Quite a collection there, Griddle :)
Quite a collection there, Griddle :)
Thank you for summing up many of my points.
My own summation for wearing a helmet includes----safety in many cases--a place to mount mirrors, lights, cameras, and reflective tape. Also protection from the sun. Then there is the thing about cyclist assumed to be at fault in ANY type of accident if not wearing a helmet. There is the fact that wearing a hemet is very benign. After putting it on everyone just forgets they are wearing one. All of these logical reasons plus probably several more indicate the use of a helmet is just common sense.
Placing all those logical reasons against the trolls that would talk you out of wearing one, they come off looking rather superficial. They dont come right out and say so but their under laying reasons seem to be style and wanting to look like hairy chested he men.
I know I've said it before, I won't wear one because of the helmet hair. I feel the benefits incurred by wearing a helmet are far outweighed by the drawbacks.
... and one of those drawbacks is the attention given helmets, takes away from the attention needed to avoid collisions/falls in the first place.
Even if a helmet does reduce injury from simple falls, falls are more likely to occur if attention is placed on a helmet and not behavior.
Maybe this is one reason why it is so difficult to determine if there has been any significant injury reduction with helmet use.
Can-Bike courses were (and are) taught pre and post law but no one kept records to compare. The instructors who taught the courses had the impression the number of people attending was about the same, which was in the double digits annually. A relatively small amount compared to the thousands who have donned helmets.
During the debate on the MHL was the oft mentioned importance of educating cyclists and entwined in the law was an education program for kids to be taught in the schools.
The program is still online
your guide to teaching bike safety
but that's the only place you'll find it because it was dropped shortly after the law was passed. The requirement to wear a helmet stayed of course, because that's the priority.
- of note in the program guide is the importance and priority of wearing helmets supported by unverifiable, incorrect, and misleading information.
I tracked down the 2 people responsible for it's content and while one author agreed that what was written was incorrect, he wasn't responsible for that portion. The author that was responsible wouldn't respond to my correspondence with her.
See, I find this quote here:
In just what you've posted so far, I don't see people making a choice between a helmet and safety instruction -- buying a helmet instead of attending a safety class in the mistaken notion that a helmet will make up for a lack of proper safety skills.
Focusing on helmets distracts people from what's more likely to actually save their lives: Learning how to ride safely. It's not that I'm against helmets, I'm against all the attention placed on helmets at the expense of safe riding skills. Helmets are not the most important aspect of bike safety. Not by a long shot.
It don't think it would matter if there are more resources to teach safer cycling if someone thinks that wearing a helmet makes them safer.
I see people making a choice to wear helmets, and ride in an unsafe manner. I have people tell me they wouldn't risk the "dangers" of riding unless they wear a helmet. I know of very few who choose to educate themselves about safe riding but many who wear helmets for "safety". Media reports about cycling incidents often report on helmet usage, but rarely on what caused the incident.
It's the attitude towards helmets that's the problem, the attitude that helmets alone create safety
Decided to take another look at the cycling safety course that was part of the MHL and I'm not sure you can blame too many if their young, impressionable minds were exposed to bent rhetoric.
Before there was a lot of good instruction there is the lead page that says,
Couple this with the claim on the "Fact List" presented in bold type that says,Quote:
helmets save lives...In over half of all bicycle incidents, the cyclist’s head hits a hard surface. Such crashes often cause brain or skull damage...
and you can't help but think that an entire generation believes wearing a helmet is probably the most important thing about cycling safety.Quote:
Wearing a bike helmet reduces the risk of head injury by up to 85 per cent, and the risk of brain injury by 88 per cent.
After all, even if you do everything right and still crash, the helmet is most likely going to eliminate a head injury and save your life.
Those kids taught this course would now be in their 20's and most likely will be passing on what they "learned" to their own kids (and probably others as well)
if we can assume people wear helmets for safety purposes, these people are making their safety choice of helmet, over education.
1) They offer little if any protection against life-threatening situations
2) they may, even, be harmfull (rotational injuries, right?)
3) Helmet campaighns - and people seen wearing helmets - may make cycling seem dangerous to potential cyclists.
OK, you may be right that some of us feel that they cramp our style. Not much hipster in a helmet. And I always do my best to be hipstery.
That said, none of the above stated reasons are enough to make me want to have helmets banned. In fact, if you want to wear one, go ahead. It's all right.
So who's the troll, now? :)
Would you support mandatory bike safety classes...?
That doesn't mean that cycling classes aren't good, or better at injury prevention than wearing helmets
Safety class or education is an investment of time and energy -- most would rather spend money on a "magic pill" like a helmet, in the mistaken belief that they can buy safety instead of developing skills. More a human nature thing than any kind of helmet conspiracy.
Not to mention that, as you point out, most safety classes will stress the use of helmets as a safety consideration and require use of one if there's an on-road component to the class.
A powerful law is the law of unintended cosequence. Helmet laws, promotion, and use has fallen to this law and cycling is worse off for it.
One of the big points here is people "focus" on their helmet and then ride foolishly. That simply is a non starter. The only time I "focus" on my helmet is where is it and let me put it on. After that it is totally out of my mind. To say ------gee I guess I will run that red light since I have a helmet on is just plain stupid. With me anyway it just aint gonna happen.
As a life long technician I have delt with absolutes and logic. It simply isnt logical not to wear a helmet, since having one on is so benign.
Do you carry a spare tube and patches? Does that mean you are expecting flats? Following the logic of some here, if I would quit carrying patches tubes tools and pump, I would never get a flat.
I think most cyclists carry a tube, patch kit, and pump because they can fix a puncture.Quote:
Do you carry a spare tube and patches?
There'd be no point in carrying them if they don't do what they are expected to do
As a former (and reformed, I swear) troll, encountering posters like ryda present a conundrum: obstinant fool, or secret troll? In days long past I've jumped in on threads about highly contentious issues and trolled by taking one side and defending it very, very badly, just for the sake of amusement. Could ryda be doing the same? Or perhaps he's even a deep cover helmet skeptic, making the pro-helmet stance look weak through unflaggingly imbecilic and ineffective support.
On the internet, one truly never knows...
Those are the questions I ask myself (without really thinking about it), which led me to my decision. Or any life decision, really.