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View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?

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  • 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%
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  1. #1626
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    ...and you think all you bareheaders hanging out here are not guilty of the same thing...?
    I'd say it's a rare event that a bare-header would ridicule another because they were wearing a helmet, unless they were initially provoked by the helmeted

    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    Sure...
    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    W ait, wut?!?.
    Yup. As shocking as it may seem to you, it's not uncommon for a bare header to be questioned why they are riding without a helmet. Even judged for their choice

    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    Um... not so much. What percentage of the world has helmet laws? What percentage of helmet wearers are involved in pushes for such legislation?.
    Thankfully, a small percentage of the world has fallen prey to these laws and for good reason. There's little reason for them and as the data comes in, we are learning they can even be harmful to society.

    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    I'm not so sure you should be extrapolating your insular, local experience out to the world at large..
    If you took note, you could see that the link provided is working on a national level and my experience is at a provincial level


    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    More fantasy on your part. Dissenting opinion regarding this matter is routinely recognized.
    not by all. There are a few examples of people right here on this thread that prove that.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 02-28-12 at 11:43 AM.
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  2. #1627
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    New Zealand. Widespread helmet use has negative effects

    Here's an interesting paper from Colin Clarke which claims that New Zealand's mandatory helmet laws ( which may be taken as a surrogate measure for helmet use) have resulted in overall negative effects.

    Clarke, Colin F. (2012) New Zealand Medical Journal 10 February 2012, Vol 125 No 1349; ISSN 1175 8716
    http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/abstract.php?id=5046

  3. #1628
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Don't forget that the Cochrane library claims that helmets provide equal levels of protection for crashes involving motor vehicles and crashes from all other causes.
    That would be true in the case that helmets provide little protection from serious brain injuries whether said injuries are provoked by being hit by a bus or are the result of coming off your bicycle while travelling downhill at a high speed. Helmets are designed to mitigate minor injuries ...

  4. #1629
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazrSkutr View Post
    ... Helmets are designed to mitigate minor injuries ...
    Yes, and one cannot forget or ignore that helmets provide only partial coverage of the head, and leave a large portion of the brain both exposed, and vulnerable.

    Coupled with this is the sad fact that even when a death is attributed to a head injury, the vast amount of times there are other injuries that would also lead to death. Fewer than 20% of deaths are from head injury alone, so even if a helmet completely covered the head, and was 100% effective in collisions with motor vehicles travelling at any speed, more than 80% of the deaths would still occur.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  5. #1630
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    right here is where you shoot yourself in the foot.

    As much as you may not like to admit it, contrary studies have been conducted by actual scientists, researchers, statisticians published in recognized, peer-reviewed journals, government reports.
    I'm fully aware of that. In fact, I asked sudo biker to please supply more pursuant to one aspect of this discussion.

  6. #1631
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazrSkutr View Post
    That would be true in the case that helmets provide little protection from serious brain injuries whether said injuries are provoked by being hit by a bus or are the result of coming off your bicycle while travelling downhill at a high speed. Helmets are designed to mitigate minor injuries ...
    That's not what any helmet testing spec I can recall says (please post links to ones if I'm mistaken), nor what many scientific studies suggest. As to standards, Snell B-90A, for example, says, "The proper use of protective helmets can minimize the risk of death or permanent impairment." http://www.smf.org/standards/b/b90astd

  7. #1632
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    I'm fully aware of that...
    if you are aware of that, with the posts you've been putting up, you certainly are dismissive of the contrary research, to the point of accepting inferior research over superior research.

    As to why you are pursuing such a myopic view I can only guess that you do so because it jives with your position that cycling is dangerous, and the helmet is the cure for that danger.

    I'm also curious as to how you think a helmet can provide protection below it's test line, in impacts greater than 12mph, and from the forces that cause a brain to rotate within the skull, independent of of the movement (if any) of the skull.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 02-28-12 at 01:30 PM.
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  8. #1633
    Geck, wo ist mein Fahrrad Rx Rider's Avatar
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    Wouter Weylandt was wearing a helmet in last year's Giro d'Itaila.

  9. #1634
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    if you are aware of that, with the posts you've been putting up, you certainly are dismissive of the contrary research, to the point of accepting inferior research over superior research.
    Not sure what that means, other than me pointing out that meta-analyses, of which we have a few where bicycle helmets are concerned, are usually considered the most reliable form of medical/scientific research. Or, that there's a large body of individual scientific studies showing the protective benefits of helmets. Or that numerous medical and safety groups recommend helmets as effective, versus that other famous source of information, Some Guy on the Internet.

    I don't know, either, what contrary research I am supposedly dismissive of. You mean the editorial you posted from some cycling group?

  10. #1635
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    That's not what any helmet testing spec I can recall says (please post links to ones if I'm mistaken),
    I never claimed that any helmet specs said that. You don't advance your argument by putting words in anyone's mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    As to standards, Snell B-90A, for example, says, "The proper use of protective helmets can minimize the risk of death or permanent impairment." http://www.smf.org/standards/b/b90astd
    Of course it can. The question is how often is it likely to do so in typical crash situations in which riders die or are seriously brain injured: most of those are impacts with motor vehicles ... which is the specific context in which we're talking. The SNELL standards are _clearly_ modelling situations in which no motor vehicle impacts are present .. they are what's referred to in the literature as single-vehicle crashes.

    Helmet design is a trade-off between being rigid enough to be able to cope with massive impacts (the original 500G deceleration limit for helmets, later lowered to 300G for the SNELL standards was based on the fracturing of the skull) or being elastic enough to absorb the energy of a lower velocity fall.

    So yes, the proper use of protective tennis-balls on your head can minimize the risk of death or permanent impairment. However, it's much more likely to be effective in bouncing tennis rackets off it, than it is to stop a motor-vehicle collision from causing your brain to accelerated rotationally ... that's apart from your other internal organs being damaged to a point where life is unlikely to continue. You could protect a bit against this by wearing a motor cycle helmet.

    The good news is that you're about as likely to have one of these incidents while walking or slipping on a tiddlywink while rushing downstairs to post another paean to magic-hattery.

  11. #1636
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    I asked sudo biker to please supply more pursuant to one aspect of this discussion.
    To this barely interested observer, it appears that you want to declare a "winner" based on the number of abstracts that are posted.

  12. #1637
    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    To this barely interested observer, it appears that you want to declare a "winner" based on the number of abstracts that are posted.
    And frankly, I just don't have time anymore to dig around and fulfill that want. Working while being a full-time student and all that... . Anymore I don't bother citation hunting unless I'm getting a grade for it. I do far too much of that to be charitable.

    But, as I said, I know the Aussie study was posted here, and IIRC the first few pages had some good summaries going.

    EDIT: Found this on the first few pages.

    Head injuries and bicycle helmet laws

    D. L. Robinson

    AGBU, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
    Accepted 6 February 1996. ; Available online 26 February 1999.
    Abstract

    The first year of the mandatory bicycle helmet laws in Australia saw increased helmet wearing from 31% to 75% of cyclists in Victoria and from 31% of children and 26% of adults in New South Wales (NSW) to 76% and 85%. However, the two major surveys using matched before and after samples in Melbourne (Finch et al. 1993; Report No. 45, Monash Univ. Accident Research Centre) and throughout NSW (Smith and Milthorpe 1993; Roads and Traffic Authority) observed reductions in numbers of child cyclists 15 and 2.2 times greater than the increase in numbers of children wearing helmets. This suggests the greatest effect of the helmet law was not to encourage cyclists to wear helmets, but to discourage cycling. In contrast, despite increases to at least 75% helmet wearing, the proportion of head injuries in cyclists admitted or treated at hospital declined by an average of only 13%. The percentage of cyclists with head injuries after collisions with motor vehicles in Victoria declined by more, but the proportion of head injured pedestrians also declined; the two followed a very similar trend. These trends may have been caused by major road safety initiatives introduced at the same time as the helmet law and directed at both speeding and drink-driving. The initiatives seem to have been remarkably effective in reducing road trauma for all road users, perhaps affecting the proportions of victims suffering head injuries as well as total injuries. The benefits of cycling, even without a helmet, have been estimated to outweigh the hazards by a factor of 20 to 1 (Hillman 1993; Cycle helmets—the case for and against. Policy Studies Institute, London). Consequently, a helmet law, whose most notable effect was to reduce cycling, may have generated a net loss of health benefits to the nation. Despite the risk of dying from head injury per hour being similar for unhelmeted cyclists and motor vehicle occupants, cyclists alone have been required to wear head protection. Helmets for motor vehicle occupants are now being marketed and a mandatory helmet law for these road users has the potential to save 17 times as many people from death by head injury as a helmet law for cyclists without the adverse effects of discouraging a healthy and pollution free mode of transport.

    Author Keywords: Bicycle; Head injury; Helmet; Legislation


    Also, this is a really great video.

    Last edited by sudo bike; 02-28-12 at 06:48 PM.
    "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."

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  13. #1638
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    To this barely interested observer, it appears that you want to declare a "winner" based on the number of abstracts that are posted.
    Yes, and these links he's provided seem to contribute to his thoughts that part of the confusion regarding the subject in general arises from selecting information that does not reflect a neutral position.

    It seems he thinks his contributions are worthwhile, when other contributions are not, and result in confusion.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 02-28-12 at 06:48 PM.
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  14. #1639
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I'm battling a cold and stuck inside, so I took a little bit of time to go over some of the posts six has made just to be sure I wasn't missing something.

    I've selected a few posts of his I have some problems with. He's entitled to his opinion, but I don't think he can't pass these statements off as facts for everybody else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    ...Before ever researching the issue, I for one never assumed a helmet was some magical protection against any and all injury.
    You can guess where this is going

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    ... at the end of the day, it's about the facts: cycling is obviously and incontrovertibly dangerous in the literal sense in that it exposes you to the risk of bodily harm or death. Indeed, there are hundreds of thousands of annual bicycle-related ER visits in the US alone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    ... a supposedly "simple fall onto the ground at zero speed" is what hospitalizes or kills hundreds of thousands each year--you needn't be moving at 30mph or get hit by a car to hurt your head from a fall. Further, what appears at first to be a minor bump on the head can in fact be a more serious or even fatal condition...*
    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    Some more data that may be of interest:
    All bicyclists should wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash.
    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    http://www.chp.edu/CHP/P03008
    "Bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85 percent and brain injury by 88 percent."
    I find his dismissal of cyclings positive effects disturbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    ... Why use cycling's overall health benefits as a tool with which to bludgeon others who don't share the same views?

    "experts have to say is riding a bike lengthens a life" seems like a radical oversimplification.
    distubing as well are his dismissal of the negative effects of helmet laws

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    ...*What I disagree with is underhanded scare tactics that casually throw out the notion that helmet laws reduce the number of cyclists, implying in the process that if someone supports helmet laws, he must therefore be against cycling... We're also supposed to casually assume that fewer cyclists is inherently problematic...
    He does say some things that I have no problem with (and actually very much like)

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    ... there are a host of safety precautions and devices people can apply to different situations. A helmet may be one part of a comprehensive plan to lessen the possibility or severity of injury while cycling.
    The issue here is where on the priority pole he places a helmet. Top, middle, or bottom? I fear he (and others like him) place the priority of helmet use at the top.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 02-28-12 at 11:03 PM.
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  15. #1640
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    It seems he thinks his contributions are worthwhile, when other contributions are not
    You're not the only one who's noticed that. A convenient substitute for critical thinking.

  16. #1641
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    I'm battling a cold and stuck inside, so I took a little bit of time to go over some of the posts six has made just to be sure I wasn't missing something.

    I've selected a few posts of his I have some problems with. He's entitled to his opinion, but I don't think he can't pass these statements off as facts for everybody else.
    Conveniently for you, you removed the sources for things I was quoting and made it look like they were my own words and not substantiated by third parties. Classy.

    Simple fact is, I've looked into the data and science on the issue extensively and continue to do so. I try to base my tentative conclusions on reliable sources. I cite those sources. I notice that the same handful of "anti's" here mostly just resort to snide name-calling instead of making comparable arguments with comparably reliable sources, which says a lot about both their positions and their character.

  17. #1642
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    And frankly, I just don't have time anymore to dig around and fulfill that want. Working while being a full-time student and all that... . Anymore I don't bother citation hunting unless I'm getting a grade for it. I do far too much of that to be charitable.

    But, as I said, I know the Aussie study was posted here, and IIRC the first few pages had some good summaries going.
    Sudo, thank you. I'm aware of that article. Interestingly, it seems to promote mandatory helmets for automobile occupants!

    FYI, Robinson is one of about three or four authors in the science known for articles questioning helmets and helmet laws and also writes for helmet-skeptic website cyclehelmets.org. http://cyclehelmets.org/1121.html

  18. #1643
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    ... Simple fact is, I've looked into the data and science on the issue extensively and continue to do so. I try to base my tentative conclusions on reliable sources. I cite those sources.
    Good for you. So do others. Different people see things in different ways. I find it sad that there are those who conclude riding a bicycle is dangerous and can't see it's benefits outweigh it's risks, but hey, that's life. There will always be some who worry, but it does become an advocacy issue when that worry is extended out to others, making riding a bicycle a little more difficult, and yes, a little more dangerous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    ... I notice that the same handful of "anti's" here mostly just resort to snide name-calling instead of making comparable arguments with comparably reliable sources, which says a lot about both their positions and their character.
    I don't think you understand how ironic this sentence is, but I should let you know, it is.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  19. #1644
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Good for you. So do others. Different people see things in different ways. I find it sad that there are those who conclude riding a bicycle is dangerous and can't see it's benefits outweigh it's risks, but hey, that's life. There will always be some who worry, but it does become an advocacy issue when that worry is extended out to others, making riding a bicycle a little more difficult, and yes, a little more dangerous.
    I don't think you understand how ironic this sentence is, but I should let you know, it is.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  20. #1645
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    I don't think you understand how ironic this sentence is, but I should let you know, it is.
    You don't think it's ironic when six calls a handful of posters a name and then complains of name-calling?
    Last edited by closetbiker; 02-29-12 at 11:05 AM.
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  21. #1646
    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Shooter View Post
    Sudo, thank you. I'm aware of that article. Interestingly, it seems to promote mandatory helmets for automobile occupants!
    It merely points out that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, which is what many here have been saying. Simply by sheer numbers, crash helmets stand to save far more lives in cars than bikes.

    FYI, Robinson is one of about three or four authors in the science known for articles questioning helmets and helmet laws and also writes for helmet-skeptic website cyclehelmets.org. http://cyclehelmets.org/1121.html
    That doesn't invalidate the study. Indeed, it may have become an issue with him because of what he has learned about helmets. If I discover wearing baseball caps lead to cancer, you'd better believe I'm going to put a whole lot of my work into letting people know baseball caps cause cancer, if you see what I mean.
    Last edited by sudo bike; 02-29-12 at 10:43 AM.
    "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."

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  22. #1647
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    You don't think it's ironic when six calls a handful of posters a name and then complains of name-calling?
    You don't think it ironic that you imply cycling is not dangerous in one sentence and then acknowledge it as such in the next...?

    I got my own thing going on here -- sniping from the sidelines -- not really paying much attention to the Six-Shooter vs. the bare head brigade posts: tl;dr. The dueling studies thing is the "sausage fencing" I referenced on p. 3 of this thread...
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  23. #1648
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    ... I got my own thing going on here -- sniping from the sidelines -- not really paying much attention to the Six-Shooter vs. the bare head brigade posts: tl;dr. The dueling studies thing is the "sausage fencing" I referenced on p. 3 of this thread...
    Ah. I get it. Maybe if you were more attentive, your snipes would be more effective.

    For the record, I make the claim that cycling becomes less safe when the perception of cycling becomes one of being dangerous.

    You know the reasons, less cycling, over dependence on foam hats...
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  24. #1649
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazrSkutr View Post
    I never claimed that any helmet specs said that. You don't advance your argument by putting words in anyone's mouth.
    You repeated the myth that "Helmets are designed to mitigate minor injuries." Now, afaik, there aren't any helmet manufacturer design specs floating around for us to read. So, as far as "design" is concerned, all we have to go on are testing standards and scientific research about what they actually do in real accidents (and that's ultimately what counts).

    AFAIK, the current standards do not specify type/severity of injury prevented against, but rather acceleration forces the helmets must withstand (see e.g., http://www.smf.org/standards/b/b90astd or http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr98/10mr98r.pdf).

    As to the science, there is abundant scientific research that helmets can protect against more than "minor injuries." See my previous posts for links.

  25. #1650
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Ah. I get it. Maybe if you were more attentive, your snipes would be more effective.

    For the record, I make the claim that cycling becomes less safe when the perception of cycling becomes one of being dangerous.

    You know the reasons, less cycling, over dependence on foam hats...
    And I think this particular claim of yours is all wet and self-contradictory, outside of places where MHLs have been enacted.

    Dude: cycling isn't dangerous. Whether or not you're wearing a foam hat.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

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