The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Helmets left behind

By Rita Totten

With an increase in bikes on campus comes an increase in a more dangerous trend: riders without helmets.

Riders on campus primarily cite fashion and inconvenience as the reasons why they risk pain and suffering when they ride.

A group of students riding fixed-gear bikes on the Union Plaza said the main reason they don’t wear helmets is because they see them as more of a hindrance than a safety measure.

“A helmet is kind of a hassle to carry,” said Chase Bardole, a freshman in architecture. “I’ve been riding bikes my whole life. I felt comfortable enough to ride without a helmet.”

Collin Stewart, a freshman in physical therapy, said he wears a helmet when riding on the streets, but not on campus.

“It just doesn’t seem extremely necessary,” Stewart said.

The cyclists agreed that fashion and the threat of “helmet hair,” played a role in their decision not to sport the headgear.

“I guess that’s kind of it, too,” Bardole said.

Despite the risky trend on campus, Utah has a higher percentage of cyclists who wear helmets than the national percentage, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Utah is one of 14 states that does not have a mandatory helmet law for bicyclists.

Paris Latham, a non-matriculated student getting a certificate in geographic information science, joked that she only wears a helmet when she’s been drinking.

“I don’t own a functional

(helmet),” Latham said of the real reason she doesn’t wear a helmet while riding across campus. “They’re kind of expensive, but I guess so is my brain.”

Latham said her commute to campus is short and she uses TRAX most of the way, so biking without headgear doesn’t seem like a big deal.

“When I’m on a road bike, I’ll wear a helmet,” Latham said.

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