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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 10-24-11, 08:51 AM   #276
StanSeven
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The same reason I'd still drive a car with an airbag system light on, until I had the chance to get it repaired.
There's a big difference between not wearing a helmet and an airbag light on - helmets are more like not wearing a seatbelt.

Plus you can usually buy a new helmet for $25
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Old 10-24-11, 09:08 AM   #277
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There's a big difference between not wearing a helmet and an airbag light on - helmets are more like not wearing a seatbelt.

Plus you can usually buy a new helmet for $25
Ok, I would still drive a car that had a defective seat belt until I could get it repaired...
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Old 10-24-11, 09:09 AM   #278
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There's a big difference between not wearing a helmet and an airbag light on - helmets are more like not wearing a seatbelt.

Plus you can usually buy a new helmet for $25
helmets are nothing like seat belts.
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Old 10-24-11, 09:40 AM   #279
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Ahh, I see the mods are true to their word! Good show!
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Old 10-24-11, 02:59 PM   #280
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I wonder if, or just how long it will be before this thread is shut down.

The newest installment of the helmet thread started off with this moderator comment...
My apologies.

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There's that too, and one of the big problems of focusing on helmet use. Prevention takes a back seat to mitigation. The cyclist would have been completely injury free had she not run over the pipe to begin with
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Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
...

Personally, having read the article below, if she had not tried to ride over the piece plastic, this would not of happened.

...
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Old 10-24-11, 06:31 PM   #281
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*Puts on flame retardent suit*

I know helmets are a ^hot^ topic, and I am neither Pro nor Anti the wearing of helmets. But I wonder if wearing a helmet would have significantly reduced her injuries?

Personally, having read the article below, if she had not tried to ride over the piece plastic, this would not of happened. BTW, the section of the A338 that she was travelling on is a Dual Carriageway with a 50 MPH speed limit.

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/new...sex_Way_crash/
Why all the focus on her helmet, when her rear wheel was not even properly attached and the apparent cause of the crash?
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A spokesperson for Dorset Police said according to eyewitnesses the bike wobbled suddenly and the back wheel appeared to slide out causing Mrs Bluemel, who is chairwoman of the Southampton Cycling Campaign, to fall and hit her head.
She probably would have made it over the PVC just fine if she had her wheel properly tightened in place.
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Old 10-24-11, 06:50 PM   #282
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There's a big difference between not wearing a helmet and an airbag light on - helmets are more like not wearing a seatbelt.
Well, there's one big difference between seat belts and bicycle helmets: seat belts are demonstrably effective at reducing mortality when used correctly.
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Old 10-24-11, 06:56 PM   #283
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She probably would have made it over the PVC just fine if she had her wheel properly tightened in place.
Yup, and a lesson in the importance of proper maintenance has been lost because perception that helmets save lives changes the focus from prevention to mitigation.

This isn't the worst example of misdirection I've seen. I think the worst one I've seen is the one you posted back in April, where the cyclist was at fault rather than 3 motorist

I exchanged emails with the coroner and he said,

Quote:
I did not intend my comments to suggest that cycle helmets were the panacea for all potential head injuries suffered in road traffic crashes but rather to encourage the use of cycle helmets rather than not using them at all.
So, instead of letting people know helmets do not have the capacity to provide protection to a cyclist when hit by 3 successive cars, each traveling at 40 mph+, he tells them they can

Last edited by closetbiker; 10-24-11 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 10-24-11, 07:03 PM   #284
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Why all the focus on her helmet, when her rear wheel was not even properly attached and the apparent cause of the crash?

She probably would have made it over the PVC just fine if she had her wheel properly tightened in place.
I haven't got the foggiest idea if the claim is true, that she would have been a lot better off had she worn a helmet. Neither do most others, and probably not even the doctors. But it might be true. Just as it might be true that had I worn a helmet in my crash on May 17th last year, I would now be 6 feet under. There is ample reason to believe, both that in some cases helmets may save lives, and the opposite.

But you're right: Had her wheel been properly tightened, things might not have gone so amiss, perhaps. Maybe. Thing is, these discussions of anecdotes won't help us decide whether one ought to wear a helmet, whether it doesn't matter, or whether they're harmfull. Only research based on reliable statistics can tell us that. As far as I'm concerned, it seems to me that helmets aren't significantly relevant for general cyclist safety.
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Old 10-24-11, 07:07 PM   #285
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Folks, I'm pretty sure that they mean "slide out" as in "lost traction", not that the wheel fell out of the bicycle.
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Old 10-24-11, 07:15 PM   #286
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Folks, I'm pretty sure that they mean "slide out" as in "lost traction", not that the wheel fell out of the bicycle.
This.

Like much of the thread, forest is entirely obscured by the trees.
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Old 10-24-11, 07:16 PM   #287
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Folks, I'm pretty sure that they mean "slide out" as in "lost traction", not that the wheel fell out of the bicycle.
yeah, I'm sure you're right (maybe I was keen to this problem because one time, my rear wheel did come out of my frame). Still, my point remains the same; the perception that helmets save lives changes the focus from prevention to mitigation.

It's seemingly always about the lack of helmet, almost never about some very preventable circumstances and never about the reasonable limitations helmets naturally have

Last edited by closetbiker; 10-24-11 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 10-25-11, 01:02 AM   #288
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Folks, I'm pretty sure that they mean "slide out" as in "lost traction", not that the wheel fell out of the bicycle.
This was my impression as well. To me, this story shows, if anything, that there is no replacement for safe cycling.

As far as whether the helmet would have helped, those are some pretty sparse details. We don't know how she fell, if she hit a curb, etc. Who knows? Silly to speculate or imply that we should speculate that a helmet may have helped.
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Old 10-25-11, 03:53 AM   #289
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It's seemingly always about the lack of helmet, almost never about some very preventable circumstances and never about the reasonable limitations helmets naturally have
I agree. It always seems to be a case of 'He fell off and was injured because he wasn't wearing a helmet' vs 'He fell off and was injured despite wearing a helmet.' Never is the focus on safe cycling practice rather than whether the rider was or wasn't wearing a helmet. This is the issue I have with over-promotion of helmets: they distract from more important safety issues such as cycling predictably and following the rules of the road.
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Old 10-25-11, 06:08 AM   #290
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Anyone watch Spaceballs? Now there is the reason to wear a helmet!
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Old 10-25-11, 06:23 AM   #291
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Prevention v mitigation. I believe that becomes a smoke screen - any safety program involves both. Drive your care safely, obey the traffic laws, but wear a seatbelt and have airbags. Handle tools carefully, restrict access, but still have workers below you wear hard hats. On and on and on. We use the safety device just for the instance where we make a screwup. The lady certainly made an error by running over the pipe, but that isn't the issue! The issue is helmets. Would the helmet have helped? Might my helmet help me in a mishap?

Here is a clear instance where no X-thousand pound vehicle was involved. Speed didn't seem to be (yes, I said seem) the culprit. She possibly made an error in riding over the pipe. Might the helmet have helped? That is the question, NOT her riding skills. Prevention is a different discussion - parallel, but different.

By deflecting the discussion from the potential safety benefit (mitigation) of a helmet to focusing on riding skills, you defeat your own argument!! Because who else would better need a helmet than someone that might make a riding skills mistake? I certainly fit in that group, and I suspect most of us might...
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Old 10-25-11, 06:36 AM   #292
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The problem is that it's an impossible question to discuss intelligently. We know very few details. She could have hit a curb, or a rock, or a completely flat road.

That said, I'm absolutely willing to say, tentatively, that it's absolutely possible. Helmets do have uses, and can mitigate injury; nobody here is contesting that. All that is being contested is that a) they are life-savers (by design, not by fluke) and b) that they are necessary, or practically necessary, for safe cycling. Again, nobody is contesting that they mitigate injuries, only the degree to which they do so.

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Old 10-25-11, 07:00 AM   #293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Have you tried this? I know many will not regard it as neutral because it is very clear about the flaws in the pro-helmet position, but it does offer a fairly dispassionate analysis of the available evidence.

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Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
If you insist...
Head injuries and bicycle helmet laws

D. L. Robinson

AGBU, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
Accepted 6 February 1996. ; Available online 26 February 1999.
Abstract

The first year of the mandatory bicycle helmet laws in Australia saw increased helmet wearing from 31% to 75% of cyclists in Victoria and from 31% of children and 26% of adults in New South Wales (NSW) to 76% and 85%. However, the two major surveys using matched before and after samples in Melbourne (Finch et al. 1993; Report No. 45, Monash Univ. Accident Research Centre) and throughout NSW (Smith and Milthorpe 1993; Roads and Traffic Authority) observed reductions in numbers of child cyclists 15 and 2.2 times greater than the increase in numbers of children wearing helmets. This suggests the greatest effect of the helmet law was not to encourage cyclists to wear helmets, but to discourage cycling.

Author Keywords: Bicycle; Head injury; Helmet; Legislation
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post

A far more realistic site that addresses the helmet issue is the first one I provided on this new version of the thread,

http://bicyclesafe.com

If one is interested in studies and analysis, far more qualified anaylsis and opinions can be found at http://cyclehelmets.org/

------------------------------

a worthwhile read is the wiki entry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet <-- Grand-daddy/mommy mother/fatherlode of helmet study linkage in the text and references at the bottom

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
...I would suggest going to this site, which provides objectively collected data, some pro-helmet interpretations and links to sites which counter their views:

http://www.bhsi.org

For researched rational responses to many of the negatives about helmets I would suggest this site:

http://www.bhsi.org/negativs.htm
Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
It's not common to receive head injuries on bikes any more than it is to receive them off a bike, which is, not not common.

Here's another link....
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
[helmets/helmet advocates] promote injury.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
If the scalp helps reduce rotational injury to the brain by helping the head slide along pavement rather than catch, and a helmet reduced this effect, doesn't it stand to reason that at least in these sorts of accidents a helmet mitigates the effect of the scalp?

Again, why do you think they are now trying to replicate this "scalp effect" in new helmets? What would be the purpose if it were not effective?

"It has been suggested that the major causes of permanent intellectual disablement and death after head injury may be torsional forces leading to diffuse axonal injury (DAI), a form of injury which usual helmets cannot mitigate and may make worse.[68]"

"A bicycle helmet with its own synthetic "scalp" has been designed with the aim of mitigating rotational injury.[71]"
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don't forget the paper the Australian judge read prior to rendering a decision:

The testing and design of standard helmets continue to reflect the discredited theory that linear acceleration is the dominant cause of brain injury and to neglect rotation.

and another study examining a vital lack of coverage by the bicycle helmet

The common designs of commercially available bicycle helmets do not prevent direct contact loading on the temporal and zygomatic arch region and this contact loading is potentially harmful.

has been shown in court to be common knowledge in the helmet industry

It has been known for years by the helmet industry that the majority of head impacts occur below the "test line," and that the majority of injurious impacts are concentrated in the front or temporal region.

but this issue of protection (or lack thereof) may be completely moot because

1) On a per-mile basis, the odds of being killed or sustaining a serious head injury while riding a bicycle are about the same as the odds of being killed or injured while out for a walk.

2) On a per-capita basis, the odds of being killed while riding a bicycle are nearly the same as the odds of being killed by a bolt of lightning (this author has, in fact, been struck by lightning -- albeit indirectly -- so he is well aware that "extremely improbable" is not quite the same as "impossible"); the odds of sustaining a serious head injury while riding a bicycle are about half the odds of sustaining a serious injury while out for a walk.
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if you continue to be worried about hurting your head from falling over, you may want to wear your helmet while walking as well because,

The tests that cycle helmets currently go through mean that they should offer similar protection to a pedestrian who trips and falls to the ground.
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a bicycle helmet is not designed for impacts with other vehicles.

Impacts with other vehicles introduces additional forces that were not designed for... here's a third source that explains a bit more "when a cyclist is knocked off by another vehicle, this frequently results in the head being spun and subjected to torsional effects. One consequence of this is that they tend not to hit the ground as cleanly as children who are typically involved in low-impact, non-twisting injuries,"
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according to the Canada Safety Council, it is more important to wear a helmet than text while cycling

Paying attention to riding and avoiding distractions from cellphones and music players ranks second on the Canada Safety Council's top tips for improving cycling safety — behind wearing a helmet
And people question helmet skeptics when they say helmet promotion reduces cycling safety?

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Last edited by mconlonx; 10-29-11 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 10-25-11, 07:12 AM   #294
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Yes it does. The experts specifically exclude the involvement of motor vehicles while you include them.

Heck, even the bhsi says the most important thing is to avoid collisions with motor vehicles because collisions with them exceed the limits of a helmet
No it doesn't.

You seem to be claiming, with cited articles, that in an accident involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle, where the cyclist is wearing a helmet, and some impact is sustained by the helmeted head within those parameters for which the helmet is specifically designed to provide protection and injury mitigation, the helmet will not work as designed. I still contend that it quite possibly might provide the protection for which it as designed.

I couldn't find any indication otherwise in the articles you cited; one mentioned forces in excess of those sustained in grand prix racing, the other, acceleration of the rider due to motor vehicle contact.
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Old 10-25-11, 09:59 AM   #295
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.... I still contend that it quite possibly might provide the protection for which it as designed...
but that's the point - a bicycle helmet is not designed for impacts with other vehicles.

Impacts with other vehicles introduces additional forces that were not designed for.

The first source gave you this basic information, the second source expanded this a bit by saying impacts with motor vehicles introduce an acceleration to the impact, and here's a third source that explains a bit more "when a cyclist is knocked off by another vehicle, this frequently results in the head being spun and subjected to torsional effects. One consequence of this is that they tend not to hit the ground as cleanly as children who are typically involved in low-impact, non-twisting injuries,"

I exchanged emails with Dr. Sheikh about his study and the injuries treated involved simple falls (what helmets are designed for) and not impacts with motor vehicles (which they are not).
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Old 10-25-11, 10:04 AM   #296
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Prevention v mitigation. I believe that becomes a smoke screen - any safety program involves both.....
and most helmet promotion focuses on use, not prevention of incidents.

It's about misplaced priorities and attitudes, the attitude that the most important factor in bicycle safety is helmet use, when it's not.

Last edited by closetbiker; 10-26-11 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 10-25-11, 10:06 AM   #297
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The problem is that it's an impossible question to discuss intelligently. We know very few details....
true. We know little, but we do know that serious injury from simple falls is a rarity. It may be that this poor woman is seriously injured, but if she is, it is not the norm by any stretch.
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Old 10-25-11, 10:18 AM   #298
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true. We know little, but we do know that serious injury from simple falls is a rarity. It may be that this poor woman is seriously injured, but if she is, it is not the norm by any stretch.
I just talked to someone the other day that had suffered a concussion when he tripped on a child's toy on their stairs. Please, please, everyone, wear a helmet on the stairs. The doctors say that he would have DIED if he hadn't been wearing a helmet.
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Old 10-25-11, 10:23 AM   #299
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I just talked to someone the other day that had suffered a concussion when he tripped on a child's toy on their stairs. Please, please, everyone, wear a helmet on the stairs. The doctors say that he would have DIED if he hadn't been wearing a helmet.
yup it's true. The toll from stairs is far higher than from bikes.

It's about perspective and unless there's a push to wear helmets 24/7 for everyone, pushing them for cyclists just places the whole issue out of perspective
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Old 10-25-11, 11:19 AM   #300
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My view exactly. Cycling just isn't that dangerous when done properly, certainly a lot less risky that walking down stairs or stumbling home drunk. Nobody suggests stair helmets or drinking helmets, so why are they apparently required for cycling?

Last edited by Monster Pete; 10-25-11 at 11:26 AM.
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