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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 04-10-13, 05:21 PM   #5001
hagen2456
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Right. And the bare head brigade never shifts the goalposts...

"I've never hit my head in a fall, so I don't need a helmet."
"You should learn to ride better so you won't crash."
"Your money is better spent on a class on how to fall better, than on a helmet."
"A helmet has never been proven to protect you."
"Your helmet actually puts you in more danger."
"The anecdotal tales of how your helmet saved you from injury is invalid, but my anecdotal tales of how many times I've fallen and survived without a helmet is perfectly valid."
"Any studies you post that might say anything positive about helmets were clearly done by a bias group of helmeteers, but the studies I've dug up that say helmets are worthless were performed by open-minded, fact-finding scientists."
"I may insult every person who posts an opposing view, but I don't really care if they wear a helmet."
"Wear a helmet if you want, but just don't make it a law. Yea, what I really care about is the liberty of being able to choose for myself. I know not a single person in this thread has posted any support for a mandatory helmet law, but if anyone thinks any of my previously listed reasons are invalid, then they must be posting in here because they have a secret MHL agenda."
The only statements above worth considering - because they aren't straw men, hyperbole or just libertarian babbling - are

"A helmet has never been proven to protect you."
"The anecdotal tales of how your helmet saved you from injury is invalid, but my anecdotal tales of how many times I've fallen and survived without a helmet is perfectly valid."

And both are perfectly correct. The first one by way of facts, the second by way of logic (or let's say: the logics of scientific method).
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Old 04-10-13, 08:09 PM   #5002
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I think maybe MMACH5 doesn't know what "shifting the goalposts" means.

Regardless:

"I've never hit my head in a fall, so I don't need a helmet." - Illustrates the point that some of us fall so rarely that wearing protective gear doesn't make much sense.

"You should learn to ride better so you won't crash." - Usually said in reply to the guy who tells us he's had his life saved by his helmet a dozen times.

"Your money is better spent on a class on how to fall better, than on a helmet." - I haven't heard much about "falling better". "Riding better", maybe - and I would definitely prefer not to fall while bare-headed than to fall regularly with a helmet.

"A helmet has never been proven to protect you."
- Essentially factual.

"Your helmet actually puts you in more danger." - One "anti-helmet" argument I don't much agree with, though I do think there is compelling evidence re. risk compensation.

"The anecdotal tales of how your helmet saved you from injury is invalid, but my anecdotal tales of how many times I've fallen and survived without a helmet is perfectly valid." - I can prove beyond a doubt that I have never been saved from injury by a bicycle helmet, because I have never hit my head while wearing a bicycle helmet. But it's essentially impossible to prove that a helmet made a significant difference in a fall, because we can't reproduce the accident with and without the helmet.

"Any studies you post that might say anything positive about helmets were clearly done by a bias group of helmeteers, but the studies I've dug up that say helmets are worthless were performed by open-minded, fact-finding scientists." - I'm not sure anyone has made that argument. The argument is that the statistics are all over the place.

"I may insult every person who posts an opposing view, but I don't really care if they wear a helmet." - Are you trying to single out a particular group here? Because that behavior seems nearly universal on this thread...

"Wear a helmet if you want, but just don't make it a law. Yea, what I really care about is the liberty of being able to choose for myself. I know not a single person in this thread has posted any support for a mandatory helmet law, but if anyone thinks any of my previously listed reasons are invalid, then they must be posting in here because they have a secret MHL agenda."
- Huh?

Last edited by Six jours; 04-10-13 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 04-11-13, 09:39 AM   #5003
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My interpretation of "shifting the goalposts" is that when you make an argument and it doesn't seem to get any traction, you come up with another argument in the hopes that it does gain traction. (i.e. - I can't score any points kicking the ball there. Maybe I could score, if the goalpost was over here.)

And I'm pretty sure that's what is going on in this thread.

(edit: "moving" to "shifting")

Last edited by MMACH 5; 04-11-13 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 04-11-13, 10:02 AM   #5004
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Come on one and all, I want to read more babble.
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Old 04-11-13, 10:43 AM   #5005
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
My interpretation of "shifting the goalposts" is that when you make an argument and it doesn't seem to get any traction, you come up with another argument in the hopes that it does gain traction. (i.e. - I can't score any points kicking the ball there. Maybe I could score, if the goalpost was over here.)

And I'm pretty sure that's what is going on in this thread.

(edit: "moving" to "shifting")
You just proved Six jours correct.
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Old 04-11-13, 11:35 AM   #5006
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You just proved Six jours correct.
Six jours said I didn't know the meaning of "shifting the goalposts."

I replied with my interpretation of the phrase.

Now, you made me go look it up:

"Moving the goalposts (or shifting the goalposts) is a metaphor meaning to change the criterion (goal) of a process or competition while still in progress, in such a way that the new goal offers one side an intentional advantage or disadvantage."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_the_goalposts

Please explain how I didn't know the meaning.
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Old 04-11-13, 11:44 AM   #5007
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I ride both with a helmet and without, depending mostly on mood. Interestingly, I have on several occasions been yelled at to wear a helmet by hemet clad cyclists, never have I been yelled at to get rid of a helmet by bare-headed cyclists. I think this is illustrative of the attitude of the personalities of the wear/don't wear crowds.
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Old 04-11-13, 02:28 PM   #5008
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I voted "always" but the caveat is the so called helmets we wore in the 70s were slightly more then leather (or pleather) thongs on our heads...
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Old 04-11-13, 03:26 PM   #5009
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Six jours said I didn't know the meaning of "shifting the goalposts."

I replied with my interpretation of the phrase.

Now, you made me go look it up:

"Moving the goalposts (or shifting the goalposts) is a metaphor meaning to change the criterion (goal) of a process or competition while still in progress, in such a way that the new goal offers one side an intentional advantage or disadvantage."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_the_goalposts

Please explain how I didn't know the meaning.
Ok.
Your previous statement was: "My interpretation of "shifting the goalposts" is that when you make an argument and it doesn't seem to get any traction, you come up with another argument in the hopes that it does gain traction." I.e. just raising additional arguments in support of ones original point. That's not a case of 'shifting the goalposts' since the point of the argument is unchanged.

Here would be an example of shifting the goalposts in the helmet argument:
A: You should wear a bike helmet since otherwise you have a much greater chance of being killed in an accident. Points to TTR study showing 85% protection against head injuries.
[Original goal is to reduce fatality risk.]
B: Counters with studies that show the probability of fatality was unchanged in countries that greatly increased helmet use. Says the TTR study only looked at injury cases (many of which were minor), not fatalities.
A: Well, even if the fatality rate is unchanged you should still wear a helmet since it'll cut down on scrapes and bruises to your head.
[Note that the goal has shifted from saving lives to reducing more minor injuries.]
B: But if the goal is to reduce cuts, scrapes, and bruises, then knee and elbow pads would be more useful since those are more often injured parts of the body in bike crashes. Why insist that we should wear helmets but not be concerned about protecting those areas?
A: I'm not as concerned about knee and elbow injuries since they're very unlikely to kill me, but a head injury might.
[Goal has shifted back to reducing fatalities - and the argument can continue to go in circles.]
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Old 04-11-13, 04:34 PM   #5010
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Ok.
Your previous statement was: "My interpretation of "shifting the goalposts" is that when you make an argument and it doesn't seem to get any traction, you come up with another argument in the hopes that it does gain traction." I.e. just raising additional arguments in support of ones original point. That's not a case of 'shifting the goalposts' since the point of the argument is unchanged.

Here would be an example of shifting the goalposts in the helmet argument:
A: You should wear a bike helmet since otherwise you have a much greater chance of being killed in an accident. Points to TTR study showing 85% protection against head injuries.
[Original goal is to reduce fatality risk.]
B: Counters with studies that show the probability of fatality was unchanged in countries that greatly increased helmet use. Says the TTR study only looked at injury cases (many of which were minor), not fatalities.
A: Well, even if the fatality rate is unchanged you should still wear a helmet since it'll cut down on scrapes and bruises to your head.
[Note that the goal has shifted from saving lives to reducing more minor injuries.]
B: But if the goal is to reduce cuts, scrapes, and bruises, then knee and elbow pads would be more useful since those are more often injured parts of the body in bike crashes. Why insist that we should wear helmets but not be concerned about protecting those areas?
A: I'm not as concerned about knee and elbow injuries since they're very unlikely to kill me, but a head injury might.
[Goal has shifted back to reducing fatalities - and the argument can continue to go in circles.]
Wear a helmet to protect your head <shift to> wear a helmet to protect your head. Not much shift there. (As you pointed out, it often gets derailed and takes a journey back to the same point. But the goal stays quite consistent.) ---After composing this, in fairness, I could have said something more along the lines of: wear a helmet to save your life <not much traction so shift to> wear a helmet to save your brain <not much traction so shift to> wear a helmet to save your skull <not much traction so shift to> wear a helmet to save the skin on your head--- But all of these fall under "wear a helmet to protect your head." And yes, I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek there.

Don't wear a helmet because you shouldn't hit your head <not much traction so shift to> don't wear a helmet because it won't protect you <not much traction so shift to> don't wear a helmet because it will harm you <not much traction so shift to> don't wear a helmet because I never have and I'm fine <THE BIG SHIFT> okay, wear a helmet, but don't tell me I have to do the same

Each shift is made to try and convince someone with an opposing view to agree with the person arguing. When shifting the goals doesn't seem to get anywhere, then make a big shift to a goal that has already been achieved (MHLs). Since nobody on either side of this thread has mentioned supporting mandatory helmet laws, then the person arguing against them gets to sit back in satisfaction because obviously they've finally shifted their goals to where nobody is disputing them.

I would concede that perhaps the only actual "shifting of the goalposts" comes when someone decides not to argue for or against helmet use but against MHLs.

Let me see if this makes more sense:
-----cyclists log into BF.net-----
Helmeteers' goal is to convince riders to wear helmets.
Bare-Head Brigade's goal is to convince riders not to wear helmets.
-----Argue for 200 pages-----
Helmeteers' goal is to convince riders to wear helmets.
Bare-Head Brigade's goal is to convince riders not to support mandatory helmet laws (which we don't).

Who has shifted their goalpost?
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Old 04-11-13, 05:00 PM   #5011
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Bare-Head Brigade's goal is to convince riders not to support mandatory helmet laws (which we don't).

Who has shifted their goalpost?
Certainly not the "bare-head brigade", as you call us. IIRC the start of this discussion, four massive threads ago, was about why MHLs were inappropriate, rather than an attempt to persuade people not to wear a helmet. I have never met an unhelmeted cyclist who cared much whether other people wore helmets. In general what they (we) care about is that people shouldn't be forced to wear helmets, or subjected to ill-informed abuse when they make the perfectly rational choice not to wear them.*

I'm one of the most anti-helmet people I know, partly because I suspect that helmets may actually increase the chances of brain (as opposed to scalp) injury but mainly because I think encouraging helmet use deters people from cycling by falsely portraying a very safe activity as a dangerous one. But even I don't spend my time trying to persuade people not to wear one. I'm happy for people to make their own choice.
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Old 04-12-13, 06:55 AM   #5012
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The whine against helmets just goes on and on. It sound like an F-16 getting ready for take off.

About the only point that the anti helmet league has is that in a crash a helmet "might" cause stiction and strain a cyclist neck. In what percentage of crashes would that happen. Can anyone post a real instance where a doctor or hospital said that was the case?
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Old 04-12-13, 07:46 AM   #5013
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
The whine against helmets just goes on and on. It sound like an F-16 getting ready for take off.

About the only point that the anti helmet league has is that in a crash a helmet "might" cause stiction and strain a cyclist neck. In what percentage of crashes would that happen. Can anyone post a real instance where a doctor or hospital said that was the case?
No...the whine is from those who publicly hassle others insisting that they wear helmets all the time and bother them when they don't and who shun them when they don't and who feel free to get legalistic and liabilityistic on them when they don't and who even dare get angry against them on club rides in 90deg heat 90% humidity when they don't. the whine is from the power trips the helmet-azis are on!

I'm perfectly happy and quiet and whineless and dialed in on when and where and why I wear helmets.

I don't wear one probably 75% of the time. I do NOT wear when I'm biking my quiet country road a half mile to my mother's house in a seersuckle ensemble and panama hat in the summer heat. I don't wear one on Gatsy and Tweed rides (which are quite a few of my normal small town urban "night out" rides). I don't wear one on mellow group rides when it's really hot'n'humid since they give me heat-stroke -- I'm happy to accept the risk of head-injury from the crashes I never have versus that definite "every time" condition.

I wear em when mtbiking or when on fast group rides or on hilly paved rides.

I can see having kids wear them, especially while they're training or before they're skilled.

I don't wear em when XC skiing even though my routes are highly technical. However, I'm considering it for some icier/hardpack days.

I can see why they're used sometimes in alpine skiing and I've worn them lately when doing so.

I can't see why they aren't used by all car drivers.

I can't see why they aren't used by anyone who has balance/fitness/agility injury-prone issues -- certainly the elderly but today, what, a good 10% of younger people as well. I know quite a few awkward people who are actually at sizable risk for head injury due to their lack of personal health maintenance (obese, sedentary) -- these are people who've already racked up sizable injuries due to their inclination to topple. Similarly, I see occasional riders (more in club rides than on race rides) who are crash prone. All such should lid-up. The folks I know seem to have at least one injurious dead-weight fall a year as it is. Tendons/bones are also hugely at risk. It might be good if they always wore braces and pads as well. These are the people that America is fast filling up with. They should do many things -- well, two things: eat less and allbody exercise an hour a day. But because they won't they'll ruin the nation soon.

I've had quite a few power-mad peers yell at me and shun me and cause a ruckus when I haven't worn a helmet -- they've strictly been the whiners. Very embarrassing every time for them. Never once helpful. Like, they've never reminded me when I've forgotten and really wanted to wear one. They've definitely, every time, felt free to HASSLE me when I've explicitly made decisions to not wear them for good reasons which had nothing to do with them other than encroaching on their sensed right to BOSS ME for whatever reason.

I note that these whiners come in two types: *lycra-bikers who use bikes for one purpose only in their lives (fitness and/or racing and/or "serious" riding); *and urban socialist "politically assertive" types. Both are FRINGE types who can't understand the reality of normal people who use bikes for a variety of purposes in a variety of ways. Since I live in the 'burbs I mostly encounter the first type -- I've never seen any of those people use a bike for more than one reason.

I'm still looking for good comebacks for people who yell (whine) at me about not wearing a helmet.

Last edited by JeffOYB; 04-12-13 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 04-12-13, 08:11 PM   #5014
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There are some newer studies out:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23570703
Quote:
...BACKGROUND: Head injury is the leading cause of death and long term disability from bicycle injuries and may be prevented by helmet wearing. We compared the pattern of injury in major trauma victims resulting from bicyclist injury admitted to hospitals in the State of Victoria, Australia and South-West Netherlands, with respective high and low prevalence of helmet use among bicyclists...
...CONCLUSION: Bicycle related major trauma admissions in the Netherlands trauma centre, and in South-West Netherlands had a higher mortality rate associated with a higher percentage of serious head injuries compared with that in the Australian trauma centre and the State of Victoria.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23377086
Quote:
...Helmet use was associated with reduced risk of head injury in bicycle collisions with motor vehicles of up to 74%, and the more severe the injury considered, the greater the reduction. This was also found to be true for particular head injuries such as skull fractures, intracranial injury and open head wounds. Around one half of children and adolescents less than 19 years were not wearing a helmet, an issue that needs to be addressed in light of the demonstrated effectiveness of helmets. Non-helmeted cyclists were more likely to display risky riding behaviour, however, were less likely to cycle in risky areas; the net result of which was that they were more likely to be involved in more severe crashes.
John
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Old 04-12-13, 08:19 PM   #5015
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Has anyone's mind/opinion been changed by this continual rhetoric on pro/con helmet?

If it has, please tell us what it was that sent you to the "other" side....
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Old 04-12-13, 10:52 PM   #5016
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
This is all known fact and has been presented earlier numerous times but the naysayers said it was all bias based lies.
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Old 04-13-13, 09:38 AM   #5017
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This is all known fact and has been presented earlier numerous times but the naysayers said it was all bias based lies.
IOW, "Any studies you post that might say anything negative about helmets were clearly done by a biased group of bare-headers, but the studies I've dug up that say helmets are great were performed by open-minded, fact-finding scientists."

Are we having fun yet?
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Old 04-13-13, 09:48 AM   #5018
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MMACH 5, as others have pointed out, hypocrisy isn't the same as shifting the goalposts. Shifting the goalposts is "There is no reason not to wear a helmet". "Yes there is, they are inconvenient for some people, and uncomfortable for others". "Well, that isn't a good reason to sacrifice your safety". Notice that the goal presented shifted from "You don't have a reason for what you are doing" to "I don't agree with the reasons you have chosen for doing it". A common cousin is "No True Scotsman". The Scotsman open the paper to see a serial killer on the loose in London, to which he comments "No Scotsman would do such a thing". The next morning he opens the paper to find a mass murderer captured in Edinburgh, at which he comments, "well, No true Scotsman would do such a thing". It redefines what you are arguing against after the fact... it creates an unassailable argument, because whenever counter points are presented, they are just "re-defined" to not matter.

Sorry if this sounds semantical, but it's an important point; people try and claim there are no reasons not to wear a helmet, and this is empirically false... people have valid reasons for not wearing them, they just disagree with the reasons. That's two way different things.
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Old 04-13-13, 09:52 AM   #5019
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Has anyone's mind/opinion been changed by this continual rhetoric on pro/con helmet?

If it has, please tell us what it was that sent you to the "other" side....
I was. Or rather, the debate led me to the research, which I felt was compelling enough to convince me that helmets don't really matter all that much in terms of safety. Since I don't see the safety benefit as all that great, I forgo the pain of having another thing to lug around with me everywhere, since my bike is my transportation most of the time.
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Old 04-13-13, 06:46 PM   #5020
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
There are some newer studies out:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23570703
Quote:
...BACKGROUND: Head injury is the leading cause of death and long term disability from bicycle injuries and may be prevented by helmet wearing. We compared the pattern of injury in major trauma victims resulting from bicyclist injury admitted to hospitals in the State of Victoria, Australia and South-West Netherlands, with respective high and low prevalence of helmet use among bicyclists...
...CONCLUSION: Bicycle related major trauma admissions in the Netherlands trauma centre, and in South-West Netherlands had a higher mortality rate associated with a higher percentage of serious head injuries compared with that in the Australian trauma centre and the State of Victoria.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23377086
Quote:
...Helmet use was associated with reduced risk of head injury in bicycle collisions with motor vehicles of up to 74%, and the more severe the injury considered, the greater the reduction. This was also found to be true for particular head injuries such as skull fractures, intracranial injury and open head wounds. Around one half of children and adolescents less than 19 years were not wearing a helmet, an issue that needs to be addressed in light of the demonstrated effectiveness of helmets. Non-helmeted cyclists were more likely to display risky riding behaviour, however, were less likely to cycle in risky areas; the net result of which was that they were more likely to be involved in more severe crashes.
John
This is all known fact and has been presented earlier numerous times but the naysayers said it was all bias based lies.
That is pretty funny, as these were published in April, 2013. The science continues, but the nay-sayers think it's old stuff. It isn't.

John
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Old 04-13-13, 07:20 PM   #5021
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rekmeyata

That is what is mainly the problem in the world today. Common sense and logic is tossed aside by the people that "know better". Common sense and logic says that an accident can happen any time. That is true no matter how good of a cyclist you think you are. The unexpected accident WILL happen, and it will happen to anyone. That is why I am prepared and wear a helmet.
Now we know. Rydabent wears a helmet in the shower. Be prepared!
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Old 04-13-13, 07:32 PM   #5022
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Have you read either of these studies John? In the past whenever you've posted like this you've not actually read the paper.

If you have ... which I doubt ... what do you make of the finding that following the logic of "small sample size correlation suggests cause" you would have to also conclude that helmets _caused_ Australians to suffer more severe injuries to other body parts:
Quote:
The other body regions demonstrated significant differences in the AIS scores with significantly more serious injuries (AIS≥3) of the chest, abdominal and extremities regions in the Australian group.


Does that not suggest to you that perhaps looking at correlations obtained from small sample sizes is problematic?

Do you remember this point being made to you years ago?

In addition for all the "helmut saaaayyvveed mah life" people... read it again ... a bit more carefully than John... spoiler below
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After adjusting for age, mechanism of injury, GCS and head injury severity in both hospitals, there was no significant difference in mortality

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Last edited by RazrSkutr; 04-13-13 at 07:41 PM. Reason: forgot mortality
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Old 04-13-13, 07:42 PM   #5023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
That is pretty funny, as these were published in April, 2013. The science continues, but the nay-sayers think it's old stuff. It isn't.

John
eh.... he's actually agreeing with you
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Old 04-13-13, 07:54 PM   #5024
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Ok, now I'm confused, who's agreeing with who? Who's disagreeing with the ones that agree? Who's agreeing with the disagreeing people? Where is this headed...pun intended.
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Old 04-13-13, 08:26 PM   #5025
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfmonkey View Post
Has anyone's mind/opinion been changed by this continual rhetoric on pro/con helmet?
If it has, please tell us what it was that sent you to the "other" side....
My Helmet saved me today.

I was riding toward a parking lot handicapped ramp, When Crash bang (what was that).
Dark marks were from the tire.

Front tire hit the end of a Car Stop. I went down and my head hit the top of The Car Stop.



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