December 19, 2012

Friendly Advice for Dr. Carl Hoyler: Wear a Properly-Fitting Bicycle Helmet

To the Editor:

I was happy to read that Dr. Carl Hoyler rides a brightly-painted bicycle around Princeton (“After 44 Years and Many Memories, An Old-Fashioned Doctor Calls It Quits,” Town Topics, Dec. 12). However, I was dismayed to learn that he thinks wearing a helmet is dangerous. Dr. Hoyler is mistaken. In case of a fall, a bicycle helmet, rather than his head, would absorb some of the force of the blow.

Wearing a bicycle helmet is like wearing a seatbelt or having an airbag in a car: they all protect you in case of an accident. Dr. Hoyler worries about his peripheral vision. However, the Mayo Clinic says, “If the bicycle helmet straps block your vision — even a little bit — choose another helmet.”

“What’s the first lesson in bike safety?” asks Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation. “Always wear a properly-fitting bicycle helmet.”

Also, please remember to use lights so that you can be seen. Helmets are only part of the safety equation.

Sandra Shapiro

Advisor, West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance

Wycombe Way, Princeton Junction