Research from St George’s University of London today reveals that helmets offer little protection against head injuries for adult cyclists althought they are beneficial to children. Dr Carwyn Hooper, from the university says “wearing a helmet or not, any serious accident on a bike is likely to kill the cyclist”. This follows the legislation in Northern Ireland which has made it compulsory for cyclists to wear cycle helmets.
The Life Dept adds: in 2010 111 cyclists were killed in the UK but over 17,000 were injured according to figures from RoSPA. Of these, 2,660 were seriously injured. Admittedly it seems counter-intuitive that helmets aren’t beneficial. Fair enough, with articulated lorries – which are feared most by cyclists – maybe a helmet won’t be so beneficial if you find yourself looking upwards admiring the chassis but as the facts above show, the vast majority of cycle accidents do not result in death. Even so, the research from St George’s University has been published in Journal of Medical Ethics so it must have some veracity. Maybe the above statistics illustrate why there are far more claims for income protection (long term sickness and accident) cover and critical illness insurance than there are for life insurance. As the figures illustrate, you are far more likely to be seriously injured than killed and, rather stating the obvious, life insurance only pays out in the event of death (or diagnosis of terminal illness) whereas income protection pays out in the event of you being unable to work due to accident & sickness and critical illness pays out in many incidences such as brain damage, trauma to the body e.g. loss of limb, surgical re-attachment, permanent disability, loss of muscle power, spinal damage, blindness, stroke etc.
Critical illness and serious illness cover varies by insurance company. Even Martin Lewis on his website MoneySavingExpert recommends taking advice if you are seeking critical illness cover and this is something we’d definitely echo. PruProtect have an exceptionally strong portfolio of conditions covered, typically much wider than many other insurers.
This story has this morning caused some debate in the office with most staff finding it hard to believe that a cycle helmet isn’t beneficial. Anecdotally, internally we are aware of family members whom have experienced: a near death incident in a regular cyclist who now swears by them and a death of a mountain biker who wasn’t wearing a helmet, went head over heels hitting a tree root, got up, initially seemed OK, didn’t go to the doctors when he got a headache, quickly went into a coma and died of a blood clot within a week of the fall.
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Written exclusively for THE LIFE & critical illness DEPT | 8 Mar 2012 | providers of life insurance, critical illness insurance and income protection cover.
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