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For everyone who says a helmet wont help in a car collision...

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For everyone who says a helmet wont help in a car collision...

Old 06-15-16, 02:47 PM
  #1  
jefnvk
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For everyone who says a helmet wont help in a car collision...

I've never understood the logic myself, as there are plenty of ways to hit your head fatally but not sustain life threatening internal injuries, but here's some proof: Bike helmet saves boy from possible death after he was struck on U.S. 31 | MLive.com
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Old 06-15-16, 04:23 PM
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The boy is lucky he was not killed due to Diffuse Axonal Injury (rotational head injury) due to the old styrofoam helmet without the skid plastic outer coating.

When was the last time you saw a styrofoam only helmet sold? Early 1990s at the latest. That is because the helmet manufacturers soon realized that when the head hits pavement with this helmet, the helmet sticks and causes severe rotational forces to the head causing more severe head trauma than not wearing a helmet at all. That is why the helmet manufacturers added the plastic coating to the helmets so they would skid more across pavement. Remember how the helmets manufacturers around the 1990s offered a free new helmet if your helmet was in an "accident" and you turned the old helmet in to them = smart move getting rid of the evidence of the damage their helmet design caused before the general public and lawyers figured it out.

Also consider that the helmet the boy was wearing was at least 20 years old. The UV damage to the styrofoam had long ago turned it into little more than powder. That type of helmet only protected riders especially children from cuts and bruises during tip over falls, even when brand new.
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Old 06-15-16, 04:29 PM
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I guess the helmet absorbed enough energy before it broke, to lessen the damage that could have been done. However the fact that the helmet shattered like that also shows that the impact was far greater than what the helmet was designed to absorb. Helmets work by compressing. Once the helmet breaks like that there's extremely little protection. That is one very lucky kid.

Cheers
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Old 06-15-16, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
I've never understood the logic myself, as there are plenty of ways to hit your head fatally but not sustain life threatening internal injuries, but here's some proof: Bike helmet saves boy from possible death after he was struck on U.S. 31 | MLive.com
As I understand it, somewhere around 62% of people who die in car/bike collisions were helmeted. Now tell me again how we are wrong to conclude that helmets are of limited use in protection against cars? Where I come from 62% is a hell of a persuasion.
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Old 06-15-16, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
As I understand it, somewhere around 62% of people who die in car/bike collisions were helmeted. Now tell me again how we are wrong to conclude that helmets are of limited use in protection against cars? Where I come from 62% is a hell of a persuasion.
Wrong logic. All that stat tells us (assuming it is correct, as it is not backed up) is that in 62% of fatal accidents, the person chose to wear a helmet (which by my informal polling of local cyclists, probably isn't too far off the percentage of the general population who wears one).

What percentage of helmeted folks were not killed after their head was impacted in a collision with a car, is the proper question if you want a somewhat relevant answer. I'm certainly not pretending a helmet is going to save a life in every car impact case, but to assume you'll probably be flattened so a helmet is of absolute no use is completely faulty logic.

As to the helmet itself, I have never seen an all styrofoam model, I presume it is like mine, which is styrofoam with a rather flimsy thin plastic aesthetic covering. I'm sure it is possible it was old and brittle, but at the end of the day it was what took the impact and dissipated the energy, not a skull.
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Old 06-15-16, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
Wrong logic. All that stat tells us (assuming it is correct, as it is not backed up) is that in 62% of fatal accidents, the person chose to wear a helmet (which by my informal polling of local cyclists, probably isn't too far off the percentage of the general population who wears one).

What percentage of helmeted folks were not killed after their head was impacted in a collision with a car, is the proper question if you want a somewhat relevant answer. I'm certainly not pretending a helmet is going to save a life in every car impact case, but to assume you'll probably be flattened so a helmet is of absolute no use is completely faulty logic.

As to the helmet itself, I have never seen an all styrofoam model, I presume it is like mine, which is styrofoam with a rather flimsy thin plastic aesthetic covering. I'm sure it is possible it was old and brittle, but at the end of the day it was what took the impact and dissipated the energy, not a skull.
that thin plastic outer shell is there to a) help prevent the softer styroam from sangging on pavement and causing a rotational head injury (like in the movies when the good guy twists the bad guy's head and breaks his neck thereby killing him) and b) protect the styroafoam from casual impacts and UV radiation.

Cheers
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Old 06-15-16, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man
that thin plastic outer shell is there to a) help prevent the softer styroam from sangging on pavement and causing a rotational head injury (like in the movies when the good guy twists the bad guy's head and breaks his neck thereby killing him) and b) protect the styroafoam from casual impacts and UV radiation.

Cheers
Good info, thanks for the clarification!
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Old 06-15-16, 06:47 PM
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Interesting that the helmet did not show much damage except for the split. It does not look like it absorbed much of a crushing blow. I'd like to see some analysis of what happened, but it appears that it may have caught on something causing it to break apart and leave his head. If this is the case then it was not likely that the helmet saved his life but instead that his choice of crappy helmet prevented rotational injury.

Unfortunately, this is all that we will hear of this and, as always, will be left with our scantily informed opinions.
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Old 06-15-16, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
As I understand it, somewhere around 62% of people who die in car/bike collisions were helmeted. Now tell me again how we are wrong to conclude that helmets are of limited use in protection against cars? Where I come from 62% is a hell of a persuasion.
That information is useless as presented.

What you need to know is was cause of death related to head injuries of both groups.

You have 62% that died. We can assume that some died from head injuries where a helmet was not sufficient to protect them and some died from other causes. In both cases, the helmet didn't change the outcome. Perhaps some analysis of those wearing helmets and the failure modes could lead to better helmets though...

Then you have 38% not wearing helmets. Statistically, these are more interesting.

How many of those died due to fatal head injuries?
This group could *possibly* have been saved by a helmet. But they could also have ended up in the above group also where some died wearing even though they were wearing a helmet.

How many of those died due to other injuries from the collision?
Helmet probably didn't matter.


So, if you look at all the cases here, helmet doesn't matter is the prevailing case in auto vs. cyclist collisions.

That statement is not intended to discourage the use of helmets. They are highly effective in "I fell down" type of cycling accidents which happens to most cyclist far more often than car collisions.

Last edited by andr0id; 06-15-16 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 06-15-16, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost
Interesting that the helmet did not show much damage except for the split. It does not look like it absorbed much of a crushing blow. I'd like to see some analysis of what happened, but it appears that it may have caught on something causing it to break apart and leave his head. If this is the case then it was not likely that the helmet saved his life but instead that his choice of crappy helmet prevented rotational injury.

Unfortunately, this is all that we will hear of this and, as always, will be left with our scantily informed opinions.
Here is an image of a 1988 helmet. They made cloth covers so you could be stylish with it on your head.
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/4mwAAO...9W/s-l1600.jpg

20 plus years is how old the kids helmet was. By that age, the styrofoam was crap and would not protect anything.
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Old 06-15-16, 07:40 PM
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I'm not sure how you get that the helmet was 20 years old.

That looks like the guts to a relatively modern Bell helmet.

Many of the helmets only have the outer shell attached with a single piece of tape, and the top plastic can easily be lost. For all we know, it could have come off in the accident.

As far as disintegrating, that is what they are supposed to do, really just absorbing that hard first impact. In fact, the helmets are essentially only tested for a fall from say 6 feet (15 MPH equivalent). In this case, most of the helmet impact was from the kid falling over (forcibly) and hitting the ground. Perfect scenario for the helmet, and probably also blunt impact.
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Old 06-15-16, 07:49 PM
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Lots of things could happen to a helmet over 20 years if it is that old, but UV won't degrade the styrofoam more than trivially. The surface will yellow and you'll get a thin layer of dust, and the integrity is reduced by the ratio of the thickness of that dust layer to the overall thickness. i.e, nothing to almost nothing.

Maybe it did save his life. But I don't see that conclusion following from a broken helmet.
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Old 06-15-16, 08:09 PM
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Any result where the kid walks away from the accident is a good outcome. In part because the car had significantly decelerated before impact.

The helmet may or may not have helped. But it apparently didn't hurt, and the kid isn't in the ICU getting a subarachnoid hematoma drained.
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Old 06-16-16, 06:32 AM
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There is no end to the different types of bike/car collisions that can happen. Therefore in a certain percentage of them, a helmet will help prevent injuries.
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Old 06-16-16, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
There is no end to the different types of bike/car collisions that can happen. Therefore in a certain percentage of them, a helmet will help prevent injuries.
Correct!!
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Old 06-16-16, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
I'm not sure how you get that the helmet was 20 years old.

That looks like the guts to a relatively modern Bell helmet.

Many of the helmets only have the outer shell attached with a single piece of tape, and the top plastic can easily be lost. For all we know, it could have come off in the accident.
You can find youth helmets like that at Wal-Mart.

But no matter, the "experts" are here to tell you that he's lucky the helmet didn't kill him.

To the everlasting gobstopper thread in....

-mr. bill

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Old 06-16-16, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
To the everlasting gobstopper thread in....

......or Drizzle Drazzle Drizzle Drome, time for this thread to be moved to the helmet home.
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Old 06-16-16, 07:49 AM
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That helmet is not 20 years old. It's unlikely that helmet is 5 years old. Looks like a typical sub-$20 Wal-Mart "better than nothing" helmet, as indicated by a few posters above.

Y'all can bicker all day and night as to whether or not that helmet saved that kid's life. Well, enough energy was absorbed by it to shatter it, so that force didn't go directly into his head, and the helmet didn't try to twist his head off of set fire to his bedroom while he slept, so it certainly didn't do any harm.
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Old 06-16-16, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI
20 plus years is how old the kids helmet was. By that age, the styrofoam was crap and would not protect anything.
That helmet looks far more like my two year old Schwinn-branded big box store helmet, whose plastic cover is held on by a few dabs of adhesive and would undoubtedly come off in a major collision, than that helmet from 1988.

Originally Posted by DrIsotope
Y'all can bicker all day and night as to whether or not that helmet saved that kid's life. Well, enough energy was absorbed by it to shatter it, so that force didn't go directly into his head, and the helmet didn't try to twist his head off of set fire to his bedroom while he slept, so it certainly didn't do any harm.
Originally Posted by rydabent
There is no end to the different types of bike/car collisions that can happen. Therefore in a certain percentage of them, a helmet will help prevent injuries.
What I was trying to originally say, much more concisely!
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Old 06-16-16, 08:05 AM
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I've got some stuff I need moved into the helmet thread. I'll just leave it here and meet y'all there.

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Old 06-16-16, 10:07 AM
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Uneducated observers claim a helmet did something! Woah!

It probably helped. Whether or not it saved the child from "possible death"(!!!) or "serious injury" is certainly debatable, and none of those commenting on the situation seem to be any kind of authority which might be able to make such a judgment call from anything other than sheer ignorance.

I'm glad the kid was OK and wearing a helmet. Still does not excuse the hyperbole, as reported.
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Old 06-16-16, 10:57 AM
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Old 06-16-16, 11:01 AM
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PENTWATER, MI A bicycle helmet saved a 12-year-old boy from serious injury, and possibly death, when he was struck by a van Tuesday morning, according to a sheriff's official.

The boy pulled out in front of the vehicle on business route U.S. 31, a highway with a 55-mile-per-hour speed limit, said Lt. Craig Mast of the Oceana County Sheriff's Department.
so a piece of polymer totally diminished the impact of a truck at 55mph?

for all we know the heat/weight/annoyance of the helmet made the kid ride into traffic
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Old 06-16-16, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
As I understand it, somewhere around 62% of people who die in car/bike collisions were helmeted. Now tell me again how we are wrong to conclude that helmets are of limited use in protection against cars? Where I come from 62% is a hell of a persuasion.
Everything(including the skull) has its' own breaking point. If the inertia is great enough that it overpowers the resistance, of course there will be a break.

I will continue to use a helmet. Because, I have hit my head before. Both in bike/car, and bike-only accidents. Never once cracking my helmet. But never using that helmet ever again. Because the helmet will forever be compromised in its' protection capabilities.
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Old 06-16-16, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by italktocats
I wonder what speed they all were walking. When they banged heads, lol

Last edited by Chris0516; 06-16-16 at 05:11 PM.
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