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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 02-16-12, 09:40 AM   #1426
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There are irrational people on every side of every issue. Most people are sane and hold their positions for reasons. My $.02 is that helmets do afford some protection, and I do wear one 95% of the time I'm on a bike. I do not think a helmet is an invicibility shield.

So, while I say that, I was hit by a car a couple of days ago. I was wearing a helmet. No part of my helmet or head contacted either the vehicle or the ground. So while I was wearing one, I don't think it made a lick of difference in this particular case. I think that's what I hear most from the lid-less folks: helmets do not protect you from the most serious situations...collisions. I happen to believe they are a great help for the most common, falling from the height of the riding position to the ground. Same thing with MC helmets, they are designed to protect you from a fall height of about 5 - 6 ft tops. About the only thing that protects you in high speed impacts are God (if you so believe) or random chance (if God isn't your deal.)
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Old 02-16-12, 10:26 AM   #1427
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See things as you like but MHLs require people to believe 1) cycling is dangerous and, 2) helmets are effective in eliminating and/or significantly reducing that danger.

When helmet support reaches the point at which the lidded cyclists are disparaging the lidless, MHLs are only a short step away
So...

Because the vast majority of the world does not have MHLs, most of the public believes 1) cycling is not dangerous, and 2) there's basically no need for helmets.

And you peddle fear of MHLs -- which don't exist and are unlikely to be enacted in most places -- like you claim helmet manufacturers and safety groups peddle fear in the name of helmets.
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Old 02-16-12, 11:28 AM   #1428
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See things as you like but MHLs require people to believe 1) cycling is dangerous and, 2) helmets are effective in eliminating and/or significantly reducing that danger.
Again, no one here is arguing for MHLs!

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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
When helmet support reaches the point at which the lidded cyclists are disparaging the lidless, MHLs are only a short step away


And you have disparaged the lidded!

The vast majority of cyclists (in the US) disparage no one else one way or another!
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Old 02-16-12, 12:22 PM   #1429
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I'll make an attempt to disparage no one here but must point out that the debate centres on 2 central issues; that 1) cycling is dangerous and, 2) helmets are effective in eliminating and/or significantly reducing that danger.

I would assume to a person thinking about the issue objectively this is obvious, but I do understand that others are not being objective in their views, so I thought it was worth the time to make the point

Last edited by closetbiker; 02-16-12 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 02-16-12, 12:32 PM   #1430
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So...

Because the vast majority of the world does not have MHLs, most of the public believes 1) cycling is not dangerous, and 2) there's basically no need for helmets.

And you peddle fear of MHLs -- which don't exist and are unlikely to be enacted in most places -- like you claim helmet manufacturers and safety groups peddle fear in the name of helmets.
I'm not sure if you know (although I've posted it many times) but I didn't used to be opposed to MHLs. I thought I'd wait to see what the results of those laws would be before I would form an opinion on them. Since the results are in and I've seen what happened, I oppose them and any other misinformation and/or policy that portrays cycling as something that it isn't and worsens conditions for those who want to use a bicycle
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Old 02-17-12, 08:55 AM   #1431
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Who says cycling is dangerous? It is one of several assumptions that you and others make.
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Old 02-17-12, 10:35 AM   #1432
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If cycling isn't dangerous, then why are you wearing a helmet?
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Old 02-17-12, 12:57 PM   #1433
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If cycling isn't dangerous, then why are you wearing a helmet?
Driving isn't relatively dangerous either (the fatality rate to exposure ratio appears to be similar). Would you remove the air bags from your car?
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Old 02-17-12, 01:59 PM   #1434
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Driving isn't relatively dangerous either (the fatality rate to exposure ratio appears to be similar). Would you remove the air bags from your car?
As a cyclist, I'd like cars to not have seatbelts, airbags, ABS etc., as it is well known that risk compensation will make drivers take more chances.
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Old 02-17-12, 02:38 PM   #1435
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As a cyclist, I'd like cars to not have seatbelts, airbags, ABS etc., as it is well known that risk compensation will make drivers take more chances.
Well, that's not relevant. What about you as a driver?
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Old 02-17-12, 09:39 PM   #1436
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Driving isn't relatively dangerous either (the fatality rate to exposure ratio appears to be similar). Would you remove the air bags from your car?
I wouldn't go out of my way to remove them, but when I drive in a car without them, I don't act as though I'm performing some death-defying act.

I also realize that other people's decisions about what safety gear to use (or not to use) in their cars is none of my business, so I don't yell obnoxious things at them as they drive by, or start insulting threads about them, or beat them over the head with endlessly regurgitated statistics intended to make them do what I think they should.
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Old 02-18-12, 04:11 AM   #1437
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My point is that you need to differentiate clearly between two types of issues. One: do helmets help protect the head or not? Two: do helmet laws or promotional efforts discourage ridership? The latter issue is fundamentally different in kind; it's a psychological/sociological/political issue since it centers on personal choice, not whether a physical device can mitigate impacts. You need to differentiate, too, between whether helmet compulsion or promotion might merely decrease ridership or whether it impacts overall population health: obviously, someone can enjoy other forms of exercise if they choose not to cycle.
Fair enough, as long as it's kept in mind that one can't just ignore that question. It's pivotal.



Quote:
The problem inherent in that line of reasoning is that you say or imply that some groups are portraying cycling as more dangerous than it really is, but they could turn around and say you are portraying it as less dangerous than it really is. Whose perception is right? At the end of the day, it is a simple fact that X number of people are killed or injured cycling every year. Merely stating that, whether you compare it to other activities or not, is not fear-mongering in any sense. The reality is that cyclists can get hurt or killed; they need to know that so they can make an informed decision, just as if they were preparing to undertake any athletic activity or use another type or transport.
The point is it doesn't matter. As was noted earlier, studies have shown (and been posted) that even lidless cycling offers net benefit to society. And while I agree it would be disingenuous and frankly wrong to downplay any danger that does exist for the sake of getting more people on bikes, the numbers just don't bear this danger out.

Quote:
You may not want to compare cycling's risk to other activities, anyway:
This is intriguing as we've already had at least two sets of statistics posted that show cycling about on par with walking and driving, and under showering. I've honestly not bothered to look through these numbers, but I'll take your word for it that they say what you say they do. Just don't take it as truth... other numbers bear out a very different conclusion. You can use the search function if you want to find them again... I just don't have the energy to devote to leg-work on this subject as it obviously doesn't matter. So, take that for what you will, I guess.

This is a common one.

http://cyclehelmets.org/1026.html

Last edited by sudo bike; 02-18-12 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 02-18-12, 04:12 AM   #1438
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Wut?!? Are we reading the same posts in this thread???
Apparently not, because even closetbiker has said that helmets are designed, tested, and somewhat effective (at least) at dealing with simple and minor injuries. As I said, and I'll repeat, no one is really denying this. What the discussion is about is whether there is net benefit, whether they are as effective as many claim, and what place, if any, should they have in cycling.

Last edited by sudo bike; 02-18-12 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 02-18-12, 08:30 AM   #1439
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This is intriguing as we've already had at least two sets of statistics posted that show cycling about on par with walking and driving, and under showering. I've honestly not bothered to look through these numbers, but I'll take your word for it that they say what you say they do. Just don't take it as truth... other numbers bear out a very different conclusion. You can use the search function if you want to find them again... I just don't have the energy to devote to leg-work on this subject as it obviously doesn't matter. So, take that for what you will, I guess.

This is a common one.

http://cyclehelmets.org/1026.html
That's odd that you say it "obviously doesn't matter." I thought it was supposed to matter that cycling's danger be contextualized, so I did just that. Of course, it was to underline my point that perceptions will differ, as will the data. If someone complains that cycling is being falsely portrayed as dangerous, someone else can turn around and say--with data to back it--that the danger is actually being underestimated by some parties. Who is right?

(I've seen the page you link. That site has an agenda to push, so its figures and arguments all bear extra scrutiny and further independent research.)
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Old 02-18-12, 09:04 AM   #1440
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That's odd that you say it "obviously doesn't matter." I thought it was supposed to matter that cycling's danger be contextualized, so I did just that...
no you didn't. You just posted a bunch of raw numbers that didn't account for exposure rates or degree of severity.

Same thing happened here when the people pushing for a helmet law provided "evidence" that head injuries for cyclists were "in fact" worse for bicyclists than motorcyclists.

This lack of objectivity is astounding
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Old 02-18-12, 09:21 AM   #1441
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Is cycling dangerous-------no. Why do I wear a helmet? Accidents do happen. Good thots, safe riding, and the feeling of invincibility cannot and will not prevent accidents. I do not believe all those against helmets throw away any and all safety devices in their lives. My helmet is simply a safety device for cycling that once it is on completely forgotten. Also as I have stated before the safety aspect is NOT the only reason for wearing a helmet. There is sun protection, a place to mount a mirror, and in my case a place to mount a visor.

I still say arguing against such a simple thing is really nuts. Anti helmet people need to get a life. Their bleating against helmets are falling on deaf ears.
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Old 02-18-12, 09:50 AM   #1442
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no you didn't. You just posted a bunch of raw numbers that didn't account for exposure rates or degree of severity.
Had you followed the links and read the sources, you would see that's not the case.
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Old 02-18-12, 10:24 AM   #1443
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six

Is cycling dangerous-------no. Why do I wear a helmet? Accidents do happen. Good thots, safe riding, and the feeling of invincibility cannot and will not prevent accidents. I do not believe all those against helmets throw away any and all safety devices in their lives. My helmet is simply a safety device for cycling that once it is on completely forgotten. Also as I have stated before the safety aspect is NOT the only reason for wearing a helmet. There is sun protection, a place to mount a mirror, and in my case a place to mount a visor.

I still say arguing against such a simple thing is really nuts. Anti helmet people need to get a life. Their bleating against helmets are falling on deaf ears.
Nobody's arguing against it for you. We're just arguing that your reasons aren't necessary valid for anyone else.

But I do think the admission that cycling is not particularly dangerous is a good step for you lot. It severely undermines the "idiot/organ donor/Darwinism" attacks, if nothing else.
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Old 02-18-12, 10:37 AM   #1444
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Driving isn't relatively dangerous either (the fatality rate to exposure ratio appears to be similar). Would you remove the air bags from your car?
Yes. I'm a big proponent of replacing airbags with 6" spikes.
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Old 02-18-12, 10:38 AM   #1445
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Had you followed the links and read the sources, you would see that's not the case.
Closetbiker has said in the past that nobody actually follows posted links. Apparently that includes him...
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Old 02-18-12, 11:10 AM   #1446
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Closetbiker has said in the past that nobody actually follows posted links. Apparently that includes him...
Now you're being as silly as he is...
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Old 02-18-12, 11:35 AM   #1447
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Closetbiker has said in the past that nobody actually follows posted links. Apparently that includes him...
That's not very good for building "objectivity."

Quote:
Yes. I'm a big proponent of replacing airbags with 6" spikes.
Speaking of airbags, check out external airbags: http://www.bikeradar.com/news/articl...-lives--18098/

Link to the study in question, for those that follow links: http://media.fietsersbond.nl/botsvri..._accidents.pdf

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Old 02-18-12, 12:24 PM   #1448
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Well, that's not relevant. What about you as a driver?
I'd be riding a lot more cautiously. Which is the exact reason why etc.
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Old 02-18-12, 01:39 PM   #1449
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That's not very good for building "objectivity."
Nice edit. I was going to go down a different road, but now I'll change tack.

Perhaps you could show me where those posted links in post 1424 allow for exposure rates in order to see the issue of injury in context and perspective (as you said you presented them)

It was because I looked at the links that I pointed out they didn't, but maybe I missed something.

You remind me, in a way, of a local helmet use advocate when he said people should be a bit more relaxed about the minor injuries people will inevitably suffer when riding their bikes.

He said, he wasn't trying to "bubble-wrap" society but when I mentioned that almost all the falls people have from their bikes result in these minor injuries (he agreed this is what happens) he made an about face and said, any injury has the potential to become a serious injury, so therefore we should wear helmets at all times.

(Gee, that sure sounds like he's trying to "bubble-wrap" cyclists to me)

He placed more faith in the results of a single series of small case control studies than the results of what has happened with mass helmet use, or with other studies that come to different conclusions.

He is, in other words, a believer and no amount of information has swayed his opinion otherwise.

At least, not so far. There still is a possibility he can change his opinion, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for it.

Last edited by closetbiker; 02-18-12 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 02-18-12, 03:05 PM   #1450
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I wouldn't go out of my way to remove them, but when I drive in a car without them, I don't act as though I'm performing some death-defying act.
And the majority of helmet-wearing cyclists don't act that way either.

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I also realize that other people's decisions about what safety gear to use (or not to use) in their cars is none of my business, so I don't yell obnoxious things at them as they drive by, or start insulting threads about them, or beat them over the head with endlessly regurgitated statistics intended to make them do what I think they should.
And the majority of helmet-wearing cyclists don't act that way either.
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