While mclonox is busy damming the intelligence of the average helmet wearer, I'll provide him with some encouragement:
Gill T. National Children's Bureau, 2005. ISBN 1-904787-62-2 - "Those who cycle should be under no illusion that helmets offer reliable protection in crash situations where our lives may be in danger. Neither should we believe that widespread adoption of helmet wearing would see many fewer cyclists killed or permanently disabled. The evidence so far suggests otherwise."
Hewson PJ. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 2005;37(5):807-815 - "The analyses found little evidence of the overall benefits predicted by published case-control studies. In particular, no association could be found between differing patterns of helmet wearing rates and casualty rates for adults and children."
Ming, Gilchick and Bender, Accident Analysis & Prevention 2006 - California Helmet Law: "found no significant reduction of serious head injury rates as a result of the legislation. Indeed, the percentage of cyclists with serious head injuries rose from 27.2% in the pre-law period to 28.2% post-law, despite an increase in percent helmet wearing, and the highest increase in serious head injuries (from 59 to 71 per annum) coincided with the fastest growth in helmet wearing (1992-93)."
Also, it's easy to measure the benefits of helmets in real world data **when they actually work.** Motorcycle helmets DO work - and they pass the same epidemiology tests that cycling helmets fail:
So, again, I'm not anti-helmet - I'm PRO HELMETS THAT WORK. If cycling helmets worked as well as motorbike helmets then I'd wear one.Quote:
The research on the subject, as we point out in our statement on the helmet law issue, has been contaminated by research commissioned by NHTSA and other advocates of helmet laws, which are alleged to have issues with possible bias or presumptions about helmet use.
The current NHTSA numbers, by the way, use 2003 to 2005 data from 18 states.
Someone dies or goes to hospital in 40% of motorcycle crashes.
- of unhelmeted riders, 20% have head injuries, versus 12% of those with helmets
- 21% of unhelmeted riders suffer moderate head or face trauma,versus 15% for helmeted riders
- 7% of unhelmeted riders have have severe head trauma, versus 4.7% for helmeted riders
I will make a challenge to anyone here on the forum:
I will wear a helmet, and the challenger won't. We will stand 24 inches a way from a block wall. We will repeatedly slam our heads into said wall as hard as we can until we either get tired, or can no longer slam our heads, or one is unconscious. After said experiment, we will lay to rest the helmet debate and declare one or the other the winner.
I think I'll take my chances with the helmet.......
You take your chances with the helmet, I guess I'll just take my chances riding the death-machine, AKA: bicycle, without one.
For some reason, these death machines don't intimidate me as much as they seem to you:
I guess if you're that concerned, go for it. Can I interest you in walking helmets for post-pub festivities?
You guys won't believe this but, I almost got hit by a block wall today. Weird, right?
No one is arguing that a helmet will never protect you. My bottom line is we (in bike safety movements) need to focus on practices preventative, not helmets.
See my ranting and raving: http://karinandjustin.blogspot.com/2...le-helmet.html
You people are too funny. Yes, i would like my internet win cookie.
I am not intimidated by my death machine bike. When i am woodworking, I wear safety glasses and hearing protection. When I am welding, i wear a welding helmet. When I am mowing, and trimming the lawn, I wear safety glasses and hearing protection. When i work on aerial equipment, i wear my safety harness and hard hat. When i ride my bike, i wear a helmet, and a reflective vest. Its safety first for me, whatever I am doing. You can argue all you want, and tell me all you wish that cycle helmets don't work, but I know for a fact that in my younger days, I have sustained several injuries that would have been avoided had I been smart enough to wear a helmet. Hell, I've been riding the trail and smacked my head on a branch, gashing it open. Fatal injuries are not the only injuries I am concerned about. Helmets can and do prevent many injuries. You guys seem stuck on the fact that a helmet won't save your life in a vehicle collision, or a serious accident. That isn't the only thing I am worried about.
And to the above poster,most of what I have seen from the anti helmet brigade is that a helmet won't protect you in a serious crash, so why wear one......they seem so focused on head trauma that they forget about road rash, goose eggs, scalp lacs, etc. You know, the most common type of injury in cycling accidents involving some type of head injury.
Look, i see your guy's points, i really do. I just have a hard time believing I am worse off wearing a helmet than sans helmet. Would you tell a cop to stop wearing his vest because he might get shot in the head? Or because a 7.62 round will go through it? No you probably wouldnt i bet....
I do think it's a good idea to wear a bicycle helmet in some situations: Performing your aforementioned BMX stunts is a good example. Also, mountain biking and racing. When you are pushing the limits of your riding skills, you increase the possibility of a wipeout, and a helmet can offer some protection. However, I don't believe casual riding on bike paths or even on streets necessitates helmet use, because I don't believe it is an exceptionally dangerous activity. For the amount of risk that does exist, the best defense against injury is riding smart and safely.
There was a news article last year in my local paper about a cyclist who was killed in a collision after she made left turn in front of an oncoming truck. The article made a point of mentioning that the rider was not wearing a helmet, as if that was her fatal mistake. Setting aside the fact that a bicycle helmet is not designed to withstand a collision with a truck, in truth her fatal mistake was making a left turn in front of an oncoming vehicle, not riding without a helmet.
OK, even if I am a skilled rider and a smart rider, and I am not performing any stunts nor bombing down any tricky singletrack, there is still a chance I could fall and sustain a head injury. Sure, but I could sustain a head injury in all sorts of ways: in an auto accident, falling down stairs, falling off a ladder, falling while walking, getting hit while crossing a street...heck, people have suffered fatal head injuries while golfing. I have no reason to believe that casual bike riding presents a higher risk of head injury than most other everyday physical activities. So, why would I single out bicycling for helmet use? Conversely, if you wear a helmet while riding a bike, why wouldn't you also wear one while driving a car, or climbing a ladder, or walking? All of these activities have the potential for head injury, no more or less so than riding a bike to my knowledge (again, excepting more extreme forms of riding like BMX stunts, etc.)
Of course, I would never tell anyone to wear a helmet or not. It is up to the individual, of course. However, one downside that I do see from helmet use during casual riding is that it propagates this widespread notion that bicycling is more dangerous than it really is. Some unintended consequences may be that it scares some people off riding altogether, or those who do ride may get a false sense of security with helmet use, and take unnecessary risks. I think I have posted here before that I have seen helmeted cyclists riding at night without any lights on their bike. Wow, talk about risky behavior!
Anyway, that's my basic take on the issue. I would hope you can see that the non-helmet users here are not making their decision based on stupidity or some notion of invulnerability, but after engaging in significant thought and research on the issue.
There's some new news on the legislation front. Looks like a New York City councilman is proposing a Mandatory Helmet Law there.
Interesting that the Deputy Mayor says no major city [in the USA] has imposed an MHL. Seattle is a fairly major city and it is covered by King County's MHL.Quote:
Today City Council Member David Greenfield is introducing a law that would make wearing a helmet while riding a bike mandatory in New York City, punishable by a $25 fine. "The reality is 91% of cyclists who are killed are not wearing helmets," Greenfield says. "Seatbelt laws don't keep people from driving cars," he adds. "Seatbelts save lives. In a way, not wearing a helmet is worse than not wearing a seatbelt. You're endangering your life, your family's lives, and the lives of those in your community."
Yet we live in a city in which cyclists are ticketed more than truck drivers, and cyclists make up around 10% of traffic, while bike lanes make up less than 6.5% of the city's streets. How will a helmet law change this? "There's a reason why no major city has imposed a mandatory bike helmet law," Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson says, "and that's because the best way to protect cyclists is to avoid accidents in the first place, and you do that with more bike lanes."
^^Oh brother, here we go.
This quote is a classic:
"Not wearing a helmet is worse than not wearing a seatbelt. You're endangering...the lives of those in your community." - Council Member David Greenfield
Oh really? By not wearing a helmet, I'm endangering the lives of the people of my community, how exactly?
Here's another gem, from a WSJ article about this proposed helmet law:
"The best way to get killed if you're riding a bicycle is to not wear a helmet." - Council Member David Greenfield
I can't even chart the absurdity of these statements. How do people like this even get elected?
Oh wait, here's another one from this guy, reported by Capital New York. The hits just keep on coming:
"The reality is, a helmet is instant safety." - Council Member David Greenfield
What is really a hoot tho, is the fact that all the anti helmet clik put on their helmets when they ride in an organized ride or rally like any good little fella. They actually own helmets even if they rant and rave against them.
Or maybe they are so pig headed and anti social they wont ride in such events.
Who do you wanna be?