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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 05-26-12, 05:31 AM   #2376
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And after they mandate kids, they're coming after adults because, falling from a bicycle can kill you, and helmets save lives!

Dr. Patrick McDonald, a Winnipeg pediatric neurosurgeon, said the law should cover adults too.

"Where helmets often make the biggest difference is if you literally just fall off your bike and your head hits the road. It's not necessarily a high-velocity injury but I've seen people die from just that kind of a fall."


Crap like this is the reason cycling advocates have to speak up against proganda that exaggerates the risks of cycling and the benefits of helmets.
You know, in reality his point is sound, though perhaps not in the way he thinks. Thing is, a simple fall directly to the ground is exactly what helmets are made for (though certainly not worn for by the majority of helmet users). And if you're out of luck, you can be killed by a simple, helmet-less fall. Statistics back up the good doctor
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Old 05-26-12, 05:37 AM   #2377
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You know, in reality his point is sound, though perhaps not in the way he thinks. Thing is, a simple fall directly to the ground is exactly what helmets are made for (though certainly not worn for by the majority of helmet users). And if you're out of luck, you can be killed by a simple, helmet-less fall. Statistics back up the good doctor
And as I said, his argument is equally valid for pedestrians as this happens to them at the same degree it does for cyclists.

There is also no real world evidence that shows with any clarity, that cycle helmets prevent fatalities, yet he insists he has evidence that shows such a truth is valid.

Last edited by closetbiker; 05-27-12 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 05-26-12, 06:23 AM   #2378
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It would seem that, if they are beneficial to children, they are similarly beneficial to adults.
It might "seem" that way to you, yes. But so what? How things "seem" to you is a reflection of your intelligence (or lack of it) not reality. In fact: cycling helmets were introduced for young children to deal with a very specific problem that adults don't have - their still growing skulls are relatively soft and therefore more vulnerable to low speed falls. And not only is this information something you could have found in seconds with google, it has been cited multiple times in the last few pages of this thread!

Once again: you should at least aim for a minimum standard of post so that you're not simply wasting people's time. For example if you're utterly ignorant, don't use that as an excuse for believing whatever fantasy most appeals to you and then attempting to present that fantasy as a logical argument.
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Old 05-26-12, 06:29 AM   #2379
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Tut-tut -- Closetbiker had a conversation with a helmet tester/researcher who confirmed that a shell may fail after the liner compresses to its limits or at some point between no compression and full compression.
1. Brian Walker, who's an extremely senior helmet test engineer says otherwise.

2. Based on your posts, your not smart enough to be a trustworthy source eg: an engineer may have said "Yes, that can happen one time in a million". Or the engineer may have been (and my memory is that this was the case) one working for a helmet company, trying to save their reputation, making a statement outside of court and refusing to give numbers. I.e. junk.
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Old 05-26-12, 09:49 AM   #2380
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I check in here about once a week. I see the anti helmet cult is still all wet from peeing into the wind about not wearing helmets.
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Old 05-26-12, 10:06 AM   #2381
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I check in here about once a week. I see the anti helmet cult is still all wet from peeing into the wind about not wearing helmets.
DANGER!!!
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Old 05-26-12, 01:04 PM   #2382
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1. Brian Walker, who's an extremely senior helmet test engineer says otherwise.

2. Based on your posts, your not smart enough to be a trustworthy source eg: an engineer may have said "Yes, that can happen one time in a million". Or the engineer may have been (and my memory is that this was the case) one working for a helmet company, trying to save their reputation, making a statement outside of court and refusing to give numbers. I.e. junk.
Well then check with Closetbiker -- his source, his info; I'm just happy to repeat it when idiots like you keep spouting black and white nonsense.

Also, please link to the Brian Walker piece where he says as much. I was looking around for it and I can't find that he says what you say he does...
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Old 05-27-12, 06:18 AM   #2383
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Well then check with Closetbiker -- his source, his info;
So you repeated, possibly distorted, the original without ANY understanding of context or important details at all?

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I'm just happy to repeat it when idiots like you keep spouting black and white nonsense.
I agree that you're happy to distort facts, yes.

Quote:
Also, please link to the Brian Walker piece where he says as much. I was looking around for it and I can't find that he says what you say he does...
I.e. you haven't read the most obvious articles at the most obvious site:

http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1209.html

www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2023.pdf
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Old 05-27-12, 06:23 AM   #2384
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Oh - and another cite the same site - the only helmet site by independent experts on the web:

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.

In other legal cases with which I have been involved, where a cyclist has been in collision with a motorised vehicle, the impact energy potentials generated were of a level which outstripped those we use to certify Grand Prix drivers helmets.

Once again; virtually all cyclist deaths - and serious brain injuries - involve collisions with fast moving cars and energy levels that can be HUNDREDS of times the level above. If you think, as many people here seem to, that a helmet will protect you in these circumstances, you're being an idiot - maybe fatally so. You'd do a lot better to wake up and pay some attention to safe measures that actually work.
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Old 05-27-12, 06:26 AM   #2385
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I check in here about once a week. I see the anti helmet cult is still all wet from peeing into the wind about not wearing helmets.
'Bent is the comedic genius who believes that it is safer to be hit by a car at 40mph riding a recumbent than a regular bike because you won't have as far to fall...

(Actually, there are probably people here who aren't smart enough to why know that's funny. Hint: if a ton of car smacks into you 40 mph and your shoulder is level with the hood, your body is going to become part of the road surface.)

Last edited by meanwhile; 05-27-12 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 05-27-12, 06:31 AM   #2386
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You know, in reality his point is sound, though perhaps not in the way he thinks. Thing is, a simple fall directly to the ground is exactly what helmets are made for (though certainly not worn for by the majority of helmet users). And if you're out of luck, you can be killed by a simple, helmet-less fall. Statistics back up the good doctor
Yeah, well, we've been through this before: it turns out that, statistically, cyclists wouldn't benefit at all from helmets worn for that purpose (this has been measured in real life - and the reason is probably that helmets actually impose a safety cost via risk compensation, reduced balance and hearing, increased rotational damage, etc.) The people who actually need helmets are elderly people - especially for stairs - binge drinkers, and almost anyone who showers (combined shower baths are especially slippery and thus head injury prone.)
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Old 05-27-12, 07:15 AM   #2387
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It might "seem" that way to you, yes. But so what? How things "seem" to you is a reflection of your intelligence (or lack of it) not reality. In fact: cycling helmets were introduced for young children to deal with a very specific problem that adults don't have - their still growing skulls are relatively soft and therefore more vulnerable to low speed falls. And not only is this information something you could have found in seconds with google, it has been cited multiple times in the last few pages of this thread!
Then, arguing that pedestrians should wear helmets make no sense.

And, "more vulnerable" doesn't mean that there isn't a similar benefit.

And no one argues that mountain bikers should not wear helmets.
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Old 05-27-12, 07:54 AM   #2388
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Oh - and another cite the same site - the only helmet site by independent experts on the web:

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.

In other legal cases with which I have been involved, where a cyclist has been in collision with a motorised vehicle, the impact energy potentials generated were of a level which outstripped those we use to certify Grand Prix drivers helmets.

Once again; virtually all cyclist deaths - and serious brain injuries - involve collisions with fast moving cars and energy levels that can be HUNDREDS of times the level above. If you think, as many people here seem to, that a helmet will protect you in these circumstances, you're being an idiot - maybe fatally so. You'd do a lot better to wake up and pay some attention to safe measures that actually work.
I think this way of stating it is a bit too narrow. As I've said, there are undoubtedly borderline cases, where helmets will be beneficial, and probably not only simple falls. But as someone mentioned above, that window isn't big, and seems to be more or less outweighed by all the cases of rotational or other damage.

The fuzziness is on purpose. I don't think there's much certainty about anything concerning helmets, in spite of the great amount of research and statistics...
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Old 05-27-12, 09:40 AM   #2389
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So you repeated, possibly distorted, the original without ANY understanding of context or important details at all?
No. The context was the same -- Closetbiker was relaying information that a helmet scientist, a helmet protection skeptic, admitted that compression of the liner can occur before the shell breaks; that every time a shell is broken does not mean that the liner did not compress. Because I don't remember offhand and won't do that amount of searching merely in order to respond to a bare-head idiot troll, I'll leave it to Closetbiker to dredge up the details.

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I agree that you're happy to distort facts, yes.
No more, probably less than you do.

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I.e. you haven't read the most obvious articles at the most obvious site:
Actually, I did read those two exact articles and as I said, they don't say what you claim they do.

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Here's the gist of the argument: "...it is common for helmets to break without the polystyrene foam compressing at all. A major helmet manufacturer collected damaged childrens' helmets for investigation over several months. According to their senior engineer, in that time they did not see any helmet showing signs of crushing on the inside. Helmet foam does not 'rebound' after compression to any significant extent. If the styrofoam does not compress, it cannot reduce linear acceleration of the brain. The most protection that it can give to the wearer is to prevent focal damage of the skull and prevent minor wounds to the scalp. It is not likely to prevent serious brain injury.

Some dissipation of impact force might occur from the action of a helmet breaking, but in most cases this is likely to be small. Helmet standards require the foam to start to compress at a level of force less than that which might be expected to lead to brain injury. While it is known that many helmets do not actually meet the standards to which they are supposed to be accredited, it follows that if the styrofoam does not compress at all, the direct linear force on the helmet was minimal and it's quite possible that the cyclist would not have received any injury if the helmet had not been worn. ...

In high impact crashes, such as most that involve motor vehicles or fixed objects like concrete barriers and lamp posts, the forces can be so great that a helmet will compress and break in around 1/1000th of a second. The absorption of the initial forces during this very short period of time is unlikely to make a sufficient difference to the likelihood of serious injury or death. It is for this reason that helmets contain stickers noting that no helmet can prevent all head injuries. ...

The next time you see a broken helmet, suspend belief and do the most basic check – disregard the breakages and look to see if what's left of the styrofoam has compressed. If it hasn't, you can be reasonably sure that it hasn't saved anyone's life."

^^^ So much wrong, or rather, so much other than what you claim it says. First, study he's relying on are kid's helmets, not adult -- might be differences, eh...? "...common for helmets to break without comressing" doesn't mean they all do. "...many helmets do not actually meet the standards...", but some do? Also talks about serious and deadly injury to riders... well, helmets are not designed to protect against such, so the fact that they don't, well that's a big, fat duh. At the end, where author sums up his thoughts, he talks about suspending disbelief. Works both ways -- when you see a broken helmet, check for compression of the liner before claiming it did nothing. If it compressed, there's a chance it did the job it was designed to do.

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"Movement of a helmet about the head and breakage of the helmet shell also assist with the reduction of some energy."

^^^ Well, in this article he does say this quote above, but otherwise, there's nothing in the article regarding what I asked about: compression of liner one way or another when a helmet shell breaks. You got reading comprehension issues, on top of that dearth of intelligence you display?

Talk about distorting facts to support your narrative. You da champ, moran.
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Old 05-27-12, 11:33 AM   #2390
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I think this way of stating it is a bit too narrow. As I've said, there are undoubtedly borderline cases, where helmets will be beneficial, and probably not only simple falls. But as someone mentioned above, that window isn't big, and seems to be more or less outweighed by all the cases of rotational or other damage.
There will undoubtedly be cases where wearing a rabbit's foot will save your life - in a big enough statistical sample this inevitable. This isn't something that a sane person would consider as evidence of the efficacy of rodent apendage based safety, however.

Quote:
The fuzziness is on purpose. I don't think there's much certainty about anything concerning helmets, in spite of the great amount of research and statistics...
Nonsense. Once again: the vast majority of cyclist deaths come from high speed hits involving cars and occur when the head and/or torso meet meet several HUNDRED times more kinetic energy than helmets are designed for. It is certain that in such cases a helmet will only be useful at the same statistical level as a rabbit's foot.
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Old 05-27-12, 11:38 AM   #2391
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Then, arguing that pedestrians should wear helmets make no sense.
No one is arguing that. Once again, that WHOOSHING sound was the debate going over your head.

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And no one argues that mountain bikers should not wear helmets.
This is true. Someone smarter than you would have realized however that MTBers are VASTLY more likely to fall off their bikes in car-less accidents - call it 100-1000 times more likely. So protecting against these sort of falls is 100-1000 more useful. If the danger level to me on the road from the sort of car-less accidents where helmets work went up by a thousand fold then I probably would wear a helmet. This is called "rationality." In other example of this abstruse mental skill, I do wear life jackets in small boats, but not on bus journeys or during inland hikes.

Last edited by meanwhile; 05-27-12 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 05-27-12, 11:40 AM   #2392
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Here's the gist of the argument: "...it is common for helmets to break without the polystyrene foam compressing at all. A major helmet manufacturer collected damaged childrens' helmets for investigation over several months. According to their senior engineer, in that time they did not see any helmet showing signs of crushing on the inside. Helmet foam does not 'rebound' after compression to any significant extent. If the styrofoam does not compress, it cannot reduce linear acceleration of the brain. The most protection that it can give to the wearer is to prevent focal damage of the skull and prevent minor wounds to the scalp. It is not likely to prevent serious brain injury.

Some dissipation of impact force might occur from the action of a helmet breaking, but in most cases this is likely to be small. Helmet standards require the foam to start to compress at a level of force less than that which might be expected to lead to brain injury. While it is known that many helmets do not actually meet the standards to which they are supposed to be accredited, it follows that if the styrofoam does not compress at all, the direct linear force on the helmet was minimal and it's quite possible that the cyclist would not have received any injury if the helmet had not been worn. ...

In high impact crashes, such as most that involve motor vehicles or fixed objects like concrete barriers and lamp posts, the forces can be so great that a helmet will compress and break in around 1/1000th of a second. The absorption of the initial forces during this very short period of time is unlikely to make a sufficient difference to the likelihood of serious injury or death. It is for this reason that helmets contain stickers noting that no helmet can prevent all head injuries. ...

The next time you see a broken helmet, suspend belief and do the most basic check – disregard the breakages and look to see if what's left of the styrofoam has compressed. If it hasn't, you can be reasonably sure that it hasn't saved anyone's life."

^^^ So much wrong, or rather, so much other than what you claim it says. First, study he's relying on are kid's helmets, not adult -- might be differences, eh...?
Yes, the laws of physics are widely known to be different for children. And for redheads, of course.
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Old 05-27-12, 02:57 PM   #2393
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There will undoubtedly be cases where wearing a rabbit's foot will save your life - in a big enough statistical sample this inevitable. This isn't something that a sane person would consider as evidence of the efficacy of rodent apendage based safety, however.



Nonsense. Once again: the vast majority of cyclist deaths come from high speed hits involving cars and occur when the head and/or torso meet meet several HUNDRED times more kinetic energy than helmets are designed for. It is certain that in such cases a helmet will only be useful at the same statistical level as a rabbit's foot.
I think you're being a bit unreasonable here. Though a direct impact when a car runs into you at 45 mph is certainly way outside of a helmet's capacity, not all impacts in car/bike colisions are direct. There are bound to be huge variation in impact type, most of which WILL be outside the helmet capacity, but some will be inside it. This goes for the impact when one hits the ground, too. I actually think that this is not very different when it comes to accidents that do not involve cars. Descending a hill at 45 mph and having the front wheel blocked by something will probably have the same outcomes.

But as I said: all of that has to be weighed against the apparent risk from rotational and other injury, not to mention to the rest of one's body. The result seems to be that helmets are of very limited benefit to adults. That far, I don't think we disagree.
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Old 05-28-12, 04:32 AM   #2394
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Just bought a Bell Avanti with a visor.


Pretty good so far, but I havent fallen off yet lol.
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Old 05-28-12, 05:45 AM   #2395
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Just bought a Bell Avanti with a visor.


Pretty good so far, but I havent fallen off yet lol.
Should you fall, I hope for you that the vizor will detach VERY easily. If it does not, it may catch on something, and the result will not be pretty.
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Old 05-28-12, 06:05 AM   #2396
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I think you're being a bit unreasonable here. Though a direct impact when a car runs into you at 45 mph is certainly way outside of a helmet's capacity, not all impacts in car/bike colisions are direct. There are bound to be huge variation in impact type, most of which WILL be outside the helmet capacity, but some will be inside it. This goes for the impact when one hits the ground, too.
Yes. But this is class of impact is not dangerous - a 70J impact is a 70J impact and incredibly unlikely to do you any serious harm. The point remains that helmets don't protect against the energy levels that (except in rare freaks) kill people or cause brain damage - or even those that cause concussion.

The even more serious point is that we kill people by lying to them about safety. Helmets are literally useless in any collision that is likely to kill. But cyclists are killed every year because they don't know that a disproportionate number of deaths happen at intersections, especially around heavy vehicles. A few minutes spent on education - simply learning where the blindspots of heavy trucks are - would save lives every year. Better road design and intelligent legislation would be better still. The idiotic belief in helmet as life savers provides a cop out for lobbies that would find some of the likely results inconvenient.

Last edited by meanwhile; 05-28-12 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 05-28-12, 06:09 AM   #2397
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Should you fall, I hope for you that the vizor will detach VERY easily. If it does not, it may catch on something, and the result will not be pretty.
It probably will. Bell have generally been one of the most responsible helmet makers and the visor is designed to detach. It would probably crumple trivially too.
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Old 05-28-12, 06:26 AM   #2398
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Here's the gist of the argument: "...it is common for helmets to break without the polystyrene foam compressing at all. A major helmet manufacturer collected damaged childrens' helmets for investigation over several months. According to their senior engineer, in that time they did not see any helmet showing signs of crushing on the inside. Helmet foam does not 'rebound' after compression to any significant extent. If the styrofoam does not compress, it cannot reduce linear acceleration of the brain. The most protection that it can give to the wearer is to prevent focal damage of the skull and prevent minor wounds to the scalp. It is not likely to prevent serious brain injury."
^^^ So much wrong, or rather, so much other than what you claim it says. First, study he's relying on are kid's helmets, not adult -- might be differences, eh...? "
Are you seriously arguing that children's helmets operate by a different mechanism to adult helmets?

Last edited by RazrSkutr; 05-28-12 at 06:27 AM. Reason: underline gist for clarity
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Old 05-28-12, 06:49 AM   #2399
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Now the anti-helmet clik muddies the water by telling us that pedestrians should wear helmets. I have yet to see a pedestrian speeding down hill at 45mph!!!!
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Old 05-28-12, 07:36 AM   #2400
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What most people miss -- I was a medical case manager, and the reality is that those who chose to not to wear helmets, who unfortunately end up with head injuries, cost us all. Rarely does medical insurance cover all rehab, which can last for many years. Never does insurance provide "custodial care" that most head injury victims require, sometimes for many years.

We all, through public assistance, pay for this. It's not a simple "right to ride without a helmet" argument.
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