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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 05-14-12, 01:50 PM   #2201
ecnewell
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Man, this thread almost sucked me in AGAIN. It's like a black hole in here. Time doesn't exist, and the same realities repeat themselves ad infinitum. Have fun, everyone!
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Old 05-14-12, 03:13 PM   #2202
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False equivalence. You are assuming that preventing a head injury has equal to preventing other injuries. Since people (on road bikes) are much, much more likely to wear helmets than body armor, the equivalence isn't the commonly-held notion.
Considering a cycle helmet is designed only to mitigate very minor injuries, and certainly not concussions etc, I don't think the equivalence is false at all. In a real accident where vehicles are likely to be involved, body armour is more likely to protect vital organs than a helmet is to prevent brain injury.
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Old 05-14-12, 08:35 PM   #2203
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Considering a cycle helmet is designed only to mitigate very minor injuries, and certainly not concussions etc, I don't think the equivalence is false at all. In a real accident where vehicles are likely to be involved, body armour is more likely to protect vital organs than a helmet is to prevent brain injury.
No, this is being pulled from the same ass that helmet effectiveness is being pulled from. You can't really argue that helmets don't have scientific basis by speculating.

How well helmets work is a different issue than the fact that users see head injuries as being much worse than other injuries. And you have no idea whether body armor works either!

All that we can do is assume that helmets and body armor have the same effectiveness (be it good/bad/whatever). Given that users see head injuries as much worse than other injuries, the users will value the effectiveness (whatever it is) of helmets as higher.
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Old 05-14-12, 08:58 PM   #2204
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except for the fact that I've always landed a fall on my ribs and hands and rarely have had my head make it to the ground. I know body armor would work better for me. I've even managed a spectacular somersault over the bars and had my bike roll back over me and no head contact. the question is would I have managed a somersault wearing protective gear?
you can't say a bump on the head is worse than a punctured lung. and you can't say a helmet will save you from a concussion because they can not.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:18 AM   #2205
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except for the fact that I've always landed a fall on my ribs and hands and rarely have had my head make it to the ground. I know body armor would work better for me. I've even managed a spectacular somersault over the bars and had my bike roll back over me and no head contact. the question is would I have managed a somersault wearing protective gear?
you can't say a bump on the head is worse than a punctured lung. and you can't say a helmet will save you from a concussion because they can not.
So, anecdotes are OK for anti-helmet arguments?

And people don't fall of their bikes (a common anti-helmet argument).

Since, it seems, you don't use body armor, you don't really believe it would serve any useful/real purpose (so, the whole "work better for me" is moot).
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Old 05-15-12, 09:30 AM   #2206
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How well helmets work is a different issue than the fact that users see head injuries as being much worse than other injuries. And you have no idea whether body armor works either!

All that we can do is assume that helmets and body armor have the same effectiveness (be it good/bad/whatever). Given that users see head injuries as much worse than other injuries, the users will value the effectiveness (whatever it is) of helmets as higher.
I was simply pointing out that your facts are incorrect. and your givens are arguable. you should keep your speculations to your own experiences and leave the facts of what everyone else knows to everyone else. since I've crashed maybe once every two thousand rides I'll leave the protective gear at home and takes my chances. I never said anecdotes weren't good for discussion. they're much better than assuming every cyclist agrees that head injuries are worse than rib injuries and calling it fact. or hand picking a comment from cyclist (A) and another from cyclist (B) to concoct a statement that was never made by cyclist (C).
as I write this I look out my window to see a cyclist ride by with a helmet positioned like a yamaka, sure hope he doesn't fall off his bike.
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Old 05-15-12, 11:37 AM   #2207
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I was simply pointing out that your facts are incorrect. and your givens are arguable. you should keep your speculations to your own experiences and leave the facts of what everyone else knows to everyone else. since I've crashed maybe once every two thousand rides I'll leave the protective gear at home and takes my chances. I never said anecdotes weren't good for discussion. they're much better than assuming every cyclist agrees that head injuries are worse than rib injuries and calling it fact. or hand picking a comment from cyclist (A) and another from cyclist (B) to concoct a statement that was never made by cyclist (C).
as I write this I look out my window to see a cyclist ride by with a helmet positioned like a yamaka, sure hope he doesn't fall off his bike.
You talk about facts but you don't provide any. Blech.
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Old 05-15-12, 01:44 PM   #2208
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if I wear body armor when I ride? will i look as the knight in middle century....*

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Old 05-15-12, 04:04 PM   #2209
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I say we take up a class-action lawsuit against all bike helmet manufacturers. If the NFL players can sue due to concussions, might as well take a stab at it.
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Old 05-16-12, 08:05 AM   #2210
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Yet another study shows negative impact of helmet wearing on safety.

How much more data will the helmeteers have to ignore???


Risk Anal. 2012 May;32(5):782-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2011.01785.x. Epub 2012 Mar 2.
[h=1]The health impact of mandatory bicycle helmet laws.[/h]de Jong P.
[h=3]Abstract[/h]This article seeks to answer the question whether mandatory bicycle helmet laws deliver a net societal health benefit. The question is addressed using a simple model. The model recognizes a single health benefit-reduced head injuries-and a single health cost-increased morbidity due to foregone exercise from reduced cycling. Using estimates suggested in the literature on the effectiveness of helmets, the health benefits of cycling, head injury rates, and reductions in cycling leads to the following conclusions. In jurisdictions where cycling is safe, a helmet law is likely to have a large unintended negative health impact. In jurisdictions where cycling is relatively unsafe, helmets will do little to make it safer and a helmet law, under relatively extreme assumptions, may make a small positive contribution to net societal health. The model serves to focus the mandatory bicycle helmet law debate on overall health.
© 2012 Society for Risk Analysis.
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Old 05-16-12, 08:10 AM   #2211
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My apologies if this has already been posted. Heck, I might have already posted it.



N Z Med J. 2012 Feb 10;125(1349):60-9.
Evaluation of New Zealand's bicycle helmet law.
Clarke CF.
Source

Colin@vood.freeserve.co.uk
Abstract

The New Zealand helmet law (all ages) came into effect on 1 January 1994. It followed Australian helmet laws, introduced in 1990-1992. Pre-law (in 1990) cyclist deaths were nearly a quarter of pedestrians in number, but in 2006-09, the equivalent figure was near to 50% when adjusted for changes to hours cycled and walked. From 1988-91 to 2003-07, cyclists' overall injury rate per hour increased by 20%. Dr Hillman, from the UK's Policy Studies Institute, calculated that life years gained by cycling outweighed life years lost in accidents by 20 times. For the period 1989-1990 to 2006-2009, New Zealand survey data showed that average hours cycled per person reduced by 51%. This evaluation finds the helmet law has failed in aspects of promoting cycling, safety, health, accident compensation, environmental issues and civil liberties.

PMID:
22327159
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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Old 05-16-12, 11:24 AM   #2212
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How much more data will the helmeteers have to ignore???


Risk Anal. 2012 May;32(5):782-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2011.01785.x. Epub 2012 Mar 2.
The health impact of mandatory bicycle helmet laws.

de Jong P.
Abstract

This article seeks to answer the question whether mandatory bicycle helmet laws deliver a net societal health benefit. The question is addressed using a simple model. The model recognizes a single health benefit-reduced head injuries-and a single health cost-increased morbidity due to foregone exercise from reduced cycling. Using estimates suggested in the literature on the effectiveness of helmets, the health benefits of cycling, head injury rates, and reductions in cycling leads to the following conclusions. In jurisdictions where cycling is safe, a helmet law is likely to have a large unintended negative health impact. In jurisdictions where cycling is relatively unsafe, helmets will do little to make it safer and a helmet law, under relatively extreme assumptions, may make a small positive contribution to net societal health. The model serves to focus the mandatory bicycle helmet law debate on overall health.
© 2012 Society for Risk Analysis.
Your post title and both the title and content of the abstract you quote are at odds... Abstract addresses legitimate concerns about helmet laws; absolutely does not show, nor claim to show the, "negative impact of helmet wearing on safety."

Disingenuous, misleading, and all too typical of the bare-head brigade: "See, here's a study about helmet laws, therefore helmets are bad!"

Nice try.
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Old 05-16-12, 01:46 PM   #2213
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almost as good as stating everything you say is FACT. let's see if I use the word fact enough times maybe they won't notice the pure speculation behind everything I say hmm, works for Rush.

Last edited by Rx Rider; 05-16-12 at 01:47 PM. Reason: scratched my helmet. it saved my life, FACT.
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Old 05-16-12, 07:37 PM   #2214
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Your post title and both the title and content of the abstract you quote are at odds... Abstract addresses legitimate concerns about helmet laws; absolutely does not show, nor claim to show the, "negative impact of helmet wearing on safety."

Disingenuous, misleading, and all too typical of the bare-head brigade: "See, here's a study about helmet laws, therefore helmets are bad!"

Nice try.
Skye is right on the money on this one. Helmet laws allow us to directly study the effect of helmets on safety in a given population. This is not a study about helmet laws. It is a study on the effects of the increased helmet wearing resulting from mandatory helmet laws.

If helmet proponents are correct, increased helmet wearing will reduce the severity of head injuries and, according to many, reduce the risk of mortality associated with cycling. In a study such as this, that should be easy to prove, as the MHL resulted in decreased head injury and/or mortality.

The trouble is, it did not. Increased helmet wearing, as a result of the MHL, had a negative impact on cyclist health.

This is the third epidemiological study I have seen that reached this conclusion.

Forcing people to wear helmets, whether by legislation or by peer pressure, is injuring and killing cyclists. That is what the preponderance of the epidemiological data shows.

The blood, my friend mconlonx, is on your hands. For the love of cycling, please think before pushing helmets on those you love.

Last edited by Ajenkins; 05-16-12 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 05-16-12, 08:23 PM   #2215
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No, this is being pulled from the same ass that helmet effectiveness is being pulled from. You can't really argue that helmets don't have scientific basis by speculating.

How well helmets work is a different issue than the fact that users see head injuries as being much worse than other injuries. And you have no idea whether body armor works either!

All that we can do is assume that helmets and body armor have the same effectiveness (be it good/bad/whatever). Given that users see head injuries as much worse than other injuries, the users will value the effectiveness (whatever it is) of helmets as higher.
Heh! You forget one thing: Rotational injuries is no big problem for your body, but it is for your head and - not least - your neck.
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Old 05-17-12, 08:45 AM   #2216
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There is an old saying about a person that is "educated beyond their intelligence", This seems to apply to many of the posters here. They always post some obscure "study" that seems to support their position. Studies are a dime a dozen, and on the internet you can find anything you want. That makes any studies quoted almost totally worthless.

Instead of riding a keyboard, ride a bike in the real world. Ride safe, wear a helmet and be aware an accident can happen in an instant.
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Old 05-17-12, 10:41 AM   #2217
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almost as good as stating everything you say is FACT. let's see if I use the word fact enough times maybe they won't notice the pure speculation behind everything I say hmm, works for Rush.
Pffffh. The fact is, you have no idea what you are talking about.
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Old 05-17-12, 12:24 PM   #2218
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Skye is right on the money on this one. Helmet laws allow us to directly study the effect of helmets on safety in a given population. This is not a study about helmet laws. It is a study on the effects of the increased helmet wearing resulting from mandatory helmet laws.
Point still stands, and Skye is still wrong in his/her presentation -- this is a study about effects on cyclist safety where helmet use is mandatory. Where, in the study, does it mention effects of helmet use on rider safety where helmet use is not mandatory? Y'know, like the majority of the world?

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If helmet proponents are correct, increased helmet wearing will reduce the severity of head injuries and, according to many, reduce the risk of mortality associated with cycling. In a study such as this, that should be easy to prove, as the MHL resulted in decreased head injury and/or mortality.
Helmet proponents putting forth such nonsense are incorrect -- you're painting with too broad a brush. Helmets are not designed to mitigate serious injury. Pro-helmeteers who insist they do are ignorant. The abstract mentions head injury, but not severity -- should we infer, or does the study imply serious head injury? Did the researchers have a way of monitoring less than serious head injuries...? Cycling is generally a safe activity with relatively low mortality rates. When a death via cycling occurs, the forces involved are usually beyond the capacity of a helmet to provide protection and often do not involve brain injury

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The trouble is, it did not. Increased helmet wearing, as a result of the MHL, had a negative impact on cyclist health.

This is the third epidemiological study I have seen that reached this conclusion.

Forcing people to wear helmets, whether by legislation or by peer pressure, is injuring and killing cyclists. That is what the preponderance of the epidemiological data shows.
So I'm going to need to see one of those three epidemiological studies which indicates that helmet use via peer pressure or a pro-helmet culture, outside of jurisdictions with MHLs, is "injuring and killing cyclists."

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The blood, my friend mconlonx, is on your hands. For the love of cycling, please think before pushing helmets on those you love.
Seriously, go F yourself. I think; I urge others to do the same. While I sell bike helmets out of the shop where I work and ride with one all the time, I don't "push" them on people in any way, shape, or form.
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Old 05-17-12, 06:01 PM   #2219
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Heh! You forget one thing: Rotational injuries is no big problem for your body, but it is for your head and - not least - your neck.
You forget one thing: that's not clearly an issue.

Anyway, I'm talking about what people value. Not whether that valuation is correct.

Arguing to people generally that they should wear body armor instead of helmets is stupid.
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Old 05-17-12, 06:06 PM   #2220
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My apologies if this has already been posted. Heck, I might have already posted it.



N Z Med J. 2012 Feb 10;125(1349):60-9.
Evaluation of New Zealand's bicycle helmet law.
Clarke CF.
Source

Colin@vood.freeserve.co.uk
Abstract

The New Zealand helmet law (all ages) came into effect on 1 January 1994. It followed Australian helmet laws, introduced in 1990-1992. Pre-law (in 1990) cyclist deaths were nearly a quarter of pedestrians in number, but in 2006-09, the equivalent figure was near to 50% when adjusted for changes to hours cycled and walked. From 1988-91 to 2003-07, cyclists' overall injury rate per hour increased by 20%. Dr Hillman, from the UK's Policy Studies Institute, calculated that life years gained by cycling outweighed life years lost in accidents by 20 times. For the period 1989-1990 to 2006-2009, New Zealand survey data showed that average hours cycled per person reduced by 51%. This evaluation finds the helmet law has failed in aspects of promoting cycling, safety, health, accident compensation, environmental issues and civil liberties.

PMID:
22327159
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
These sorts of "studies" are not based on good data and are highly speculative.

And it's an argument against helmet laws (which no one here is really for).
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Old 05-17-12, 08:24 PM   #2221
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These sorts of "studies" are not based on good data and are highly speculative.

And it's an argument against helmet laws (which no one here is really for).
Ok, njkayaker, have you ever published an article in a peer-reviewed medical journal? You're going to sit there and make the claim that the data is bad?

I'm calling you on it, sparky. What data is bad? Why? Were the statistical analyses used faulty? If so, why? If so, to what degree did they alter the results, and in what direction?

If you cannot answer those questions, you are in no position to make any claim whatsoever that this is a faulty study, because it has already been judged, and passed, by a panel of professionals far more competent than you will ever be to evaluate the worth of this study.

Your turn, pal. Back up your claims or retract them.
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Old 05-18-12, 01:29 AM   #2222
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Skye, I'm not ging to argue about the robustness or otherwise of a peer-reviewed study. However, njk's point that the evaluation was about the effectiveness of helmet laws, rather than helmets, has some force.

I absolutely accept that the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks. Therefore, if MHLs cause a reduction in the number of cyclists they are causing more premature mortality and morbidity than they are preventing. No argument about that.

But what most of us are interested in is whether, if we choose to wear a helmet but keep cycling just as much, we are at greater or lesser risk than if we went bareheaded. I've seen your earlier comments about diffuse axonal injuries, and that, together with the possibility that risk compensation causes helmets to increase the number of falls or collisions, seems to me to be pretty crucial to the argument. Can you say anything more about the former from your reading of the research?
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Old 05-18-12, 06:02 AM   #2223
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Ok, njkayaker, have you ever published an article in a peer-reviewed medical journal? You're going to sit there and make the claim that the data is bad?

I'm calling you on it, sparky. What data is bad? Why? Were the statistical analyses used faulty? If so, why? If so, to what degree did they alter the results, and in what direction?

If you cannot answer those questions, you are in no position to make any claim whatsoever that this is a faulty study, because it has already been judged, and passed, by a panel of professionals far more competent than you will ever be to evaluate the worth of this study.

Your turn, pal. Back up your claims or retract them.


Simple: for these sorts of sociological studies, the putative health effects of cycling can't be known with any sort of accuracy. Tweak a few parameters, select the right markers, and you can get all sorts of results. That you aren't aware of this is scary.

And, all cyclists don't derive the same health benefits from cycling (many don't ride enough for to have any measurable effect). It's quite possible that the cyclists that are discouraged from riding are mostly from this group (we just don't know).

What's really bizarre is that every pro-helmet study is always flawed, and every anti-helmet study is perfect.

If you have to argue against helmets by arguing against helmet laws, then you anti-helmet argument is pretty weak.

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If you cannot answer those questions, you are in no position to make any claim whatsoever that this is a faulty study, because it has already been judged, and passed, by a panel of professionals far more competent than you will ever be to evaluate the worth of this study.
This is a really stupid comment. You and others make these sorts of claims against pro-helmet studies all the time.

Last edited by njkayaker; 05-18-12 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 05-18-12, 10:51 AM   #2224
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this thread is why you should wear a helmet.
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Old 05-18-12, 12:27 PM   #2225
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this thread is why you should wear a helmet.
Since the character in question begins by hitting his face -- which would not be protected by a standard bike helmet -- against the keyboard, a helmet might not help. In fact, if he hit is head against the keyboard just right, he might suffer rotational axonal brain injury as well, exacerbating the damage already done.
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