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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 04-29-12, 08:28 AM   #2051
mconlonx 
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
Good for you.

So when was the last time you practiced your bike handling drills?
Skill practice. Who does it; who is spending marketing resources promoting such?

Helmets are the magic pill. Who needs skill when you have the easy fix?

So the problem is not so much helmets vs. no, but rather: how do you get people to focus on street survival skills vs. the supposed quick fix of a helmet?

How do you market such? If there needs to be a profit motive, like with helmets, what's that?
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Old 04-29-12, 09:14 AM   #2052
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I generally do not wear a helmet. In recent years, this has led to unsolicited "advice" from strangers. It happened again yesterday. I was in the bike lane on a busy city street, waiting at a red light, when a voice to the right of me said, "You should wear a helmet." I turned to discover that the "advice" came from another cyclist...who was riding on the sidewalk. Awesome.
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Old 04-29-12, 03:33 PM   #2053
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It's like losing weight: why bother eating a normal, healthy diet and exercising more when you can do the latest fad diet and still laze around. People like to buy their way out of perceived problems.
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Old 04-30-12, 12:51 PM   #2054
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Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
I think the reason there aren't less injuries is due to the fact that through statistics we are are only learning of the major accidents rather than the minor ones where had the rider not been wearing a helmet, it would have been more serious, but since they were wearing their helmet, they weren't seriously injured, didn't need much if any medical care, and it never got reported.
This statement is undoubtedly true in that it describes what you **think.**

..But what you think is silly and ignorant of basic statistics. The way that helmet benefits are assessed statistically is by comparing EQUAL SIZED GROUPS of wearers and non-wearers. So if helmet wearers had fewer injuries that would show very clearly.

(I can't imagine how you think such things are measured - don't bother telling me; whatever you think is wrong.)
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Old 04-30-12, 12:57 PM   #2055
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Originally Posted by jjamesstrk View Post
Do doctors study helmets in medical school? Sometimes I wonder if they are making the same uniformed assumptions as any other lay person. "Helmet cracked!? Probably saved your life."

My father in-law is a family practice doctor and said he knows nothing about bicycle helmets. Though he has heard that they can mitigate some head injury.

Does anyone have any information on how doctors make these judgements?
Yes, it's been discussed before in these threads: the average doctor basically pulls opinions on helmets out of his ass if he has them. Doctors who specialize in head injury and **who have actually studied helmets** have repeatedly testified in court that they're useless in mitigating serious head injury in adults - something like a motorcycle helmet would be needed. Light foam helmets were designed to protect young children from a particular head injury adults can't get - children's skull's are much more flexible. Practically everything you you could want to know is here:

http://www.cyclehelmets.org/
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Old 04-30-12, 01:00 PM   #2056
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Welcome back, meanwhile.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:03 PM   #2057
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Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975

You see, theres just so much that can go wrong, why not just wear a helmet? It's not hurting anything. I don't think anyone has been injured because they had on a helemet.
I.e. "I don't need no facts!"

In fact there's quite a lot of evidence that helmets increase the risk of serious head injury - it's hard to be sure though, because such injuries are rare.

You probably think this doesn't make sense - but your opinion is worthless because you don't know helmets work (or not), how they interact with other safety factors, or even what the main mechanism for serious head injury is. (It's rotation not linear impact, and a lot of lab test evidence shows helmets reducing linear impact but making rotation worse.)
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Old 04-30-12, 01:04 PM   #2058
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Welcome back, meanwhile.
Yo! Things haven't changed much, have they?
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Old 04-30-12, 01:11 PM   #2059
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Yo! Things haven't changed much, have they?
Hardly at all. Data cited by the sceptics, and ignored by the "if you hit your head with a hammer, it hurts less with a helmet" brigade.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:17 PM   #2060
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Hardly at all. Data cited by the sceptics, and ignored by the "if you hit your head with a hammer, it hurts less with a helmet" brigade.
Yes, but think how these people will be able to laugh at us if it starts raining hammers!

It's a shame that a SUV packs about 10,000 times as much kinetic energy as a hammer...
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Old 04-30-12, 01:30 PM   #2061
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It's difficult to dislodge superstition.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:58 PM   #2062
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It's difficult to dislodge superstition.
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Originally Posted by jjamesstrk View Post
It's difficult to dislodge superstition.
Maybe the rain of hammers would do it???

I'll try to be nice to these people and explain:

Cycle helmets are designed to handle a certain amount of energy. The best ones ever made (except for being too heavy, so they distorted balance) could reliably absorb 100 Joules. Modern cool ones absorb a lot less.

How much energy will a helmet absorb? Well:

http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1081.html
In a recent Court case, a respected materials specialist argued that a cyclist who was brain injured from what was essentially a fall from their cycle, without any real forward momentum, would not have had their injuries reduced or prevented by a cycle helmet. This event involved contact against a flat tarmac surface with an impact energy potential of no more than 75 joules (his estimate, with which I was in full agreement). The court found in favour of his argument. So a High Court has decided that cycle helmets do not prevent injury even when falling from a cycle onto a flat surface, with little forward momentum. Cycle helmets will almost always perform much better against a flat surface than any other.

I.e. a helmet will in practice probably rather absorb less than 75J. And when a helmet's ability is over-stretched it probably won't even do that - hit a helmet with 500J and it probably won't absorb any, because the shell will fail before the liner (which absorbs the energy but needs an intact shell to do so) compresses.

So. Virtually all serious cyclist head injuries result from cyclist's heads hitting cars (most of the remainder occur when a cyclist shoved up to 40mph by a car bonnet hits the ground.) How much energy will be in such a collision? It will usually be measured in the 100,000s of Joules - meaning the helmet will fly apart without doing any good at all.

Put simply, anyone who thinks that a light foam hat can meaningfully affect the outcome when they are hit by a car - which is how virtually all serious head injuries occur - is as silly as someone who thinks that a thick layer of sunscreen will protect against a nuclear blast. Foam hats are designed to protect the heads of children who fall off their bikes while more or less not moving, nothing else. This is very basic science (and yes, I do have a relevant degree!)

Helmets can protect against scalp tears to some degree - that's about it for adults. As for the "But I might as well wear it, it might do some good in a serious accident" crowd - no, it won't. It might make you feel irrationally better, but that's it.
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Old 05-01-12, 03:48 PM   #2063
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I voted, but I'm not going to discuss it, I figure if a person doesn't value their brains inside their skulls enough to protect it with a helmet, then there's no reason to intellectually discuss it any further.
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Old 05-01-12, 03:51 PM   #2064
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I voted, but I'm not going to discuss it, I figure if a person doesn't value their brains inside their skulls enough to protect it with a helmet, then there's no reason to intellectually discuss it any further.
Here we go again.

You may not know it, but read back, say 10 pages, and I believe you'll find all the information needed to make a sound judgement.
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Old 05-01-12, 04:10 PM   #2065
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I fell while riding the other day and bruised a rib. if only I'd had a helmet on.... oh, wait.
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Old 05-01-12, 04:16 PM   #2066
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Here we go again.

You may not know it, but read back, say 10 pages, and I believe you'll find all the information needed to make a sound judgement.
Only really needs to read one post above his.
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Old 05-01-12, 06:08 PM   #2067
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I voted, but I'm not going to discuss it, I figure if a person doesn't value their brains inside their skulls enough to protect it with a helmet, then there's no reason to intellectually discuss it any further.
..And I figure that if you're not smart enough to understand that that is not what the debate is about, then you have nothing worth protecting.
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Old 05-01-12, 06:14 PM   #2068
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Now for the really interesting data: something like 50 to 75% of cyclist deaths that don't involve obvious stupidity (alcohol, wrong way riding) occur at junctions. A very large number of these involve cyclists who get too close to very large vehicles and end in their blindspots. Knowing where these blindspots are would actually save cyclist lives. But no one makes a buck out of this, so it doesn't get promoted. And it involves the use of actual intelligence, so it obviously isn't something that the "My magic foam hat will protect me!" crowd can do for themselves.
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Old 05-02-12, 02:49 AM   #2069
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Here we go again.

You may not know it, but read back, say 10 pages, and I believe you'll find all the information needed to make a sound judgement.
I'm not going to read a thousand pages of BS! Besides I lost all sense of sound since I ride a bike with earphones glued into my hears, and I lost my sense of judgement because I had too many crashes without wearing a helmet...do you see where I'm going yet? Yup, I have no sound judgement.
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Old 05-02-12, 03:38 AM   #2070
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I'm not going to read a thousand pages of BS! Besides I lost all sense of sound since I ride a bike with earphones glued into my hears, and I lost my sense of judgement because I had too many crashes without wearing a helmet...do you see where I'm going yet? Yup, I have no sound judgement.
Do you feel that you're contributing anything of value to this thread?
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Old 05-02-12, 03:47 AM   #2071
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Do you feel that you're contributing anything of value to this thread?
Nope, not at all...but then who is? You? hahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahah aahahahahahahahahahahahahaahhahahahaahhaahhahaahahahahaaakakakakakakaakakkkkkaaaakakaaakkakakakaaa, I think I just choked on a fur ball.
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Old 05-02-12, 04:34 AM   #2072
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Nope, not at all...but then who is? You? hahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahah aahahahahahahahahahahahahaahhahahahaahhaahhahaahahahahaaakakakakakakaakakkkkkaaaakakaaakkakakakaaa, I think I just choked on a fur ball.
Impressive.
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Old 05-02-12, 06:14 AM   #2073
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If you have nothing intelligent to say, don't say anything. I'd suggest looking up what your magic hat is actually designed to do, then come back with an opinion.
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Old 05-02-12, 09:48 AM   #2074
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Helmets can protect against scalp tears to some degree - that's about it for adults. As for the "But I might as well wear it, it might do some good in a serious accident" crowd - no, it won't. It might make you feel irrationally better, but that's it.
What about the "It might do some good in a less than serious accident" crowd? If all a styrofoam hat does for me is provide a stable mount for a headlight and protect in any degree against having my head shaved, scalp scrubbed, and stapled together, I'll wear one...
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Old 05-02-12, 10:19 AM   #2075
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I voted, but I'm not going to discuss it,blah blah, then there's no reason to intellectually discuss it any further.
thanks for not intellectually discussing it and then again later.

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