessen the effects of head injuries and that therefore helmet use is a valid legal requirement for cyclists of all ages.  However, opponents argue that mandatory helmet laws make cycling seem more dangerous than it actually is, thus reducing the number of cyclists on the roads, which then causes the remaining cyclists to be less safe as a result of a reverse strength-in-numbers effect.

Opponents also argue that because bicycling is a healthy activity, the benefits of which far outweigh its risks, promoting cycling saves lives by reducing risk of death from diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle.