Father calls for law change after cycle helmet saves son's life in Cheam

Mr Lewis has called for cycle helmets to be compulsory after his son's accident

Mr Lewis has called for cycle helmets to be compulsory after his son's accident

First published in News
Last updated
Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A dad has called for cycle helmets to be made compulsory after one saved the life of his son.

Cheam paperboy Thomas Dynan-Lewis suffered little more than cuts and bruises when he fell off his bike and banged his head against a car in Burdon Lane, Cheam at 7am on Thursday.

His Specialized helmet took the brunt of the impact as his head crashed against the Land Rover Defender meaning he could be given the all-clear after a quick check up at St Helier Hospital and is now recovering.

Thomas's helmet, however, was smashed and shows what could have happened to his head were he not wearing the £50 protective hat.

His dad, Michael Lewis, said; "The left side of the helmet where Thomas hit his head is completely smashed.

"He had a lump on his head underneath the size of a tangerine but he's been taking ibuprofen and the swelling has gone down.

"He's still a bit stiff but that could have been from playing rugby the day before!

"On a normal car it would have been bad, but because the Land Rover Defender is made of heavy-duty steel, if he wasn't wearing his helmet he could have cracked his skull.

"I think the helmet saved his life."

Mr Lewis said he and his wife Sarah Dynan have not always made Thomas wear a helmet but did after another member of the family had a cycle accident near Christmas. Now Mr Lewis thinks all riders should wear helmets.

He added: "I think it should be law, certainly. I know teenagers are worried about what their hair looks like but the alternative is not worth thinking about.

"Prior to Christmas he used to ride his BMX and things without a helmet and I was responsible for that. Now, though, we tell him he always has to wear his helmet and this just shows why."

It is not a legal requirement that cyclists wear helmets in the UK although it is advised.

Sutton Police are holding a cycle marking event where people will be able to get their bikes marked to deter thieves and get safety advice in Sutton town centre on February 19.

 

TODAY'S TOP SUTTON STORIES

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:52pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Paul_M says...

This does sound like the type of accident where a cycle helmet might possibly have had some beneficial effect - they are not designed for more than low-speed (12mph or less) falls from low heights (1.2 metres or less) - but the story simply doesn't stack up.

Firstly, Land Rover Defenders are not made from "heavy duty steel". they are in fact made of thin aluminium sheet panels which are easy to replace if they are damaged. They are quite springy and flexible so would have absorbed a fair bit of the impact.

Secondly, the boy's father "thinks" the helmet saved his son's life, but what are his qualifications for making such a bold statement? Is he a neurosurgeon? An A&E specialist? His belief is entirely speculative, and simply an article of faith, because of the damage to the helmet (which by the way doesn't say much for the helmet's quality - they are not supposed to shatter, they are supposed to deform). It has no scientific basis.

If he wants to see some scientific appraisal of the efficacy of helmets - and the wider health implications of compelling their use - I suggest he reads the material on the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation's website at www.cyclehelmets.org

Finally, can he please stop interfering in other people's choices and lives - just because he thinks that his son might have survived a lethal incident, an entirely unprovable hypothesis, is not a good reason for forcing others to wear a helmet, especially when the benefits of helmet use are decidedly unproven indeed dubious, as the BHRF's research database will show you.
This does sound like the type of accident where a cycle helmet might possibly have had some beneficial effect - they are not designed for more than low-speed (12mph or less) falls from low heights (1.2 metres or less) - but the story simply doesn't stack up. Firstly, Land Rover Defenders are not made from "heavy duty steel". they are in fact made of thin aluminium sheet panels which are easy to replace if they are damaged. They are quite springy and flexible so would have absorbed a fair bit of the impact. Secondly, the boy's father "thinks" the helmet saved his son's life, but what are his qualifications for making such a bold statement? Is he a neurosurgeon? An A&E specialist? His belief is entirely speculative, and simply an article of faith, because of the damage to the helmet (which by the way doesn't say much for the helmet's quality - they are not supposed to shatter, they are supposed to deform). It has no scientific basis. If he wants to see some scientific appraisal of the efficacy of helmets - and the wider health implications of compelling their use - I suggest he reads the material on the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation's website at www.cyclehelmets.org Finally, can he please stop interfering in other people's choices and lives - just because he thinks that his son might have survived a lethal incident, an entirely unprovable hypothesis, is not a good reason for forcing others to wear a helmet, especially when the benefits of helmet use are decidedly unproven indeed dubious, as the BHRF's research database will show you. Paul_M
  • Score: 5

8:53am Sat 1 Feb 14

burtthebike says...

Paul M is quite right, and all the reliable evidence shows that cycle helmets do not improve the safety of cyclists. They've had helmet laws in Australia and New Zealand for over twenty years, and the predictions about saving hundreds of lives a year were completely false, and cycling actually became riskier, not safer.

Helmet laws and propaganda have two proven effects: a reduction in the number of cyclists and obscene profits for those making and selling helmets, there is no safety benefit.

Paul M is right, check out the facts at cyclehelmets.org
Paul M is quite right, and all the reliable evidence shows that cycle helmets do not improve the safety of cyclists. They've had helmet laws in Australia and New Zealand for over twenty years, and the predictions about saving hundreds of lives a year were completely false, and cycling actually became riskier, not safer. Helmet laws and propaganda have two proven effects: a reduction in the number of cyclists and obscene profits for those making and selling helmets, there is no safety benefit. Paul M is right, check out the facts at cyclehelmets.org burtthebike
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree