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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: What Are Your Helmet Wearing Habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet 52 10.40%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped 24 4.80%
I've always worn a helmet 208 41.60%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do 126 25.20%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions 90 18.00%
Voters: 500. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-14-14, 06:35 PM   #1
Mark Stone
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The Helmet Thread 2

The old Helmet Thread had gotten too long and cumbersome. Therefore, we have decided to start new and fresh. Remember, the Forum Guidelines (Link here) are still in effect, even though we realize helmet discussion can become emotional at times. Remember - keep comments objective and avoid personal insults. All conversation about helmet vs. no helmet belong here, and as you know (lol) threads about helmets that appear in other areas of the forums are monitored closely.

For reference, here is a link to the old Helmet Thread if you'd like to take a look. Also, the previous Helmet Thread, which started back in 2010, is right here.

Last edited by Mark Stone; 10-14-14 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 10-14-14, 06:43 PM   #2
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Let's get ready to RUMMMMMMMMBLE!!!!!
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Old 10-14-14, 08:44 PM   #3
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Well, thank goodness we finally have a thread for reasonable, rational discussion of helmet issues. Somebody should alert Rydabent.
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Old 10-15-14, 08:04 AM   #4
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A blank slate. I don't know where to start.
My crash at 16 mph wearing a helmet left me with a bruise brain on the left and right side.
The Right side started bleeding 8 weeks later and required emergency surgery to remove the blood.

So did my helmet help me?

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Old 10-15-14, 08:20 AM   #5
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I'm going to say yes, the helmet helped, would have been worse without the helmet... JMO, Having said that I also believe helmets don't help as much as most people think/hope... JMO
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Old 10-15-14, 08:25 AM   #6
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I'm not sure helmets can keep a person completely safe, but in my experience they help. I wear one all the time when riding because:
  • In 1991 I hit a car that was illegally crossing a MUP in Denver and hit my head very hard on the concrete unhelmeted, and did not enjoy the resulting concussion
  • In 2003 I had a hauntingly similar crash in a different city, and my head hit the asphalt equally hard - helmeted - and I had no concussion, which btw I did enjoy

However, I'm not ready to make a stand on whether helmets should be required or not. There are lots of examples, like yours 10 Wheels, where they are woefully unable to protect, but as in my case a lot of times they are. Just because of my own personal experience I will always wear one, but am not stating they will keep me perfectly safe - only partially.
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Old 10-15-14, 12:40 PM   #7
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The old Helmet Thread had gotten too long and cumbersome.
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Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
This thread has gotten too long and cumbersome - therefore we are starting a new Helmet thread.

Thread closed.

Awww...

But just to summarize:

Helmets are awesome and if you weren't wearing one when you crashed you would probably have died.

Helmets suck and are a BigCorp marketing gimmick, and if you do crash, a helmet probably won't help.
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Last edited by mconlonx; 10-15-14 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 10-15-14, 12:59 PM   #8
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Awww...

But just to summarize:

Helmets are awesome and if you weren't wearing one when you crashed you would probably have died.

Helmets suck and are a BigCorp marketing gimmick, and if you do crash, a helmet probably won't help.
Exactly!
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Old 10-15-14, 01:54 PM   #9
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Awww...

But just to summarize:

Helmets are awesome and if you weren't wearing one when you crashed you would probably have died.

Helmets suck and are a BigCorp marketing gimmick, and if you do crash, a helmet probably won't help.
But also

►As a newby I was right-hooked, over the bars, no helmet no head injury, so a helmet wouldn't have helped.

► A few months later I hit the ice in a gutter, no helmet, had a scalp cut. A helmet would definitely have helped.

► A few years later wearing a helmet, hit head on by a cyclist, went over the bars but the helmet never touched. So the helmet was no help.

► Hit a gutter road hazard at 25 mph, over the bars again, the helmet didn't impact but had some scratches this time. It might have helped.

So my personal anecdotal evidence is: No, Yes, No, and Maybe wear a helmet. And "stay away from gutters".
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Old 10-15-14, 02:29 PM   #10
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I hope it does stay rational, but doubt it, because neither side will convince the other. Meantime, enjoy the thread, we will let it grow til it has to be replanted again with "The Helmet Thread 3", eventually.
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Old 10-15-14, 02:53 PM   #11
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boogity, boogity, boogity....let's go racing....I mean conversating 'bout helmets
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Old 10-15-14, 03:09 PM   #12
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I like the feeling of wind blowing through my hair.
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Old 10-15-14, 09:48 PM   #13
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It seems to me that people should decide on whatever level of protection suits their own particular circumstances. "I crashed so you should wear a helmet" is a foolish and obnoxious argument. It's on the same level as "I never crash so nobody needs a helmet".

If only we could trust one another to make the best decisions for ourselves, this whole idiotic issue would disappear.
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Old 10-16-14, 03:09 AM   #14
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It seems to me that people should decide on whatever level of protection suits their own particular circumstances. "I crashed so you should wear a helmet" is a foolish and obnoxious argument. It's on the same level as "I never crash so nobody needs a helmet".

If only we could trust one another to make the best decisions for ourselves, this whole idiotic issue would disappear.
But siiiiix, don't you realize anything could happen? A flying middle aged "let me speak with your manager!"- type of woman (you know the type, slow blonde hair a bit standing up at the back, lotsa makeup, fit and has a polkadot shirt on) could materialize inbetween your spokes while you're still on your driveway going slowly and you could definitely fly headfirst under the wheels of a passing UPS truck. Helmets save lives people.

No but seriously, do we now have to look up all the studies again? Ok, I'll admit that no one ever went back in the thread to look them up, but still
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Old 10-16-14, 09:28 AM   #15
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...
No but seriously, do we now have to look up all the studies again? Ok, I'll admit that no one ever went back in the thread to look them up, but still
While this is true, I believe mconlonx once referenced a certain period of time when there were people changing other people's minds and winning hearts over to their way of thinking in the helmet thread. He even cited a span of about 50 or so pages in the thread. I know I wasn't the only one who spent several days going back and reading those pages to see what he was talking about. We were duped and fell for it, hook, line and sinker.
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Old 10-16-14, 10:20 AM   #16
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While this is true, I believe mconlonx once referenced a certain period of time when there were people changing other people's minds and winning hearts over to their way of thinking in the helmet thread. He even cited a span of about 50 or so pages in the thread. I know I wasn't the only one who spent several days going back and reading those pages to see what he was talking about. We were duped and fell for it, hook, line and sinker.
heehee -- that was classic...

Not that Helmet Thread changed my predilection for wearing a helmet, but it is actually informative. I changed my views on why I wear a helmet, was disabused of my former assumptions regarding helmets, and gained a broader perspective about the issues involved.

It was also great at exposing the true nutters among the BF crowd...

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Old 10-16-14, 10:39 AM   #17
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If there was an much advocacy for crash helmets for people in cars as their was for cyclists, we would probably save a few thousand lives a year in the US.
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Old 10-16-14, 11:48 AM   #18
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If there was an much advocacy for crash helmets for people in cars as their was for cyclists, we would probably save a few thousand lives a year in the US.
Not likely unless the so-called "advocacy" was accompanied with a corresponding removal of seat belts and air bags from cars. Extremely unlikely if the "crash helmets" were produced to meet the specifications/standards for legal bicycle helmets.
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Old 10-16-14, 12:12 PM   #19
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Not likely unless the so-called "advocacy" was accompanied with a corresponding removal of seat belts and air bags from cars. Extremely unlikely if the "crash helmets" were produced to meet the specifications/standards for legal bicycle helmets.
Of course I agree that you would need crash helmets similar to what race car drivers wear. But I don't agree that seatbelts + helmet are not better than seatbelt alone. According to the CDC, car crashes account for about 26% of the approximately 50,000 traumatic brain injury deaths in the US. So that's 13,000 deaths. If you could reduce that by 20% with helmet wearing, you'd save over 2500 people. That's way more than the total number of cyclists killed each year. Hell, if we wanted to prevent even more deaths, we'd use 5 point harnesses and cocoon like seats like we use for both infants and race cars.
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Old 10-16-14, 12:23 PM   #20
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Of course I agree that you would need crash helmets similar to what race car drivers wear. But I don't agree that seatbelts + helmet are not better than seatbelt alone. According to the CDC, car crashes account for about 26% of the approximately 50,000 traumatic brain injury deaths in the US. So that's 13,000 deaths. If you could reduce that by 20% with helmet wearing, you'd save over 2500 people.
Assuming perhaps that people who suffer fatal head injuries despite seat belts and airbags do not suffer any other type of traumatic injury from such horrific collisions and that helmets would actually do much good in such a collision.
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Old 10-16-14, 12:26 PM   #21
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Assuming perhaps that people who suffer fatal head injuries despite seat belts and airbags do not suffer any other type of traumatic injury from such horrific collisions and that helmets would actually do much good in such a collision.
Yes...I am assuming that 80% of the people who die due to TBI from motor vehicle crashes would die anyway. What are you missing?
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Old 10-16-14, 12:39 PM   #22
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Yes...I am assuming that 80% of the people who die due to TBI from motor vehicle crashes would die anyway. What are you missing?
Where you come up with the idea that helmets would "save" 20% of those motorists.
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Old 10-16-14, 01:04 PM   #23
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Where you come up with the idea that helmets would "save" 20% of those motorists.
By using the word "if" to indicate it was a hypothetical argument. It seems implausible that zero people who die from hitting their head in a car crash would not die if they had a helmet. It is also implausible that 100% of people who due from hitting their head in a car crash would live if they wore a helmet. So 20% seems like a reasonable enough figure to use for argument's sake. Maybe you don't think so. But it ain't 0%, and even in single digits, it's more than total number of cyclists who die each year.

The point is that it seems strange to me that many people take helmet wearing as Obviously The Right Thing To Do on a bike but patently absurd for being in a car, when there's a pool of 13,000 people out there who might actually not die if they did have one (not to mention the tens of thousands of serious head injuries). That fact that I often wear a helmet when biking makes me wonder why I don't do it when I'm in a car, other than People Just Don't Do That Of Course.

I'm not arguing pro helmet or pro bare head. But the more I consider the issue, the more irrational all the arguments for or against it seem.
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Old 10-16-14, 08:01 PM   #24
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Would Jill Tarlov still be alive if she'd been wearing a helmet?
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Old 10-16-14, 08:11 PM   #25
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Helmets can help in some accidents, and hurt in others.

In the past five years, I've had two accidents in which a helmet might have made a difference. In neither case would that difference been beneficial for me; it would have made things worse. But both would have produced awesome "my helmet saved my life" pictures!
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