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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 04-22-14, 03:41 AM   #7451
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I know that is the claim, but the mishap investigation I did on a female cyclist collision with another cyclist left her with a concussion and no crumpled foam. Helmets do help prevent bruises for kids and mountain bikers. For those that want to prevent head injuries, stop crashing (works for other injuries as well).
Obviously helmets will not help if you get into a 1-on-1 with a semi-trailer, but they absolutely can mitigate a potentially dangerous/painful head injury from a minor collision or fall.

The naysayers seem only concerned with fatal or life-threatening injuries when non-serious head injuries - which helmets are best designed for - occur possibly hundreds of times every day around the world.

A helmet can not only prevent death (sometimes) but reduces extreme discomfort and pain in the event your head contacts the curb or something hard when you fall.

It's easy for the helmet-haters to downplay the protection when your head is largely intact, and to point excitedly at its apparent uselessness when your head is smashed open.

You might as well say a bulletproof vest is useless because your head and limbs can still get shot. So why wear one at all? Apparently they'd rather be protected 100% or not at all.

Last edited by keyven; 04-22-14 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 04-22-14, 07:11 AM   #7452
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cb

For you to make a blanket statement that helmet do not prevent concussion is absolutely wrong. With the compression of the foam reducing the G load on a persons head, actual concussions are reduced. Or at the very least the seriousness of the concussion.

It is really getting tiresome of the anti helmet types claiming helmets do no good at all.
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Old 04-22-14, 08:04 AM   #7453
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Obviously helmets will not help if you get into a 1-on-1 with a semi-trailer, but they absolutely can mitigate a potentially dangerous/painful head injury from a minor collision or fall.

The naysayers seem only concerned with fatal or life-threatening injuries when non-serious head injuries - which helmets are best designed for - occur possibly hundreds of times every day around the world.

A helmet can not only prevent death (sometimes) but reduces extreme discomfort and pain in the event your head contacts the curb or something hard when you fall.

It's easy for the helmet-haters to downplay the protection when your head is largely intact, and to point excitedly at its apparent uselessness when your head is smashed open.

You might as well say a bulletproof vest is useless because your head and limbs can still get shot. So why wear one at all? Apparently they'd rather be protected 100% or not at all.
so does a bodyarmor, why arnt we all wearing one?
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Old 04-22-14, 08:06 AM   #7454
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cb

For you to make a blanket statement that helmet do not prevent concussion is absolutely wrong. With the compression of the foam reducing the G load on a persons head, actual concussions are reduced. Or at the very least the seriousness of the concussion.

It is really getting tiresome of the anti helmet types claiming helmets do no good at all.
Saying helmets help prevent concussion is just as wrong.

Please post a quote from this thread where someone, anyone has said that helmets do no good at all.
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Old 04-22-14, 08:09 AM   #7455
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so does a bodyarmor, why arnt we all wearing one?
Some of us do:

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Old 04-22-14, 08:11 AM   #7456
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Some of us do:

Where's your lance?
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Old 04-22-14, 09:15 AM   #7457
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Where's your lance?
Behind the codpiece. Duh.
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Old 04-22-14, 10:47 AM   #7458
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The naysayers seem only concerned with fatal or life-threatening injuries when non-serious head injuries - which helmets are best designed for - occur possibly hundreds of times every day around the world.
I often get asked why I wear a helmet all of the time. Here is my basic answer:

If I am out riding on a beautiful day without my helmet, and that happens to be the day I find some wet leaves to go down with and just TOUCH my bare scalp to the ground, this is what happens:

1. I am sitting on the curb with my hand on my head applying direct pressure to a cut on my head. No matter how minor, cuts on the head bleed profusely.

2. My clothes are ruined from the blood.

3. My cycling time is being wasted sitting on the curb stopping the bleeding.

4. Since I can't SEE my own head I have to find an Urgent Care Center to see if I should get a stitch or two. I have to do this on my bike while I am holding one hand on my head to keep from bleeding now that my blood pressure is up from pedaling, OR... I have to lock up the bike somewhere safe and find a taxi driver who is going to let me ride in his cab covered in blood.

5. At the Urgent Care Center, after a long wait, there is a 100% chance they are going to test me for a concussion and berate me for not wearing a helmet. Then they are going to strongly suggest that I get a brain scan to check for subdural hematoma. Depending on the size of the lump on my head and the number of stitches they install and how bad my head is aching perhaps I go to the hospital and get scanned. Lets assume I don't get a scan.

6. Now I have to go recover my locked bike by taxi or some friend or relative, or get on the bike I rode to the Urgent Care Center and bike home with [another] bald spot on my melon, get out of my bloody clothes and probably take a nap.

7. Since my health insurance has a $5000 deductible for such nonsense I am out hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on if I need a scan or not AND my beautiful day was wasted doing something OTHER THAN CYCLING.

Now let's say I am wearing my helmet when the crash happened:

1. I get up, dust myself off, check to see if the bike is still operational, get on, ride off into the sunrise.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 04-22-14 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 04-22-14, 11:00 AM   #7459
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Behind the codpiece. Duh.
Interesting jousting you must do...
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Old 04-22-14, 11:13 AM   #7460
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Saying helmets help prevent concussion is just as wrong.

....
I find this ironic. I don't wear a helmet, but find myself defending the claim that they help prevent, or reduce the likelihood, and severity of concussion (aka TBI), while you who wears a helmet says that claim is wrong.

Without being accusatory, might I ask why you wear a helmet, if not to help prevent TBI?

OTOH- I do support the notion that avoiding crashes in the first place is the best way to reduce injuries, including head injuries.
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Old 04-22-14, 11:14 AM   #7461
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It is really getting tiresome...
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Old 04-22-14, 11:59 AM   #7462
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You might as well say a bulletproof vest is useless because your head and limbs can still get shot. So why wear one at all? Apparently they'd rather be protected 100% or not at all.
Interesting you bring that subject up in this context. Current US vest are useless against Russia's new steel core small arms ammunition.
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Old 04-22-14, 12:04 PM   #7463
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I find this ironic. I don't wear a helmet, but find myself defending the claim that they help prevent, or reduce the likelihood, and severity of concussion (aka TBI), while you who wears a helmet says that claim is wrong.

Without being accusatory, might I ask why you wear a helmet, if not to help prevent TBI?

OTOH- I do support the notion that avoiding crashes in the first place is the best way to reduce injuries, including head injuries.
I haven't read anything indicating that most helmets offer protection regarding concussion. Even manufacturers don't make such claims, nor do most design helmets with concussion abatement in mind.

They may provide such protection, common sense says they should, but nothing definitive on that account. Particularly in regard to ryda's critique of blanket statements while making a couple of his own. I bet helmets do help in some situations with concussion mitigation of some kind, but how much of a difference and when they make a difference is very much debatable.

I wear a helmet to potentially mitigate less than serious head injury in the rare occurrence that I crash, the even rarer occurrence that I crash with a headstrike involved where a helmet might offer some protection. Mainly regarding skin/scalp issues -- laceration, contusion, abrasion...
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Old 04-22-14, 12:26 PM   #7464
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I find this ironic. I don't wear a helmet, but find myself defending the claim that they help prevent, or reduce the likelihood, and severity of concussion (aka TBI), while you who wears a helmet says that claim is wrong.

Without being accusatory, might I ask why you wear a helmet, if not to help prevent TBI?

OTOH- I do support the notion that avoiding crashes in the first place is the best way to reduce injuries, including head injuries.
Sadly, some are forced to wear helmets due to fear mandated mandatory helmet laws. I frequently ride onto military bases to shop, eat lunch, buy groceries, go to the gym or a movie, etc. The unreasonable fear has resulted in mandatory helmet regulations on base for off duty personnel. Oddly, the Navy has judged that the price of cycling helmets for shipyard workers and other on duty cyclist is not cost effective and they are exempt from having to wear cycling helmets.

The Navy also made their mandatory decision on 'common sense', and had NO studies to base their decisions. Completely opposite of the methods other safety regulations are produced (except motorcycle regulations).

Helmets are also a good means for attaching mirrors, lights, video cameras and visors. Ball caps with visors get hot while a high end bicycle helmet can give you a visor while being relatively much cooler.

Again, as Genec notes, helmets do prevent some cuts, plus scratches and bruises. Very useful for kids and mountain bikers.

I have seen more cyclist taking risk they otherwise would not have when no one was wearing helmets. That increases concussions, just because they think they are protected. I have watched the same thing happen in youth soccer with those new head bands. More kids wear them and the number of concussions goes up.
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Old 04-22-14, 12:36 PM   #7465
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Sadly, some are forced to wear helmets due to fear mandated mandatory helmet laws. I frequently ride onto military bases to shop, eat lunch, buy groceries, go to the gym or a movie, etc. The unreasonable fear has resulted in mandatory helmet regulations on base for off duty personnel. Oddly, the Navy has judged that the price of cycling helmets for shipyard workers and other on duty cyclist is not cost effective and they are exempt from having to wear cycling helmets.

The Navy also made their mandatory decision on 'common sense', and had NO studies to base their decisions. Completely opposite of the methods other safety regulations are produced (except motorcycle regulations).

Helmets are also a good means for attaching mirrors, lights, video cameras and visors. Ball caps with visors get hot while a high end bicycle helmet can give you a visor while being relatively much cooler.

Again, as Genec notes, helmets do prevent some cuts, plus scratches and bruises. Very useful for kids and mountain bikers.

I have seen more cyclist taking risk they otherwise would not have when no one was wearing helmets. That increases concussions, just because they think they are protected. I have watched the same thing happen in youth soccer with those new head bands. More kids wear them and the number of concussions goes up.
Don't preach to the choir here. I don't wear a helmet, and am obviously opposed to any laws that would mandate them.

OTOH- There's a dichotomy here, and an unreasonable leap of logic with helmet boosters.

1- helmets do reduce acceleration in head impacts, from which it's reasonable to assume that they would reduce likelihood and/or severity of TBI in head strikes.

I have no problem with the above, and accept it as a given even though I believe that the risk of head strike (for me) is low enough to forgo wearing one.

However, the above does, not imply that if everyone wore a helmet, it would result in meaningful lower numbers of TBI among cyclists. Other factors come into play here, and the nonsense helmet laws and rules you see are either the result of faulty logic and wishful thinking, or what I'll call defensive CYA regulation, where the intent isn't to solve a problem, but to be able to say you did all you could.

Nobody want's to be put in a position of debating helmet effectiveness in front of a jury when defending a liability suit. This is why helmets are required on organized rides. I suspect it's also the logic behind the Navy's oddball policy. Civilians can sue more easily than active duty personnel, so the helmet rule makes perfect sense if it's intent is to protect the Navy.
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Last edited by FBinNY; 04-22-14 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 04-22-14, 12:38 PM   #7466
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Interesting jousting you must do...
Oh, that lance...

Pic is riding into battel, not jousting. Note: no separating barrier, open field. Shield on back, sword in scabbard; no lance.
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Old 04-22-14, 01:05 PM   #7467
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Nobody want's to be put in a position of debating helmet effectiveness in front of a jury when defending a liability suit.
Especially helmet manufacturers or their retailers, hence their unwillingness to make any written safety claims.
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Old 04-23-14, 12:40 AM   #7468
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I often get asked why I wear a helmet all of the time. Here is my basic answer:

If I am out riding on a beautiful day without my helmet, and that happens to be the day I find some wet leaves to go down with and just TOUCH my bare scalp to the ground, this is what happens:

1. I am sitting on the curb with my hand on my head applying direct pressure to a cut on my head. No matter how minor, cuts on the head bleed profusely.

2. My clothes are ruined from the blood.

3. My cycling time is being wasted sitting on the curb stopping the bleeding.

4. Since I can't SEE my own head I have to find an Urgent Care Center to see if I should get a stitch or two. I have to do this on my bike while I am holding one hand on my head to keep from bleeding now that my blood pressure is up from pedaling, OR... I have to lock up the bike somewhere safe and find a taxi driver who is going to let me ride in his cab covered in blood.

5. At the Urgent Care Center, after a long wait, there is a 100% chance they are going to test me for a concussion and berate me for not wearing a helmet. Then they are going to strongly suggest that I get a brain scan to check for subdural hematoma. Depending on the size of the lump on my head and the number of stitches they install and how bad my head is aching perhaps I go to the hospital and get scanned. Lets assume I don't get a scan.

6. Now I have to go recover my locked bike by taxi or some friend or relative, or get on the bike I rode to the Urgent Care Center and bike home with [another] bald spot on my melon, get out of my bloody clothes and probably take a nap.

7. Since my health insurance has a $5000 deductible for such nonsense I am out hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on if I need a scan or not AND my beautiful day was wasted doing something OTHER THAN CYCLING.

Now let's say I am wearing my helmet when the crash happened:

1. I get up, dust myself off, check to see if the bike is still operational, get on, ride off into the sunrise.
Thing is, why would you fall on some leaves? Such a rookie mistake to go into a slippery curve. As stated earlier in this thread, most of these situations can be prevented by smart riding. It seems that a helmet for many is the excuse to ride stupid and take silly risks.
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Old 04-23-14, 12:54 AM   #7469
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But does your scenario give you the right to tell me/demand that I "wear a helmet" or to accuse me of being stupid if I don't believe the risks of being helmetless are sever enough to wear one?

edit: I have been riding seriously for over 40 years now, crashed wearing a helmet, crashed not wearing a helmet, never had to go to urgent care yet, yea its possible but not likely. Once wearing a helmet I crashed hard enough to probably concuss myself, but since I was wearing a helmet, and there was no blood, I went on to school and suffered a 3 day headache instead. If I had opened a few wounds maybe I would have gone to a Dr and been treated, who knows.

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Old 04-23-14, 06:29 AM   #7470
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I always wear a helmet.

I don't like telling other people what they should wear.

If someone should ask about my helmet i try to give a logical answer not based on death. I look at my helmet as a sun hat with a visor that also holds my rear view mirror. If it saves me some medical trauma some day, that's gravy.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 04-23-14 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 04-23-14, 12:02 PM   #7471
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I'm sure similar levels of flawed logic can be applied to any number of safety devices.

- seat belts and child seats can malfunction in the event of a crash and trap the person in a burning car. FAIL.
- Some fire extinguishers contain toxic fumes or cause cold burns to its operators. AVOID.
- Sunblock can contain dangerous carcinogenic chemicals or overuse can result in Vit D deficiency. BAD.

The list can probably go on forever, as every single protective device EVER has (minor) side-effects and is never pitch-perfect in its functionality. So a helmet is imperfect, yes, but that is to be expected according to the natural laws of the universe.

The disturbing part is some cyclists here are more than happy to heap law after law after law upon motorists - the more the merrier, seriously - but the mere mention of a mandatory helmet law gets them worked up into a blind fury about 'trampling all over their god-given rights'.

Australia has had a mandatory helmet law in place for many years, and apparently Australian society hasn't turned into Mad Max. Seems people are a lot more resilient than the anti-helmet crusaders give them credit for.
It's not about rights man... It's about the cycling culture being absolutely destroyed after such law.
It's funny how you take Australia as an example. After the MHL cycling rates plummeted and have never recovered.
In Halifax Canada cycling rates dropped 60%.
This will happen after an MHL. It Is Proven.
Less cyclists is more dangerous for cyclists than more cyclists. If cycling numbers drop 60% it will be devastating for cyclists and will cause more deaths and serious injury than if all remaining cyclists were to wear motorcycle helmets and full body armor. The reason for this being that usually when a cyclist dies it is due to catastrophic multi organ damage and not just the head injury.

Ignorant twits like you drive me so mad you know. Have you no regard for statistics, science, logic, causality, societal structures or anything!

As a side note. Dig up a comment which helmets are more dangerous than bareheadedness. Go on, do it. I know there are a few, I've seen them but the majority here disregard said comments.
What my point (and the point of most of the rationals here) in this is that MHL's are harmful for cycling safety. Helmets in themselves are not but nor are they a god given gift for life retention. They are handy in a crash but hardly help when you are getting ground to paste under a truck (driver of which did not bother to look for the 5 remaining cyclists who continued cycling after the MHL)

I also kinda like having a lot of cyclists around. It creates the need for better infra and the resulting cycleways may be pretty neat.
I went for a three week working trip into Europe and saw the situation in Prague, Budapest, and Vienna. Budapest and Vienna had awesome cycling infrastructure, it seemed local cycling was extremely safe and a helmet was seldom to be seen. Separated cycleways all over. And bike share programs as well (you simple ****** do realize that a bike share program is impossible if there are MHL in use)
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Old 04-23-14, 08:23 PM   #7472
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It's not about rights man... It's about the cycling culture being absolutely destroyed after such law.
It's funny how you take Australia as an example. After the MHL cycling rates plummeted and have never recovered.
In Halifax Canada cycling rates dropped 60%.
This will happen after an MHL. It Is Proven.
Less cyclists is more dangerous for cyclists than more cyclists. If cycling numbers drop 60% it will be devastating for cyclists and will cause more deaths and serious injury than if all remaining cyclists were to wear motorcycle helmets and full body armor. The reason for this being that usually when a cyclist dies it is due to catastrophic multi organ damage and not just the head injury.

Ignorant twits like you drive me so mad you know. Have you no regard for statistics, science, logic, causality, societal structures or anything!

As a side note. Dig up a comment which helmets are more dangerous than bareheadedness. Go on, do it. I know there are a few, I've seen them but the majority here disregard said comments.
What my point (and the point of most of the rationals here) in this is that MHL's are harmful for cycling safety. Helmets in themselves are not but nor are they a god given gift for life retention. They are handy in a crash but hardly help when you are getting ground to paste under a truck (driver of which did not bother to look for the 5 remaining cyclists who continued cycling after the MHL)

I also kinda like having a lot of cyclists around. It creates the need for better infra and the resulting cycleways may be pretty neat.
I went for a three week working trip into Europe and saw the situation in Prague, Budapest, and Vienna. Budapest and Vienna had awesome cycling infrastructure, it seemed local cycling was extremely safe and a helmet was seldom to be seen. Separated cycleways all over. And bike share programs as well (you simple ****** do realize that a bike share program is impossible if there are MHL in use)
Fair enough. Your last point is particularly effective. I'm all for helmets, but bike shares would be crippled by MHL laws and that's bad for cycling and cycling infrastructure in the long run. I have deleted my post.
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Old 04-23-14, 08:49 PM   #7473
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The Helmet Thread: Changing hearts and minds since...


...wait, has this ever happened before?
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Old 04-23-14, 10:27 PM   #7474
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
The Helmet Thread: Changing hearts and minds since...


...wait, has this ever happened before?
There have been a few who have come to understand that helmets do not have the magical properties they once thought they did.
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Old 04-23-14, 10:37 PM   #7475
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1- helmets do reduce acceleration in head impacts, from which it's reasonable to assume that they would reduce likelihood and/or severity of TBI in head strikes.

I have no problem with the above, and accept it as a given even though I believe that the risk of head strike (for me) is low enough to forgo wearing one.
Many youth soccer coaches felt the same was true with those soccer head cushion bands. Some (including large soccer clubs with hundreds of players) even mandated their players wear them. Then the statistics started coming in that showed as more players began wearing them, the number of TBIs significantly went up. The soccer head bands have lost their luster of perceived magical powers.

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I suspect it's also the logic behind the Navy's oddball policy. Civilians can sue more easily than active duty personnel, so the helmet rule makes perfect sense if it's intent is to protect the Navy.
Actually, most of the people riding without cycle helmets on Navy facilities are civilian shipyard employees who are quite free to file law suits.
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