Even this is not true. I believe that helmets are actually pretty good at preventing minor bumps and scrapes. Off-road, I would usually wear one. I am certainly not anti-helmet, as can be seen from my website.
But I do believe that they are irrelevant to road safety. They are not designed to protect against car v. bike impacts, and it’s these which cause the majority of serious injuries. Helmet promoters seem intent on holding up these serious injuries and proposing helmets as a solution – this is very bad. Not only is it dishonest, it is potentially dangerous since people who think they are better protected than they are may take risks.
Worst of all, the helmet issue has come to dominate the cycle safety agenda to such an extent that all other issues have all but vanished from the public consciousness. Cycle safety has been hijacked by extremists: helmet monomaniacs and the Daily Mail brigade who can’t understand that cyclists riding through red lights in the gridlocked traffic they are supposed to prevent is no risk to anyone.
I’m launching my own campaign for real cycle safety at http://www.outrider.org.uk. Watch for developments!