Why Don’t the Dutch Wear Helmets?

Why Don’t the Dutch Wear Helmets?

After visiting the Netherlands recently I noticed an interesting phenomenon. It seems the Dutch don’t wear bike helmets. I learned that under 1% of cyclists use helmets. I also learned that overall injuries to cyclists are way less than any place in the world, so what gives? From what I gathered, cyclists and drivers are more experienced and courteous and the roads are engineered to keep all road users. This includes bike infrastructure throughout the country.

Readers Comments (50)

  1. They are Anti Mushroom Head.

  2. uhg…..More passive-aggressive garbage…just to encourage people to make YOU happy…
    Go treat your depression you monster….

  3. I guess to each their own, I can sort of understand not wearing a helmet going on a leisurely ride when you’re not in a hurry but in my case I use my bike because it’s a faster alternative than walking/jogging, so since I’m already going as fast I can go, I feel safer wearing a helmet in the case my bike accidentally loses traction. I’d probably think of this as a generational thing, my older relatives never want to buckle up when driving their car because they say “I’m not going to crash so what’s the point?”

  4. WHY IN USA BIKERS dont werar HELMETS.???????

  5. Love biking in the Netherlands and don’t feel threatened I can choose not to wear a helmet. I live in Germany now and hate biking I am afraid of myself and my children and I always wear a helmet. But I choose not to ride a bike when I can help it here in Germany. In Germany Bikers always get told of by there behavior in traffic. I do feel that the car drivers are much more aggressive and have not learned to watch over the shoulder before turning left ore right to look for bikers ore even if they see them just give gas to be quicker. They also do not understand how to use a roundabout like giving Direktion before leaving and not when you’re leaving the roundabout ore not giving directions at all on a roundabout leaving the rest of them just guessing what is going to happen. And then they argument see roundabouts are stupid… when instead they just don’t know how to use them. I fear using the only roundabout with my bike in my neighborhood and just get of the bike and push. Then again there are a lot of bikers here that do not Respekt the traffic rules. That would be different if there were more biker lanes and traffic lights for bikers only.

  6. I think I should add that people who bike on racing bikes as a sport (wielrenners) do tend to wear a helmet, personally I think it’s to protect themselves from hurting themselves if their aggresive ways on the biking-lanes cause an accident. Preparing for backlash for this comment…

  7. I also live in the states and no one but the crazy cyclists (with the spandex outfits), wears helmets. Literally never. you’d look like a weirdo even kids don’t often wear helmets

  8. What he said about speed is absolutely correct – although as a commuter by bike I pretty much always average over 20kph so to me most of the cyclist in this video are barely moving faster than walking. Of course I imagine it makes it easier to go slower that everything is so closer together, if I commuted at that speed it would take me way too long to get to work.

  9. A bicycle a lot have no idea what I clicked on this

  10. I ride a bike for 25 years. I crashed once. There wasn’t a car involved. Without the helmet I might have been seriously injured.

  11. we have many traffic rules for cyclists in the netherlands. we are also just experienced cyclists, which is why we do not wear helmets.. it’s just not necessary

  12. The ending !!! Interesting video. Thanks!

  13. I know I may be outing myself as an American cyclist here, but I have to say this. A patch of ice and a tree does not care about your cycling infrastructure or safe cycling culture. Sure I’d love it if motorists stopped trying to run us over, but even on the cycling only paths I wouldn’t get on a bike without a helmet.

  14. As a dutch person, I would never use a bike as a main way of transport anywhere else than in the Netherlands

  15. Matthijs van der Zande December 23, 2020 @ 10:07 pm

    When a car hits a pedestrian or cyclist in the Netherlands, you are automaticly guilty, even of de cyclist did something wrong. So you beter watch out as a car driver. That also helps with the safety aspect of the cyclist.

  16. They do cycle fairly sensibly (slowly) though, on car free streets. And there are no hills to go screaming down.

  17. This guy spent 5 minutes justifying the lack of helmet use and it made no sense. It seems that he and others in NL seemed to suffer from a collective social delusion.

  18. the helmet law in RI is based on an old military perspective from way back…
    the idea is that helmets cause brain injury.
    if you’re wearing a helmet and crash, and you get a brain injury, it gets recorded as a brain injury
    but if you are not wearing a helmet, and you crash and it ends in death, to which it is record as a death, or never recorded at all.
    so when you look at the stats, wearing helmets can cause brain injury.

    its slanted but that’s how the laws are written…

  19. People are much more chill because its not as high population density as in some major cities… so they obey the laws of the road more… in most of todays crowded urban areas nobody respects any rules anymore

  20. I have seen Americans on Motorcycles not wearing helmets… flying on the highway at top speed. Why is that?

  21. Riding a bicycle in the Benelux countries, most of France, Germany and much of Scandinavia is a delight when compared to my city, London. I have also lived in Tucson, Arizona and that was horrible too. I don’t wear a helmet and I’m not stupid. I ride carefully and with respect. I feel safe.

  22. There is actually no data to support the myth that bike helmets compromise safety because of false sense of security.

  23. Sellingtowin Selling December 23, 2020 @ 10:14 pm

    Dutch have more practice on a bike

  24. Just check the annual amount of head injuries sustained by people on bicycles. In Netherlands it is incredibly zero.

  25. If a metal spike came out of your steering wheel instead of a air bag there would be a lot less accidents.

  26. The kids at the end were the best!

  27. The many jar markedly arrange because bangladesh allegedly mourn like a drunk beaver. many, psychotic trick

  28. Most people I see who ride their bikes for transportation in Florida where I live do not wear helmets. People who ride for sport usually do. I wear a hat for protection against the sun and shades. If I thought riding was so dangerous I had to protect myself against head injury I would not ride. With the high incident of TBI from pedestrian accidents why don’t we make it mandatory to wear helmets when walking the streets.

  29. Everybody should wear a helmet. Because maybe you see a cave? Then you you say hmm, a cave, lets do some cave exploring! And then you don’t have a helmet.

  30. I gave up helmet for a little bit until I crashed. then I rode country roads where people had brights on and didn’t slow and I felt like the roads didn’t give space. I felt angry sometimes when people could so casually threaten my life just trying to share the road in america. I wish civic engineers would consider us.

  31. As a dutch i can say that we are safe enough to dont wear helmets cus the infrastrecture is good/perfect cus cars cant just ride to a cycleists

  32. It always confused me why people wear helmets while skiing of soft snow but as soon as they go to concrete on a skateboard the helmet is nowhere to be seen

  33. Kathy, Steve, & Trooper Blanck December 23, 2020 @ 10:22 pm

    It looks like the Netherlands doesn’t have a screw you attitude when dealing with others like we have in the States!

  34. Antoniu Vasile Marc December 23, 2020 @ 10:24 pm

    Live the kids …😁😅😂

  35. No helmets means less hindrance to cycling means more cyclists on the road. More cyclists means safety in numbers.

  36. Also, I like that cycles in Netherlands seems to be utilitarian.

  37. In my opinion, as he said, you don’t really need a helmet to you are cycling on city. The possibilities of crashing and hitting your head is very low and it’s disturbing if you are going to work or a shop and you need to have the helmet on your hand. But otherwise if for example you are gonna go cycling on an important road, riding maybe 40kmh and you crash then there are more possibilities of crashing and having an important damage. I’m from Spain and I use helmet if I’m gonna do a long ride through roads and riding fast but I don’t if I’m going to school or just moving around the city.

    Also once an old lady shouted me from sidewalk "Wear helmet!" and I was about to tell her "Ride a bike and then tell me that again".

  38. And: infrastructure is being changed/developed with bikes as much in mind as cars. What I see in Amsterdam that in many places ‘regular’ car roads are getting smaller (big enough for a car) and bike lanes are getting bigger, with barriers of parked cars between them. That way, cycling get safer.

  39. I always wear a helmet commuting. But my average speed is close to 25km/h.

  40. Also Dutch infrastructure is safer, and the weakest "traffic participants" have more legal protection.

  41. Cyclists in Holland typically ride at a pedestrian pace – or at walking pace. This is in contrast to London, and maybe other cities, where people may have longer distances to cover and need to do so in record time. To wit – almost no ‘road bikes’ and certainly nobody in Lycra!

  42. You think to much, if you fall from a bike with no helmet you have more chances of having major injury than one who wears a helmet…

  43. same reason you don’t wear a helmet when walking on the streets

  44. A car once took me down but it was with just 10 km per hour cus the infrastrecture is so good 😀

  45. If the accident rate is pretty low, people won’t want to wear helmets, especially those who care about their hairstyles.

  46. Years ago in the 90s I never wore a helmet, but in this day and age, I certainly do. I now realize that I was playing with fire by not wearing one…I also wish I had a mirror like I do today. One of the best accessories you can get.

  47. The Dutch don’t appear to feel the need to rush into every precious and PC practice that the rest of the West obsessively rush into.

  48. Be extra cautious descending down steep hills.

  49. Even without the title I would know that this wasn’t filmed in the UK; cyclists without helmets, cyclists not dressed like TdF peloton when on a commute, cyclists signalling a manouvre, real cycle lanes – yeah, definitely not the UK

  50. They ride really slow so maybe that’s why.

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