50 Reasons Why Not Wearing A Helmet Is The Dumbest Thing You Can Do (New Pics)

When David Hollister introduced a seat belt bill in Michigan in the early 1980s that imposed a fine for not buckling up, the state representative received hate mail comparing him to Hitler. At the time, only 14 percent of Americans regularly wore seat belts, even though the federal government required lap and shoulder belts in all new cars starting in 1968.

Drivers and passengers were arguing that seat belts were uncomfortable and restrictive, but the uproar was mostly ideological.

Similarly, growing up in Northern Europe in the 1990s, I constantly heard kids on my block say that only stupid dorks wore helmets when riding their bikes. “What, can’t you drive?”, they’d ask, preparing a heavy barrage of insults.

But just like seat belts, this gear is often the deciding factor that separates life and death. To remind you that putting on a helmet is the smartest thing you can do, we at Bored Panda compiled a list of scary accidents that could’ve been much worse if it wasn’t for them.

Continue scrolling to check out the pics, and if you need more proof, fire up our earlier publication on the topic here.

#1 The Soldier Receives His Mounted Helmet That Took A 7.62 Round At 20 Feet While Wearing It

Image credits: Kolafie

#8 Always Wear A Helmet

Image credits: Rosey454

#9 The Guy Wearing This Survived (Wear Your Helmet On Your Motorcycle, Kids)

Image credits: Grabapanda

There are different helmets for different activities, and each type of helmet is designed to protect your head from the impact common to a particular activity or sport.

You should always wear a helmet that is appropriate for the activity you’re involved in because other types of helmets may not protect you equally well.

“Some helmets can be worn for multiple activities, but don’t assume,” Levy said. “Check the manufacturer’s instructions for guidelines before buying a helmet.”

#10 Kevlar Helmet Of An Orlando Police Officer Who Was Hit In Today’s Shooting

Image credits: OrlandoPolice

#11 This Is Why You Should Wear Helmets. The Helmet Took The Hit And I Am Okay. Live To Ski Another Day

Image credits: Mikeybdabbed

#12 This Helmet Saved A 5-1/2 Year Old Involved In A Collision Saturday From A Significant Brain Injury Or Worse. Helmets Are Good

Image credits: skiingineer2

#13 Can Anyone Tell Me Why Anything Other Than Full Face Helmets Are A Good Idea?

Image credits: myotheralt

To ensure optimal protection, your helmet should:

  • Feel comfortable but snug;
  • Sit evenly on your head (not be tilted back on the top of the head or pulled too low over your forehead);
  • Not move in any direction, back to front or side to side;
  • Have a secure buckle to keep it from moving or falling off on either a first or second impact. So if you are riding your bike and collide with something (first impact), the helmet will still be firmly in place if you then fall onto the pavement (second impact);
  • Be easy to adjust and fit properly without a lot of adjustments. And once adjustments have been made, they should stay put.

#14 Motorcycle Helmet Post Crash

Image credits: rinova

#15 Guy Survives Round To The Head Thanks To A Kevlar Helmet

Image credits: XiKiilzziX

#16 Two Years Ago Today, This Dot Certified Helmet Absorbed A 50mph Impact And Saved My Life

On this day two years ago, this DOT-certified helmet saved my life. It successfully absorbed the majority of a 50mph impact on pavement. There is an indent on the front left that would have surely been a fractured skull without it, and numerous scrapes around the top and chin that would have left me maimed if it did not stay on my head throughout the entirety of the crash. Fortunately, my mind and body are working properly today because of this life-saving equipment.


If you are a rider, I encourage you to own and wear one of these every time you ride. I recommend one with a face shield or guard. If you know someone who rides, please encourage them to wear one.

Image credits: MrBuffaloSauce

#17 Cyclist Arrived In ED With This Helmet – Surprisingly Fine. Imagine His Skull Without A Helmet

Image credits: benjibean

According to Levy, it can be especially challenging getting kids to always wear a helmet, so it’s up to parents to set hard and fast rules.

“Be consistent and firm,” she said. “Don’t negotiate. Don’t compromise. Don’t give them a choice: Either they wear the helmet or they don’t ride their bike, scooter, etc. That way, they know you take it seriously they make it a habit.”

Parents should also lead by example and always wear their helmets.

#18 Romain Grosjean Showed How His Helmet Turned Out After The Accident In Bahrain

Image credits: elmejordelresto

#19 Here Is The Helmet Of A Guy Who Went Head-First Into The Base Of A Lift Tower And Walked Away With A Minor Concussion. Wear A Helmet

Image credits: holpucht

#20 Daily Reminder To Always Wear A Helmet

Image credits: jimboy6996

When it comes to the helmets themselves, while it’s OK to purchase your child’s clothes in a size larger than he or she wears, the same is not true of helmets; helmets should fit perfectly when you purchase them.

Test your children’s sizing by having them try on a variety of helmets. When fastened and tightened, the helmet should not move from side to side or front to back, and your child’s forehead should be properly covered to keep it protected.

Helmets for children or toddlers should also have a buckle that holds firm in a crash but releases after five seconds of steady pull to avoid potential strangulation. A child’s helmet will usually fit for several years, and most models have removable fitting pads that can be replaced with thinner ones as the child’s head grows.

#21 Is Your Life Worth More Than $40?

Image credits: TamiK_Colorado

#22 Wear Your Helmet

Image credits: Valanor

#23 Will Always Wear A Helmet From Now On

Was biking on the 4th of July and people were setting off fireworks. The next thing I know I hear a massive explosion in my ear and my head feels hot. Turns out a pretty big firework somehow went off right above my head. Had minor hearing loss for a day.

Image credits: Pman168

#24 Always Wear Your Helmets Cheese Bags And Never Trust Ice Patches

Image credits: Mihu_Hyeok

Those guidelines apply to children who are at least 1 year old. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under 1 year of age should not be on bicycles at all.

“It’s simply not safe to take a baby on a bicycle,” Levy highlighted. “Babies haven’t developed sufficient bone mass and muscle tone to enable them to sit unsupported with their backs straight. And, just as important, their necks aren’t strong enough to support the weight of even the lightest helmets. So even though baby-sized helmets are available, they are not advisable.”

#25 There Were A Few Bugs On My Ride Tonight

Image credits: SLCPHARAOH

#26 Broken Elbow, But Helmet Saved My Noggin! Grateful I Was Wearing One

Image credits: kwphot0

#27 Just A Friendly Reminder To Wear A Helmet. Better The Helmet Crack Open Than My Skull Is How I See It

Image credits: SimpleChill44

#28 This Helmet Was Shot By A Tear Gas Grenade During The Protest In Iraq

Image credits: Mohamadil

But you also have to remember that helmets aren’t forever. Some are manufactured to withstand one impact, while others are made to withstand multiple impacts.

Bicycle helmets, for example, are designed to protect against a single severe impact, such as a fall onto the pavement. The foam material in the helmet will crush to absorb the impact energy during a fall and can’t protect you again from a subsequent impact. So even if there are no visible signs of damage, you must replace it.

Other helmets are often designed to protect against multiple moderate impacts, including football and hockey helmets. However, you may still have to replace these helmets after one severe impact, particularly if the helmet has visible signs of damage, such as a cracked shell or a permanent dent.

#29 A Helmet Will Save A Life Or A Face

Image credits: wizbow

#30 This Is Why I Wear A Helmet

Image credits: aquayle

#31 Flying Debris Broke My Visor

Image credits: Hemank_fpl

#32 Wear Your Helmets. This One May Have Saved My Life

Image credits: French87

#33 Here’s The Helmet That Saved My Life

Image credits: scratchedstopsign

#34 Daily Reminder To Wear A Helmet

Image credits: DailyReminderToWearAHelmet

#35 Reminder To Always Wear A Helmet

Image credits: _Captain_Future_

#36 Wear A Helmet

Image credits: rob_the_flip

#37 Daily Reminder To Wear Your Gear, My Buddy’s Helmet After His Crash. No Head Injuries

Image credits: digitaliceberg

#38 Wear Your Helmet Kids

Image credits: kazlx

#39 This Helmet Saved My Life On The Brooklyn Bridge When I Crashed Into Wandering Tourists On The Bike Lane

It’s a Giro Cormick MIPS. It did it’s job but I did pass out (docs thought no concussion). Is there an even safer helmet? I’m thinking maybe Giro Aether or Bell Z20 both MIPS. Thoughts?

Image credits: marcio-k

#40 Guy Fell 20m In Scotland A Few Weeks Ago. Helmet Saved His Life, Only Needed 4 Stitches In The Back Of His Head, Broken Ribs, Broken Vertebrae, Bruised Lungs, And Some Bumps. Wear A Helmet

Image credits: humming-bee

#41 My Friend Also Was Saved By His Helmet Recently

Image credits: but_how_do_i_go_fast

#42 This Helmet Saved My Life This Weekend. I Only Bought And Started Using A Helmet Two Weeks Ago. Please Always Wear One

Image credits: iLoveLamp427

#43 Friendly PSA To Wear Your Helmet Kids. Trees Are Hard. That Would’ve Been My Skull

Image credits: CaptainLarryLobster

#44 Wear Your Helmets People

I was out riding on a road I have been on many times before. But last Thursday 5/16 I was hit by a pickup truck. I do not remember the accident but someone who witnessed it said I flew a ways and landed on my back and head. I spent a day in the hospital and now just a little banged up. I believe if it wasn’t for the helmet it would have been much worse.

Image credits: Bknuck

#45 My Mom Braked For 60 Foot And Then Had A Stroke. She Tumbled And Rolled 70 Feet After And Got Scratches, But That Could Have Been So Much Worse

Image credits: MetalPetal99

#46 This, Kids, Is Why We Wear Helmets. Stacked It At 43 Km/H, Helmet Took The Brunt

Image credits: JayTheFordMan

#47 I’m Glad I Got A Full Face Helmet

Image credits: LordHamHam

#48 Always Wear Your Helmets, I Don’t Want To Think About What Would Have Happened If I Wasn’t Wearing Mine. Stay Safe

Image credits: ctica

#49 My Helmet Just Saved My Life

Image credits: litalela

#50 So Uhhh Helmets Yeah?

Image credits: purplechemicals