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  1. #76
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    I would not support one. Bike helmets, unlike seat belts, are not attached to the bicycle and can be misplaced or forgotten. They also can be annoying to carry around.
    Look at the foremost examples of places with a lot of people on bikes; they don't wear helmets there, and the injury rate is very very low.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  2. #77
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeWill View Post
    It's a cost regardless, if like saying I'm only going to take $20 out of your wallet instead of $40, would you smile and hand me $20? No, it's still a loss that can be avoided.

    Basically it's horrible financial planning, the exact kind of financial planning that runs up budgets and gets people in debt of comparing "deals", it is still a cost, even if it's a "deal".
    about the only undisputed data coming from areas that have instituted a helmet law is there are less people cycling after the law is passed. cycling lowers the costs of health care for many reasons so the net effect of helmet laws are higher health care costs.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
    [SIGPIC]http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/striphandler.ashx?stripid=57f6ca71-73a8-42a3-acc4-29e6d333df27[/SIGPIC]

  3. #78
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnoTurtle View Post
    I kinda have mixed feelings on this one, i think everybody should wear a helmet, but i think if it was a law that you must wear a helmet, less people would ride bikes. whats your thoughts on this?
    To answer the thread question: NO.

    Feel free to wear a helmet if you prefer. You won't get any argument or criticism from me. But for average, every day commuters, they are unnecessary. For extreme or sport cycling, I would certainly support the use of helmets, but I have survived more than 30 years of dense, urban year-round cycling without one and would oppose any such proposal. Others and myself have stated our reasons over and over in various threads and those reasons are sound. The curious thing is that all the serious helmet threads are initiated by pro-helmet wearers and usually, like this one, want to force others to conform to their way of doing things. Looks alot like bible-thumpers trying to get me to believe in another silly myth. Leave it alone. Wear a helmet if you like, but stop forcing your way of life on everyone else.
    The slow down is accelerating

  4. #79
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    True ... but everyone has been itching to argue the point all over again anyway.
    Good - give the troll what he deserves, then start a new thread to blow out of proportion

    -Kurt

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeWill View Post
    Care to post the data?
    For instance:

    Scuffham and Taylor, "New Zealand bicycle helmet law -- do the costs outweigh the benefits?" Injury Prevention, 2002, 8: 317-320.

    http://www.industrializedcyclist.com...etlawcosts.pdf

    "Objectives: This paper examines the cost effectiveness of the compulsory bicycle helmet wearing law
    (HWL) introduced in New Zealand on 1 January 1994. The societal perspective of costs is used for the
    purchase of helmets and the value of injuries averted. This is augmented with healthcare costs averted
    from reduced head injuries.
    Methods: Three age groups were examined: cyclists aged 5–12 years, 13–18 years, and >19 years.
    The number of head and non-head injuries averted were obtained from epidemiological studies. Estimates
    of the numbers of cyclists and the costs of helmets are used to derive the total spending on new
    bicycle helmets. Healthcare costs were obtained from national hospitalisation database, and the value
    of injuries averted was obtained directly from a willingness-to-pay survey undertaken by the Land
    Transport Safety Authority. Cost effectiveness ratios, benefit:cost ratios, and the value of net benefits
    were estimated.
    Results: The net benefit (benefit:cost ratios) of the HWL for the 5–12, 13–18, and >19 year age
    groups was $0.3m (2.6), –$0.2m (0.8), and –$1.5m (0.7) (in NZ $, 2000 prices; NZ $1.00 = US
    $0.47 = UK £0.31 approx). These results were most sensitive to the cost and life of helmets, helmet
    wearing rates before the HWL, and the effectiveness of helmets in preventing head injuries.
    Conclusions: The HWL was cost saving in the youngest age group but large costs from the law were
    imposed on adult (>19 years) cyclists."

    A good summation is DL Robinson, "No Clear Evidence From Countries that Have Enforced the Wearing of Helmets," BMJ, 2006; 332: 722-725.

    I have a link to this on my site but it can no longer be viewed for free. Basically Robinson will take you through the very spotty numbers from parts of Australia and New Zealand that have enacted MHLs and have seen increasing head injuries and declining numbers of bicyclists. Head injury rates also rose in Sweden among adults (but not children) as helmet use went from basically zero percent to a substantial percentage.

    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeWill View Post
    My agenda is saving money, so obviously I'm out for facts on which WILL save money,
    Big money-saver are you. Then you should worry about things that actually have a significant effect on health care costs: dangerous eating habits, sedentary lifestyles and environmental pollution. Automobile crashes.

    Even if MHLs would save money rather than cost money -- which I think we can all see is a pretty dubious proposition -- it would be such a paltry amount in the face of all the other costs listed above that it would be stupid to worry over it. More importantly, supporting an MHL for the purpose of some hypothetical societal cost of bicyclist head injuries is massively hypocritical, unless you live like a monk on top of a mountain somewhere. I don't want to hear that argument from anyone but a righteous vegetarian monk. What do YOU do that will cost society money, StrangeWill? Ever eat Cheetos while sitting around on the couch? Drive a car around spewing pollution? Go skiing? Etc.

    Now we have Cheeto-scarfing truck-driving fatsos telling everyday bicyclists what to wear for the good of society. It's absurd. Calls for MHLs deserve nothing but ridicule.

  6. #81
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    I know that insurance cost is often thrown around in support of helmet laws, the idea being that not wearing a helmet is irresponsible because the costs of unnecessary injuries is born by everyone else. Ignoring all the obvious arguments about fatty foods, etc., does anyone have any data showing that insurance costs, taxes, or anything of the sort have decreased in areas mandating helmets?

  7. #82
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    Good - give the troll what he deserves, then start a new thread to blow out of proportion

    -Kurt


    Excellent.

  8. #83
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
    For instance:

    Scuffham and Taylor, "New Zealand bicycle helmet law -- do the costs outweigh the benefits?" Injury Prevention, 2002, 8: 317-320.

    http://www.industrializedcyclist.com...etlawcosts.pdf

    "Objectives: This paper examines the cost effectiveness of the compulsory bicycle helmet wearing law
    (HWL) introduced in New Zealand on 1 January 1994. The societal perspective of costs is used for the
    purchase of helmets and the value of injuries averted. This is augmented with healthcare costs averted
    from reduced head injuries.
    Methods: Three age groups were examined: cyclists aged 5–12 years, 13–18 years, and >19 years.
    The number of head and non-head injuries averted were obtained from epidemiological studies. Estimates
    of the numbers of cyclists and the costs of helmets are used to derive the total spending on new
    bicycle helmets. Healthcare costs were obtained from national hospitalisation database, and the value
    of injuries averted was obtained directly from a willingness-to-pay survey undertaken by the Land
    Transport Safety Authority. Cost effectiveness ratios, benefit:cost ratios, and the value of net benefits
    were estimated.
    Results: The net benefit (benefit:cost ratios) of the HWL for the 5–12, 13–18, and >19 year age
    groups was $0.3m (2.6), –$0.2m (0.8), and –$1.5m (0.7) (in NZ $, 2000 prices; NZ $1.00 = US
    $0.47 = UK £0.31 approx). These results were most sensitive to the cost and life of helmets, helmet
    wearing rates before the HWL, and the effectiveness of helmets in preventing head injuries.
    Conclusions: The HWL was cost saving in the youngest age group but large costs from the law were
    imposed on adult (>19 years) cyclists."

    A good summation is DL Robinson, "No Clear Evidence From Countries that Have Enforced the Wearing of Helmets," BMJ, 2006; 332: 722-725.

    I have a link to this on my site but it can no longer be viewed for free. Basically Robinson will take you through the very spotty numbers from parts of Australia and New Zealand that have enacted MHLs and have seen increasing head injuries and declining numbers of bicyclists. Head injury rates also rose in Sweden among adults (but not children) as helmet use went from basically zero percent to a substantial percentage.
    Thanks for the links.


    Quote Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
    Big money-saver are you. Then you should worry about things that actually have a significant effect on health care costs: dangerous eating habits, sedentary lifestyles and environmental pollution. Automobile crashes.

    Even if MHLs would save money rather than cost money -- which I think we can all see is a pretty dubious proposition -- it would be such a paltry amount in the face of all the other costs listed above that it would be stupid to worry over it. More importantly, supporting an MHL for the purpose of some hypothetical societal cost of bicyclist head injuries is massively hypocritical, unless you live like a monk on top of a mountain somewhere. I don't want to hear that argument from anyone but a righteous vegetarian monk. What do YOU do that will cost society money, StrangeWill? Ever eat Cheetos while sitting around on the couch? Drive a car around spewing pollution? Go skiing? Etc.

    Now we have Cheeto-scarfing truck-driving fatsos telling everyday bicyclists what to wear for the good of society. It's absurd. Calls for MHLs deserve nothing but ridicule.
    People generally lose sight of what matters -- where the "meat and potatoes" lie -- and instead go after the politically palatable targets. Through in something with a lot of misinformation -- IMO, bicycle helmets fall under this umbrella -- then you can get all sorts of wacky stuff.

  9. #84
    Senior Member carkmouch's Avatar
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    Hell no to helmet laws.

    Hell yes to encouraging people to wear one.

    Helmet Laws = less people cycling, at least I think.
    Touring is in tents

  10. #85
    может да speedycat's Avatar
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    Never thought I'd see a thread nearly 10 years old get bumped. Anyway, mandate helmets if you want. I'm still not wearing one.
    we're the kids they call "the future"

  11. #86
    1973 Sekine dogbreathpnw's Avatar
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    It's indisputable that helmets would prevent serious injuries in automobiles as well. Race car drivers use them, after all.

    I'm all in favor of a helmet law as long as it's universal, that we require motorists to wear them as well.
    When was the last time a bicyclist fell asleep at the wheel and killed a family of four? It's the motorists that are the problem.

  12. #87
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    I'll speak for myself and take an approach of common sense.

    For all the time while riding a bicycle, I've worn a helmet for my own personal safety and always will. I simply will not ride my bicycle without one. I've been through numerous incidents where I might have been killed or seriously injured if I hadn't been wearing it. While the helmet could and had to be replaced after each incident, I knew full well that this is not so for the human brain.

    I strongly recommend that people wear a helmet while on a bicycle or motorcycle. I believe that people should be educated about the benefits of wearing a helmet first and let them make them make the choice in the end. I've lived and worked around people who didn't and who now have permanent head injuries.
    Last edited by powerhouse; 01-29-09 at 06:38 PM.

  13. #88
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogbreathpnw View Post
    It's indisputable that helmets would prevent serious injuries in automobiles as well. Race car drivers use them, after all.

    I'm all in favor of a helmet law as long as it's universal, that we require motorists to wear them as well.
    Actually better restraints would help a trillion times more, you get back and neck injuries way more than you get head injuries in a standard accident. Not to mention proper racing equipment creates horrible blind spots in cars, being as you can't move your head very well (which is needed to check blind spots).

    If you're okay with cyclist fatality rate going up by like 100 fold, we'll enact that law.

  14. #89
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post
    I've been through numerous incidents where I might have been killed or seriously injured if I hadn't been wearing it.
    Numerous incidents where a helmet saved you from being seriously injured or killed? I recommend that you immediately quit bicycling since you are either so careless, clueless and/or accident prone that bicycling is just too dang dangerous for you. That you are still alive in spite of reckless cycling has more to do with good luck than the risk reduction capability of your various broken helmets.

  15. #90
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    My personal experience has only been one time where I would have probably suffered a mighty fine concussion and a bloody head.

    Worth it for that alone IMHO, made me think more about how some face protection would be good in a helmet redesign.


    Death? Err not so much, it isn't on par with what a helmet should be.

  16. #91
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    Numerous incidents where a helmet saved you from being seriously injured or killed?
    Caught that too, eh? I just hope I never end up behind him in a paceline.

  17. #92
    meandering nomad
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    In the words of my good friend who was a SanFran bike messenger. I don't intend to hit my head when I ride a bike,therefore I don't need a hunk o' foam on my head. I bike year round in New England in all conditions of weather. Anyone who thinks a helmet will save their life in a real crash in dreaming or falls because of their clip ins at a stop light.
    Safety Nanny Checklist
    1.Two headlights major brand 100+ Lumens plus helmet light2.Two tail-lights at minimum but really you need more3.Mirrors on helmet, handlebar and back of glove.4. Reflective vest and tape on every surface5.Disc and caliper brakes just in case6.Horn, bell and train whistle7.Chicken Little’s Phone# 8.Wear a helmet at all times (you might fall out of bed)Because it's scary out there!

  18. #93
    Fred J.G. dwilbur3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billew View Post
    In the words of my good friend who was a SanFran bike messenger. I don't intend to hit my head when I ride a bike,therefore I don't need a hunk o' foam on my head. I bike year round in New England in all conditions of weather. Anyone who thinks a helmet will save their life in a real crash in dreaming or falls because of their clip ins at a stop light.
    Nobody ever INTENDS to have an accident.

    (But I'm not big for mandatory helmets. Let natural selection sort it out.)

  19. #94
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billew View Post
    In the words of my good friend who was a SanFran bike messenger. I don't intend to hit my head when I ride a bike,therefore I don't need a hunk o' foam on my head. I bike year round in New England in all conditions of weather. Anyone who thinks a helmet will save their life in a real crash in dreaming or falls because of their clip ins at a stop light.
    Do tell what your friend's fail-proof method is to avoid a driver utilizing your person for automotive target practice. I'm sure it will be revolutionary.

    Yaawwwwnnn...

    -Kurt

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    The idea that a helmet will save you when impacted by a few hundred thousand foot-pounds of force is perilously close to fantasy.

  21. #96
    Fred J.G. dwilbur3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    The idea that a helmet will save you when impacted by a few hundred thousand foot-pounds of force is perilously close to fantasy.
    If your bike falls over (dodging a dog for example) and you land on your head, would you rather have a helmet or a smug attitude?

  22. #97
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    The idea that a helmet will save you when impacted by a few hundred thousand foot-pounds of force is perilously close to fantasy.
    The few hundred thousand foot pounds that impacts you is occasionally not as big a problem as the pavement next to it. That said, most helmets (with exception to some of the skater designs) have virtually no forehead protection to keep you from scraping your mug to shreds in such cases.

    -Kurt

  23. #98
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    If your bike falls over (dodging a dog for example) and you land on your head, would you rather have a helmet or a smug attitude?
    If I have a choice I'd really rather just land on some idiot from bike forums.

    And thanks for asking.

  24. #99
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    The few hundred thousand foot pounds that impacts you is occasionally not as big a problem as the pavement next to it.
    Yes, if I'm struck by an object carrying several hundred thousand foot-pounds of energy and am completely uninjured by it but am then definitely going to land on my head -- but not the front, sides, or back of my head, mind you -- AND don't have a handy bike forums member to land on, then yes, I'd rather have a helmet.

    In that light, it's obvious we need a law.

  25. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwilbur3 View Post
    If your bike falls over (dodging a dog for example) and you land on your head, would you rather have a helmet or a smug attitude?
    The smug attitude, definitely. Then I'll pick myself up, brush the grit out of my road rash, and get back on my bike- exactly as I did last time I came off. Interestingly, earlier that ride, and American cyclist had been trying to tell me that I was running some massive risk of instant death by riding my bike without a helmet. He didn't look so sure after I washed out so spectacularly and didn't even hit my head. But that's the benefit of not making your head a much bigger, heavier target.

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