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The New York Times Gets it Right

Summary: Jane Brody, health columnist for the NY Times, has written a pro-helmet article based on her own experience and considerable research.

Longtime New York Times' personal health columnist Jane Brody has written a column on bicycle safety and helmets based on her own experiences but very well grounded in the realities of New York City riding. It appeared on the web on October 23, 2017 and in print the next day.

Ms. Brody recounts her own crash that probably would have resulted in a major brain injury had she not had her helmet on. Like many riders, she hates "helmet hair" and had been sometimes using a helmet and sometimes not. She always uses one now.

The article cites many statistics from various sources as evidence of helmet effectiveness, including the often-cited stat that 97% of New York's dead cyclists were unhelmeted riders. She also quotes BHSI's Randy Swart. The column is headed up by a bright helmet fit graphic in Times style by artist Paul Rogers. In all, it is a well-written article, always welcome from a major newspaper.

The mostly anonymous comments following the article are classic helmet wars stuff, with the usual specious arguments interspersed with many crash stories where helmets worked. Interestingly, some of them are from New Yorkers, but others from Scotland, Switzerland and Rio.