Last night, working as a paramedic in my Emergency Response Unit (Tahoe with big V-8 - complete antithesis of riding to work) I was sent to a call for a cyclist struck (my second in the past two weeks). This 32 year old gentleman was not wearing a helmet, and was doored by a taxi. Now, I've been doored, thankfully in the north end of the city, and landed on the grass strip between the curb and the sidewalk. Unfortunately, this gentleman, when he went over the handlebars, flew into a streetlight pole. A little groggy, he tells me he is a racer; and I replied "you race, and you don't wear a helmet?" Myself, I have demolished two helmets in crashes, and most people who know me tell me to my face that I am still reasonably coherent; what they say behind my back I have no idea). The other person last week got the old right turn hook, as the driver was looking left at the large truck approaching.
Beware of stopped taxis
Don't pull up beside the right side of anything with a right turn signal on, especially a large truck, as you will probably die.
I know it isn't a legal necessity, and it messes up the hair, but the helmet can save your life. Being tied to a chair in a chronic care hospital and wearing diapers that don't get changed often enough for the next 3 or 4 or 5 decades of your life, because you suffered a brain injury that could have been prevented with a helmet would be a collosal shame.
We are the unseen and vulnerable out there - be safe.