And whoever thought just 3 years ago we wouldn't be able to buy a large soft drink anymore?
I've never worn a bike helmet
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped
I've always worn a helmet
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions
And whoever thought just 3 years ago we wouldn't be able to buy a large soft drink anymore?
But the "my right to freedom" argument is dopey if there is a (non-trivial) cost to others. People need to make another argument.
Last edited by njkayaker; 10-19-12 at 06:44 AM.
1. Bicycle helmets are explicitly not designed to reduce traumatic brain inury: this is where the heavy, long-term costs exist.
2. The problem of TBI in bicycling, as in walking is negligeable compared to that incurred through automobile over-use in N.America
3. Widespread helmet use appears to correlate with public perceptions of cycling as risky, which then might be argued to link to a decrease in cycling levels and a reduction of healthy exercise: thus causing an even greater public cost
In short, bicycle induced head injury is not a big cost to society and even if it were there is no reasonably demonstrated solution to the problem. Certainly not through current helmet designs.
3. I don't know that widespread, voluntary helmet use outside MHL territories drives down ridership. NYC is in the USA where there is that unreasonably fear-driven notion that you need a helmet to be riding a bike safely. Yet they've seen increases in ridership. Cycling in general is increasing in spite of USA fear culture. And while fear-culture might keep people off bikes, helmets are not the only or main cause of that -- contributory, certainly, maybe even significantly, but far from the biggest reason.
If it was found that current attitudes regarding helmets are keeping many away from cycling, that would be a bigger cost -- as you say, cycling is generally safe, head injury due to cycling crashes are not a huge cost. But regular cycling even at current meager participation provides arguably more financial benefit in the form of a general health dividend than payouts for crashes. Not to mention, energy savings, cleaner air, etc.
I've asked for this before and not got an answer: does voluntary but heavily encouraged helmet use have any measurable effect on ridership?
We have studies regarding places where MHLs are in effect and because ridership drops off when a MHL is introduced, I staunchly oppose them. But that has very little to do with voluntary helmet use/ridership statistics, especially since most MHL studies take place in other countries, other cultures.
I agree smoking should be banned from some public places, but not all public places like bars where only adults are allowed, and thus as an adult you have the right not to go into an establishment that allows that, and places of living like condo's, apartments, or houses whether owned or rented. Now if the owner of a rental puts a non-smoking clause in a lease agreement or else will be charged the security deposit to fix the damage caused by smoking then that's fine, that's a contract between one private party to another to which it has to be agreed upon, but for any form of government to step in an do that is not right. The only way the government can force that right on us is to make smoking and buying tobacco products of any kind illegal altogether...which I wouldn't be surprise if it got to that, which I'm sure would lead us to prohibition type of behavior we had back when they tried that with alcohol.
And I don't think smokers rights are more valuable then non-smokers, however we both have rights, and since we both have rights then there should be enough freedom for a smoker to go into a bar or restaurant that only caters to adults but allows smoking to have that right to do just that, and our rights are that we don't have to go into that bar or restaurant that caters to smokers. That's plain and simple. It's the same reason I don't think we should be forced to wear bicycle helmets unless your under 18, it should be left as a choice for an adult to make an adult decision, but I feel the same way with seat belts. I don't feel this way because I don't wear helmets or a seat belt because I do both, but as an adult that is my decision to make not the government's.
I hope you understand, but indications from your post are that you don't. And that's ok, it's your opinion just as all the above is my opinion.
Walking is fundamentally different than bicycles. Human machine is designed to walk, sometimes even run. No mechanical device to increase speed; low enough speeds to usually avoid crashes.
I get where you're coming from, but just like studies about motorcycle helmets or skateboard helmets don't have equivalent relevance when compared to bicycle helmets; I'm not going to buy an argument based on "walking helmets." (...I think they're more popularly called "hats".)
If you want a device to protect the head at speed it does exist: it's a motorcycle helmet.
I foresee a vivid new future, of walking stores, selling walking helmets, gloves, shoes, hydration packs.
Cycling is basically a safe sport, why should helmet mfgs design helmets for the nth percentile of worst bike crashes, where TBI becomes relevant?
There's also no figures out there regarding the efficacy of helmets in mitigating damage where less than serious injury is concerned. Which make up the bulk of bike crashes.
Motorcycle helmet is overkill; bike helmets are fine for bicycle riding.
You've seen those new walking balance sticks, yes? Marketed as "trekking poles"? While there's no walking helmets just yet, there are indeed walking shoes, and I bet there's some walking website out there that could direct you to decent walking gloves and hydration packs... It actually surprises me there's no walking helmet being marketed yet, especially for that "Extreme Walking" niche...
A Danish insurance group is promoting walking helmets: http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/sc...alking-helmets
and there are crawling/walking helmets for toddlers: http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/fa...udguard-helmet
The indirect, fairly trivial "cost" is far outweighed by a person's right to free choice. You don't have an inherent right to cheap services. People do have an inherent right to free choice. That's a big difference. Unless their choice is pretty directly harming you or infringing on your rights, you don't get a say. This is a pseudo-conundrum only really created out of playing fast and loose with the word "right".But the "my right to freedom" argument is dopey if there is a (non-trivial) cost to others. People need to make another argument.
"The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saint or sinner, who can resist the bicycle."
- William Saroyan
But such situations are exceedingly rare.
It's the 85% of cycling crashes which don't involve a vehicle, don't involve serious injury, where helmets might be making a difference. But maybe not. We don't really know. Those who wear helmets think they do... so do those who don't.
In less than serious injuries which don't involve a vehicle, I'd wager your average pedestrian suffers less damage than your average cyclist. Also that the rates of light to moderate injury are far more for bicycle crashes when compared to pedestrian... crashes? mishaps? unfortunate events?
Any recommendation on what helmet I should get? I want to get a helmet that meets all or most or the hardest certification to obtain. I prefer my Safety while commuting to work. Also, I'm planning to have a helmet light on it.
Don't want to break the bank.
I can sit out on the bay trail here and watch one commuter come by with helmet, lights, fenders, bell, callin out "On your left", and then see a guy in tight jeans on a fixed gear, hair blowing, earpods and a cigarette hanging from his mouth... I didn't see anyones freedoms being surpressed.
I realize that you are not (or at least no longer) making such claims about the need for helmets. But those who do think that helmets should be worn by cyclists on all rides as protection against serious head injuries should also want the same protection for pedestrians since the risks are similar.
Which is all well and good, but ya'll making the argument know full well that the type of accidents where it's silly to to think a helmet will protect on a bike also wouldn't protect a pedestrian. It's not a good faith comparison
However (my assumption/belief...): since the majority of crashes which involve head injury are not serious, since rate of non-serious head injury and degree of injury in the result of some mishap is lower with pedestrians than cyclists, the pedestrian/bike comparison is just not valid. Cyclists are more apt than pedestrians to be in a position where a helmet might mitigate less than serious injury. <-- no data to back this up, just assumptions and hunch; prove me wrong with actual figures, please.
When I was hit by a car a few months ago (previously reported in here - still grieving for the vintage Raleigh) one of my more trivial injuries was a bump on the head. Would a helmet have mitigated that? Maybe, but really, it didn't matter. The fact that I wasn't wearing one made no difference to the outcome. Shoulder pads would have been much more useful. And no, I don't plan on buying any of those, either.
The whole reason I put such a disclaimer out there, at the beginning and end, is to let people know that it's only my personal view, nothing backed up with hard figures. Most people posting here don't do that, they present their beliefs as facts; they are way too loose with language when it comes to their own position, while busting on the same thing regarding statements of those who disagree with them.
Maybe there's not studies out there with hard figures, OK, fine, I can accept that -- then challenge my statement. Is there anyone out there who thinks that pedestrians who suffer some mishap while walking will be injured at a higher (or even, or insignificantly less) rate or severity, compared with a rider who crashes their bike? Why?
Your second paragraph is useless, anecdotal, and therefore dismiss-able. You're probably lucky you weren't wearing a helmet -- might have led to DAI, or if the rotational force transmitted and aggravated by helmet use was enough, could very well have snapped your neck right on the spot!
Glad you're OK; sorry to hear about your Raleigh.
Last edited by mconlonx; 10-21-12 at 10:13 AM.
The "helmet people" have focused on bicycling activities; data and/or results are irrelevant, belief in "doing the right thing" trumps both data and rationale thought in this process.
Belief that cycling is dangerous is not limited to the helmet issue. But if people believe that a helmet will provide some kind of magic protection, and that gets them on a bike where otherwise they'd still be too scared, where's the downside regarding helmets...?
Many organized rides and tours or government organizations gratuitously prohibit participation or cycling activity unless the cyclists are wearing helmets. This is due to social pressure (and not mysterious "insurance requirement" that can never be documented) and discourage participation from those not in the helmet choir; the effects of helmet promotion are all downside.
Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 10-21-12 at 11:50 AM.