So, back 15 years ago, I think wearing helmet is kinda hype. I started wearing cycling helmet around 10 years ago seeing how dangerous cycling on the road is.

Just recently I got in an accident which I'm not sure what I can do better to avoid one (the accident) but to have more protection on myself. The accident happened just when a young motorist decided to pulled out without any signal, checking blind spot and possibly mirror (I use Cateye EL-130, a warning sign 300 m away from me can still reflect my flaslight-strobing well back; a full Hi Vis jacket).

So when I was swerving, I lost balance and get thrown off the bike, chin and face planted on asphalt. 4 stitches on the chin, internal bleeding around the front teeth (have to take fluid for 3 weeks) and scar on face.

Enough with the accident background, my question is 1) Would it worth buying a full helmet (BMX not motorcycle style) just to provide some protection, before my front teeth ever decide to part from me and my abuse. 2) What is your thought being a cyclist, seeing another wearing full helmet on the road?

Side question: a) Regarding the accident, was there anything else I can do, apart from riding on the very right edge of the lane (UK driving on left) and/or driving unacceptably slowly (less than 10 mph or 16 kmph) to keep control of the bicycle (and encourage motorist behind to overtake). b) I am still hesitant to claim personal injury against the driver. Is there any advice? Looking for a solicitor I believe?

EDIT: Sorry I forgot to tell that I'm living in Scotland so temperature is not really a problem.. but I have never seen people riding full helmet on the street, lol. I think in here 50% people choosing not to have helmet, even worse... EDIT 2: I actually mean this kind of helmet just to prevent some simple face-plant injury Bike helmet full

  • 4
    A full face helmet might inhibit your peripheral vision and decrease your ability to turn your head to see beside and behind you. You could end up more likely to be in an accident even though your head and face are better protected.
    – Kibbee
    Nov 12, 2014 at 18:53
  • 1
    The face plant you experienced is relatively rare in road cycling -- more common off-road. As to claiming personal injury against the motorist, that's something you should discuss with a solicitor. In the US the circumstances would be sufficiently ambiguous that you probably would not prevail, but I think they take cyclists a bit more seriously on your side of the pond. Nov 12, 2014 at 19:50
  • @Kibbee Motorcycle racers and riders use full face and see just fine. No difference in peripheral vision.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 12, 2014 at 22:08
  • 1
    More importantly full face cover your ears - a road cyclist in traffic needs to be able to hear.
    – mattnz
    Nov 12, 2014 at 22:40
  • 1
    Just for reference - some history for the discussion is Why don't cyclists wear all-encompassing motorcycle-style helmets? and Are helmets with chin guards safer than those without?
    – andy256
    Nov 13, 2014 at 0:17

3 Answers 3


Protection level is a personal preference matter. You could just as well wear downhill style full body armor to commute and if you are willing to sacrifice the mobility and comfort for that extra level of protection, I'd say more power to you. So my answer is you should wear whatever makes you feel more comfortable mentally. The reality is it's all shades of grey. If a one ton pickup hits you going 55 mph, there really isn't much you could be wearing that is going to do you any good. I've been hit twice now commuting, but have stopped wearing any sort of helmet in the winter due to temperature control issues. I value ease of temperature adjustment more than any feeling of safety I get from a helmet.

So much of cycling is personal preference that I have seen several folks in town wearing full face helmets on what is seemingly a commute, and it doesn't bother me any more or less than the brand of bicycle they are riding.

Edit: I do not recommend wearing any less than the level of protection required by law in your area. My jurisdiction has no such requirements.

  • 2
    (without getting into the helmet debate) There is an effect where people wearing more (or less) protective gear change the behaviour with the opposite outcome to the desired one. Riding with no helmet gives you an incentive not to crash, riding with full body armour you care less about a crash yet can still get hurt.
    – mattnz
    Nov 13, 2014 at 0:41

I not a Dr nor a medical professional - do not take this as medical advice.

The primary purpose of a partial helmet is to protect the brain. With blunt force trauma to the skull the brain will swell and you can lose brain function or even die.

As for losing your teeth that is bad and you don't want it to happen but it is not likely something you are going to die from. If you did die from a fractured jaw it would most likely be from so much blood in the esophagus that you could not breath.

With that said if you want to protect your face then by all means wear a full face helmet.

On a motor cycle I wore full face. I took one bad fall and full face saved my face and I never road again.

  • I have lost two teeth on bicycle accidents. I don't wear full face because it is hot where I live.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 13, 2014 at 0:22
  • I'm so sorry to hear that :-(. But I forgot to tell I'm in Scotland, so temperature is not really a problem...
    – Nhân Lê
    Nov 16, 2014 at 1:36
  • what if you broke your neck, a trauma from the mandible leaving internal bleeding of the brain near the ear (mandible joints)?
    – Nhân Lê
    Nov 16, 2014 at 5:57
  • What does breaking your neck have to do with your question or my answer? If you broke your neck you would have a broken neck.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 16, 2014 at 13:12

I will tackle just the question what can be done to prevent such accidents in the future. I think that in some cases loud horn can help the prevent accidents where motorist is not aware of the cyclist.

I was recently in an accident where I was on the main road and motrosit was approaching on side road. He was driving in faster spectrum but many other motorist approach main road in that manner and stop. This one did not, since he did not see me, and hit me in the rear wheel. I was much more lucky than you since I got only few bruises.

But I decided and ordered loud horn for my bike which I intend to use on any suspucious looking motorist.

  • I understand your argument. However, I cannot just honk every parking cars on the street, haha, I will have problems with the police.
    – Nhân Lê
    Nov 16, 2014 at 1:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.