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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 06-01-12, 10:02 AM   #2451
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
No maker of any helmet (not just bicycle helmets) is "willing to promise" anything. By your silly logic no one should wear any helmet ever.
This is quite untrue: helmet makers for most major sports have to comply with cert levels, these by definition are a promise of performance. Cycling helmets promise 100J of energy absorbtion - and then, as shown, most fail instantly without absorbing any energy at all. 100J is not nearly enough to have a significant effect on concussion - it might slightly reduce the chances of a very low severity case, anything else is waaaay past the failure limit.
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Old 06-01-12, 10:13 AM   #2452
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While mclonox is busy damming the intelligence of the average helmet wearer, I'll provide him with some encouragement:

http://bikejournal.com/thread.asp?ThreadID={80B62DA6-1702-4BFF-9E76-A2CC860CF865**&numPost=71

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)."
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Old 06-01-12, 10:20 AM   #2453
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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:
Quote:
http://www.bikesafer.com/helmet_effectiveness.html

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
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.
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Old 06-01-12, 01:14 PM   #2454
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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.

Yes? No?

I think I'll take my chances with the helmet.......
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Old 06-01-12, 01:48 PM   #2455
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Except that I'm not wrong: you're just not smart enough to understand what you're reading. If you need it spelt out more, John Franklin - the main UK expert on cycling safety (he wrote the Dept Of Transport published cycling manual) put it in a more idiot-friendly way:


Helmet standards require helmets to be designed only to survive a simple drop test onto an anvil. The
maximum permitted deceleration of the dropped head form is typically 300g, which is equivalent to
an impact velocity of 20 km/h (12.5 mph)... The performance of a helmet above an impact velocity of 20 km/h is neither tested nor defined. Cycle
helmets usually fail catastrophically rather than gradually, through total compression or
disintegration.
It is therefore not simply the case that the proportion of the force absorbed will
decrease with increasing velocity.


from "The effectiveness of cycle helmets" - available online as a pdf, which goes into detail on sources.
Isn't it the British that also swore up and down that Iraq had WMD's?

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.........
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Old 06-01-12, 01:51 PM   #2456
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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.
So do you wear motorcycle helmet while you cycle? If you are not anti helmet, then I assume you do right? I mean your main goal here is to make sure us uneducated people know the facts right? If motorcycle helmets are the ones that work, should I ditch my Giro and pick up a motorcycle helmet?

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Old 06-01-12, 04:11 PM   #2457
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
Except that I'm not wrong: you're just not smart enough to understand what you're reading. If you need it spelt out more, John Franklin - the main UK expert on cycling safety (he wrote the Dept Of Transport published cycling manual) put it in a more idiot-friendly way:

Helmet standards require helmets to be designed only to survive a simple drop test onto an anvil. The
maximum permitted deceleration of the dropped head form is typically 300g, which is equivalent to
an impact velocity of 20 km/h (12.5 mph)... The performance of a helmet above an impact velocity of 20 km/h is neither tested nor defined. Cycle
helmets usually fail catastrophically rather than gradually, through total compression or
disintegration.
It is therefore not simply the case that the proportion of the force absorbed will
decrease with increasing velocity.


from "The effectiveness of cycle helmets" - available online as a pdf, which goes into detail on sources.

..And actually I have more sources than this. I just wanted to show that you have done any research of your own - or you'd know this stuff. You've started from the conclusion you want rather than by looking at evidence. Which, yes, makes you a bad person. Or at least not a smart one.
I said helmets are effective above 12.5mph, where...? Another quote, another study cited to refute something I didn't say. Keep going, makes you look wicked smart... Yes, I'm a helmet wearer, but already, based on stuff posted here (not by you), I've dramatically altered my expectations of how a helmet might protect me. And I still choose to wear one, based on all the data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
Actually, you HAVE said that helmets "may" help in such serious injuries. Really: go back and read your posts.
They may, but I think you're mistaking "injuries" for "accidents." Especially in a serious accident resulting in serious injuries, but little to no head or brain injury involved. Again with the comprehension issues? However, I'd not expect them to offer much protection in a serious accident with serious head/brain injury.
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Old 06-01-12, 04:13 PM   #2458
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While mclonox is busy damming the intelligence of the average helmet wearer, I'll provide him with some encouragement:
Hey, I damn the intelligence of the average non-helmet wearer, too. And especially bare-headers of below average intelligence, like you.
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Old 06-01-12, 05:07 PM   #2459
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Originally Posted by ianstew View Post
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.

Yes? No?

I think I'll take my chances with the helmet.......
For the last time: Your experiment will bear very little resemblance with real world bike accidents.
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Old 06-01-12, 05:12 PM   #2460
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Isn't it the British that also swore up and down that Iraq had WMD's?

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.........
Except that your parallel isn't relevant. Tha Iraq thing had to do with political spin, whereas the helmetthing is made by a disinterested expert, working for a government that would probably like to pass a MHL.
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Old 06-01-12, 05:15 PM   #2461
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So do you wear motorcycle helmet while you cycle? If you are not anti helmet, then I assume you do right? I mean your main goal here is to make sure us uneducated people know the facts right? If motorcycle helmets are the ones that work, should I ditch my Giro and pick up a motorcycle helmet?
You should, if you consider it worth it. You seem to be one of those who see cycling as a dangerous activity. So yes, please go ahead.
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Old 06-01-12, 05:42 PM   #2462
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Lol
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Old 06-01-12, 05:43 PM   #2463
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Originally Posted by ianstew View Post
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.

Yes? No?

I think I'll take my chances with the helmet.......
Congratulations, you've won the Internet. Would you like your winners cookie?

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?
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Old 06-01-12, 08:05 PM   #2464
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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
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Old 06-01-12, 08:49 PM   #2465
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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....

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Old 06-01-12, 10:58 PM   #2466
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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.
Oh, a Canadian. You could have saved us all a bunch of trouble if you'd noted that up front.
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Old 06-02-12, 12:54 AM   #2467
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Oh, a Canadian. You could have saved us all a bunch of trouble if you'd noted that up front.
Nope, American. I bleed red white and blue.
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Old 06-02-12, 05:11 AM   #2468
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Having never worn a helmet when I was a young BMX'er, I am still alive. I will say that it might have been nice to avoid the scalp lacs, the goose eggs, and the concussions if I had simply worn a helmet. Did I die from not wearing a helmet? No. I was even hit by a car while trying to jump a street lol. Never told the parents bout that one. One of the worst accidents i had was doing a bunny hop over a wall, and there was deep sand on the other side. Bike stopped dead, i fell over, and smacked my head on the concrete wall i had just successfully hopped over. Helmet sure would have saved me from alot of pain that day........

But these days, with having two young children and a wife to take care of, Ill take as many precautions as i can to improve my safety. And while I am not out there attempting back flips, trying to bunny hop onto cars, or trying flatland stunts, Ill take a helmet if i ever endo the bars.......I don't have delusions that a bike helmet will save my life from getting my skull crushed by a mack truck, or from a 40 mph skull collision with a brick wall. But Ill wear one to avoid smacking my head on the crete if i take a low speed corner too sharp, or fall over because I forgot to pull my feet from the toe clips.......
I may be coming at this argument from a slightly different angle from some of the others here, although I do agree that the protection offered by bicycle helmets is somewhat underwhelming.

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.
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Old 06-02-12, 10:33 AM   #2469
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I bleed red white and blue.
You should maybe see a doctor about that.
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Old 06-02-12, 11:48 AM   #2470
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There's some new news on the legislation front. Looks like a New York City councilman is proposing a Mandatory Helmet Law there.

http://gothamist.com/2012/05/31/new_...s_mandator.php

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."
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.
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Old 06-02-12, 01:02 PM   #2471
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^^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

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Old 06-02-12, 01:10 PM   #2472
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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.
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Old 06-02-12, 02:31 PM   #2473
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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.
Um... no.

I think it's about time you grab a logics textbook and start reading. Please don't post here untill you've finished it.
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Old 06-02-12, 02:38 PM   #2474
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What is really a hoot tho, is the fact that all the anti helmet clik...
Before you use that phrase again, please note that the word is clique. Also note that the anti helmet clique is VERY small. When I wear my helmet, NO ONE has EVER said I should remove it. When I ride without a helmet, busy bodies and police officers tell me I should put one on more often than I'd like. You wear your clothes, I'll wear mine.

Who do you wanna be?

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Old 06-02-12, 05:31 PM   #2475
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You should maybe see a doctor about that.
No, its perfectly normal for a proud American.

But it does sound like you may need a visit to the doctor, it seems as though your cranium is fully inserted into your rectum......
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