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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet 178 10.66%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped 94 5.63%
I've always worn a helmet 648 38.80%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do 408 24.43%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions 342 20.48%
Voters: 1670. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-20-12, 01:22 PM   #2676
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
More like: those who ride without helmets ride less safely than those who wear helmets...
There's no way to prove a cyclist wearing a helmet tends to ride safer then one who doesn't wear one. Again this is just made up junk to make it sound like the only reason people survive better riding with a helmet is because they ride safer. No way to prove that statement at all. In fact I would tend to thing a normal cyclist, not the person, and a lot of bums fall into this category, who can't afford a car and can't afford a helmet or lightint has to ride a bike type of person and thus not really a cyclist, would probably tend to ride more cautiously knowing they are bare headed...at least I would ride that way, but there's no way for me to prove that either.
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Old 06-20-12, 06:09 PM   #2677
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The logic seems to be: more deaths without helmet --> helmets save lives
Yet the report does not provide rate of helmet use, making that logic, illogical.

The report also shows 44% helmet wearing rate for fatally injured child cyclists (the group currently legislated to wear helmets) is higher than the observed helmet wearing rate in surveys of cyclists. Thus at face value, helmet wearing would appear to increase the risk of a fatal injury, possibly because helmeted cyclists are more likely to cycle in more riskier conditions.

There is an assumption in the report that bicycle helmets are effective protection for collisions with moving vehicles, even if these impacts are far beyond a helmets ability.

The recommendation for mandatory helmet use in this report is unsubstantiated
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Old 06-20-12, 06:39 PM   #2678
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Yet the report does not provide rate of helmet use, making that logic, illogical.

The report also shows 44% helmet wearing rate for fatally injured child cyclists (the group currently legislated to wear helmets) is higher than the observed helmet wearing rate in surveys of cyclists. Thus at face value, helmet wearing would appear to increase the risk of a fatal injury, possibly because helmeted cyclists are more likely to cycle in more riskier conditions.

There is an assumption in the report that bicycle helmets are effective protection for collisions with moving vehicles, even if these impacts are far beyond a helmets ability.

The recommendation for mandatory helmet use in this report is unsubstantiated
I was really hoping for a chi square test or at least a p value this time. Seems like begging the question to me; The coroner has to assume that helmets save lives in order to conclude that helmets save lives.

What really grinds my gears is that, according to the report, 78% of these fatalities were the consequence of collision with a motorist. Yet we all turn blue in the face around fighting about whether or not helmets will make a difference. Even if we knew they did (which we don't) it would be insignificant when compared to the benefits reducing the risk of motorist vs cyclist collisions.

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Old 06-20-12, 07:39 PM   #2679
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... The coroner has to assume that helmets save lives in order to conclude that helmets save lives.
Yup. When I learned the coroner was going to conduct this review, I suspected he already had a helmet law in mind. Even when his report provides no basis for one, he recommends one.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:04 PM   #2680
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Yup. When I learned the coroner was going to conduct this review, I suspected he already had a helmet law in mind. Even when his report provides no basis for one, he recommends one.
Absolutely. The report explicitely says that the committee cannot state whether a helmet can decrease the chance of a head injury, and that they do NOT support a MHL. Then, the Chief Coroner turns around and states that the findings indicate that helmet saves lives and that a MHL is necessary. In an adjacent paragraph. A shame!
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Old 06-21-12, 06:31 AM   #2681
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Life is too short to worry about looking like a dork in a helmet, and would become too long to spend the rest of it in a persistant vegitative state.
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Old 06-21-12, 07:32 AM   #2682
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Life is too short to worry about looking like a dork in a helmet, and would become too long to spend the rest of it in a persistant vegitative state.
Cool. Fresh meat.

Have you read any of this thread? Do you know that helmets are not designed to prevent injuries which result in a "persistent vegetative state?" Do you know that you are in greater risk of severe head injury in an automobile or the shower than when on your bicycle?

In short, have you read any data, looked up any evidence and decided on your opinion from logical analysis from the available data?

Or are you just parroting what somebody else told you?
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Old 06-21-12, 08:13 AM   #2683
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Absolutely. The report explicitely says that the committee cannot state whether a helmet can decrease the chance of a head injury, and that they do NOT support a MHL. Then, the Chief Coroner turns around and states that the findings indicate that helmet saves lives and that a MHL is necessary. In an adjacent paragraph. A shame!

Yes it is, and is an example why this thread exists; to show the weakness in the arguments of the nagging people who want to lecture, or force others, to wear helmets when they have chosen not to.
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Old 06-21-12, 08:18 AM   #2684
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There's no way to prove a cyclist wearing a helmet tends to ride safer then one who doesn't wear one. Again this is just made up junk to make it sound like the only reason people survive better riding with a helmet is because they ride safer. No way to prove that statement at all. In fact I would tend to thing a normal cyclist, not the person, and a lot of bums fall into this category, who can't afford a car and can't afford a helmet or lightint has to ride a bike type of person and thus not really a cyclist, would probably tend to ride more cautiously knowing they are bare headed...at least I would ride that way, but there's no way for me to prove that either.
Conversely, one could argue that one who goes to the trouble to wear a helmet is concerned about safety.

But I think you are right, there really is no way to really prove either case. At best, it's conjecture based on a degree of logic; at worst, it's a wild-ass guess based on our biases .

I would note though, that what you forward is the idea of risk compensation: That the more one perceives safety, the less cautiously one carries oneself.

Last edited by sudo bike; 06-21-12 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 06-21-12, 03:00 PM   #2685
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Life is too short to worry about looking like a dork in a helmet, and would become too long to spend the rest of it in a persistant vegitative state.
That's like saying you only go down steps without handrails, just incase you need to do a "cannonball" if you trip...
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Old 06-21-12, 11:08 PM   #2686
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Conversely, one could argue that one who goes to the trouble to wear a helmet is concerned about safety.

But I think you are right, there really is no way to really prove either case. At best, it's conjecture based on a degree of logic; at worst, it's a wild-ass guess based on our biases .

I would note though, that what you forward is the idea of risk compensation: That the more one perceives safety, the less cautiously one carries oneself.
Absolutely. And yes, there may be a psychological perception of thinking one is safe could actually become less cautious. But, I killed a drunk driver last summer who wasn't buckled up and he drove recklessly. I also think some people over estimate their abilities to ride a bike or drive a car etc and therefore have no need for safety devices because "they know what their doing". So I think there's a double sided sword here.
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Old 06-22-12, 07:57 AM   #2687
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Conversely, one could argue that one who goes to the trouble to wear a helmet is concerned about safety.

But I think you are right, there really is no way to really prove either case. At best, it's conjecture based on a degree of logic; at worst, it's a wild-ass guess based on our biases .

I would note though, that what you forward is the idea of risk compensation: That the more one perceives safety, the less cautiously one carries oneself.
Well. If the majority of people wear helmets, and the majority of those in accidents don't wear helmets, isn't it pretty much safe to say that those who don't wear helmets are much less safe riders? Y'know, in general, statistically speaking...?

Of course this might or might not have anything to do with helmet usage. But then again, the bare-head brigade rarely makes this distinction when argue statistics and studies against helmet usage...

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Old 06-22-12, 08:19 AM   #2688
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Well. If the majority of people wear helmets, and the majority of those in accidents don't wear helmets, isn't it pretty much safe to say that those who don't wear helmets are much less safe riders? Y'know, in general, statistically speaking...?
No, it's not safe to say, not without knowing the overall rate of helmet use, as someone pointed out above.

For example, if 99 of 100 people more helmets, then it would be shocking that most fatalities were helmetless peoplem and you could conclude that either helmets saved lives or that non-helmet wearers cycle dangerously.

If 1 of 100 wear helmets, then you could conclude that somehow helmets contibute to the likelihood of death and injury.


The report also shows that most of the fatalities were people aged 45-55. There seems to be a better argument for banning people in that age range from cycling. It would save lives.

That would be rediculous, of course, but the point is that the conclusion that we need a MHL is rediculous. Plus it would kill our awesome BIXI program in Toronto.
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Old 06-22-12, 08:25 AM   #2689
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Well. If the majority of people wear helmets, and the majority of those in accidents don't wear helmets, isn't it pretty much safe to say that those who don't wear helmets are much less safe riders? Y'know, in general, statistically speaking...?
First you have to accept the incorrect notion that the majority of people wear helmets. That is definitely not the case worldwide and may not even be the case in just the US.
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Old 06-22-12, 11:01 AM   #2690
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I think the majority of the population does not wear helmet, what that percentage is is unknown. But whether I was in California or Indiana or other states I see more helmetless riders then helmeted riders. In California people under the age of 18 had to wear a helmet or get a ticket and where I lived they were pretty strict about it. Here in Indiana the cops don't seem to care.
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Old 06-22-12, 02:16 PM   #2691
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No, it's not safe to say, not without knowing the overall rate of helmet use, as someone pointed out above.
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First you have to accept the incorrect notion that the majority of people wear helmets. That is definitely not the case worldwide and may not even be the case in just the US.
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I think the majority of the population does not wear helmet, what that percentage is is unknown.
I dunno: if you look at the poll at the header of this thread, most people wear helmets... Worldwide, I'd say not, but BF members seem to be mainly pro-helmet usage, people posting here post from MHL locations, and the bare-head brigade always seems to complain that they are in a persecuted minority.

But let's, for the time being, assume that even in the USA most people riding do not wear helmets. ...what's the point of this thread, again?

So we have a study pointing out that most people who get hurt while riding are non-helmet wearers. How do you spin this as a positive on the bare-head side of things, if you're not going to allow the helmeteers to claim this as any kind of proof positive for wearing a helmet...? Doesn't seem to be something one could point to as a good reason not to wear a helmet...

I think I'll just stick with my original thought that most helmet-less riders are not safe riders.
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Old 06-22-12, 02:23 PM   #2692
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I think I'll just stick with my original thought that most helmet-less riders are not safe riders.
Oh, FFS. You're much more intelligent than that, you're just being provocative.

In most of the world, most people ride without helmets. Where helmets are in the majority, cyclists seem - from the statistics - to be no more safe than elsewhere. There is absolutely no conclusion one can draw from this data about the skills of helmeted or helmetless riders, as you obviously know.
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Old 06-22-12, 02:27 PM   #2693
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Oh, FFS. You're much more intelligent than that, you're just being provocative.

In most of the world, most people ride without helmets. Where helmets are in the majority, cyclists seem - from the statistics - to be no more safe than elsewhere. There is absolutely no conclusion one can draw from this data about the skills of helmeted or helmetless riders, as you obviously know.
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Old 06-22-12, 02:49 PM   #2694
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...

So we have a study pointing out that most people who get hurt while riding are non-helmet wearers. How do you spin this as a positive on the bare-head side of things, if you're not going to allow the helmeteers to claim this as any kind of proof positive for wearing a helmet...? Doesn't seem to be something one could point to as a good reason not to wear a helmet...

...
You can't spin it either way, that's the point. You can't draw any conclusions regarding helmets and safety from the data. It is outlined in the study itself.
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Old 06-22-12, 04:39 PM   #2695
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I think I'll just stick with my original thought that most helmet-less riders are not safe riders.
wish I had a video camera last year when a helmeted cyclist made a turn on the MUP and promptly fell over because he failed to keep any momentum and didn't straighten out the wheel. he just turned a nice circle into the ground. never put down a foot. never put out an arm. he just fell over. it was hilarious.
tell me again how wearing a helmet makes you have better bike skills than one who doesn't wear one, or gives you bike skills period.
unless being safe and knowing how to ride are two different things now.
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Old 06-22-12, 06:09 PM   #2696
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Well, the not putting out an arm part is usually a good idea, actually.
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Old 06-22-12, 06:20 PM   #2697
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actually? like you've fallen enough to know what you're taking about actually? a zero speed fall and you wouldn't put out an arm to lessen the fall? you need to wear several helmets.
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Old 06-22-12, 06:25 PM   #2698
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Yeah, I took up practicing tumbling when I was a skateboarder. Tucking and rolling out of a crash is often preferable to straight-arming the ground. Make your hands into fists to prevent broken digits, tuck up and roll. Don't fight the crash.

Zero speed fall, I'd try to put a foot down. Failing that, I'd do what I could to roll over, shoulder contact first, then onto the back. It's tough to do unless you do a lot of tumbling and make it second nature.

Arm out is rarely good.

I guess I did a zero speed fall not too long ago, on a REALLY steep dirt hill that I can only clean about 90% of the time. I spun out and went "doh!". I just stayed clipped in and let my hip and shoulder hit. Trying to get a foot down on that dusty hardpack 30% slope is pretty tough, rolling backwards down it is worse, best to just fall over.

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Old 06-22-12, 11:12 PM   #2699
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yeah, arm out can equal broken wrists and such
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Old 06-23-12, 08:50 AM   #2700
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wish I had a video camera last year when a helmeted cyclist made a turn on the MUP and promptly fell over because he failed to keep any momentum and didn't straighten out the wheel. he just turned a nice circle into the ground. never put down a foot. never put out an arm. he just fell over. it was hilarious.
tell me again how wearing a helmet makes you have better bike skills than one who doesn't wear one, or gives you bike skills period.
unless being safe and knowing how to ride are two different things now.
Yes, hahaha, let us all have a laugh at a new cyclist's experience. Hahaha, stupid cyclist, falling over. Sounds like he may actually need a helmet and have need to utilize one within its actual design parameters.

Since you brought it up, you're going to have to point out where I said wearing a helmet confers magical bike safety skills. Oh, that's right, you can't because I d'n't.

If more people are injured without a helmet than those with in a predominantly helmet wearing area or culture, shouldn't it follow that those without helmets ride less safely? Not all of them, of course, there will be those hyper-safe/skilled riders among them who are outliers, but certainly more without helmets riding with much less skill, vigilance, and awareness...
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