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Throw away your helmet!

Old 06-13-05, 10:33 AM
  #1  
46x17
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Throw away your helmet!

https://www.cyclehelmets.org
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Old 06-13-05, 10:40 AM
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Throw your own helmet away.
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Old 06-13-05, 10:44 AM
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that graph is jive. the reason why there's nearly zero fatalities in the Netherlands is because everyone rides a bike and drivers there know that and respect cyclists like they ought to. as opposed to the good ol' USA. Also, i'm no math expert, but it seems to me that the data doesn't reflect the reality of the situation because as the # of bicycle trips increases, the percentage of fatalities will grow smaller.

Throwing out your helmet is bad idea.
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Old 06-13-05, 10:51 AM
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Web sites like that are based on knocking down straw men. I don't wear a helmet thinking that it is going to keep me alive if I am struck by a motor vehicle.
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Old 06-13-05, 10:55 AM
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Read the rest of the website. One of the things they say is that in countries that had heavy helmet propaganda (US, UK, NZ) in the 90s lost a lot of cyclists around the same time, whereas countries that didn't force helmet use sustained the numbers of cyclists. The scare tactics worked not to scare people into wearing helmets, but to scare people away from bikes. They quote quite a few statistics showing that it's MUCH more common for young drivers and pedestrians to suffer head trauma than bicyclists. So why isn't there a campaign to make people in cars wear helmets?

Basically, this website is saying that if more 'everyday' people would use bikes as their transportation, it would force drivers to take bikes more seriously on the road. The helmet propaganda is one of the things that scares a lot of would be cyclists away from bikes.
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Old 06-13-05, 10:55 AM
  #6  
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Someone missed the first day of Statistics 101 where the professor explained the difference between correlation and causation. Me thinks the author of the site may have thrown his or her helmet away some time in the past, before a few nasty head injuries
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Old 06-13-05, 10:56 AM
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That is among the worst graph I've ever seen. And, it's point is hardly supported by the graph. If you look at Germany and Sweden, they have nearly the same accident and cycling rates, but drastically different helmet use rates. Thus, no correlation. It's a societal issue, not a helmet issue. Big surprise.
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Old 06-13-05, 10:57 AM
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Exactly.

"Senior neurosurgeons have given evidence to court that helmets are only effective in preventing minor scalp lacerations and not more serious injuries."

I personally am not a big fan of minor scalp lacerations, so I'll keep wearing my helmet.
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Old 06-13-05, 10:57 AM
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. . . hope you're an organ donor!
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Old 06-13-05, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jrowedc
Exactly.

"Senior neurosurgeons have given evidence to court that helmets are only effective in preventing minor scalp lacerations and not more serious injuries."

I personally am not a big fan of minor scalp lacerations, so I'll keep wearing my helmet.
Pshaw. My redsox hat prevents my head from minor scalp lacerations.
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Old 06-13-05, 10:58 AM
  #11  
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I could go for a Laramie Jr. cigarette right now.
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Old 06-13-05, 10:59 AM
  #12  
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can we get a graph that explains why a month ago during the alleycat no one in their car gave a poop about me running lights, but 2 days ago i almost got road raged by half a dozen different motorists at half a dozen different traffic lights?? damn tourists..
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Old 06-13-05, 11:03 AM
  #13  
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Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see on that site where it says to throw away or stop using your helmet. What it does say is that the helmet isn't neccesarily going to save your life in a major accident. It also says that the promotion of helmets and manditory helmet laws scare off a large portion of would-be cyclists, and that is making cycling more dangerous. Basically they're saying that we need to get more people to ride bikes, and that manditory helmet laws work to scare people away. I.E. I need a helmet to do this so it must be pretty dangerous.
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Old 06-13-05, 11:30 AM
  #14  
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Just for the record. I have been riding bicycles since I could walk. I grew up in Switzerland. No one there ever wore a helmet. Almost everyone rides a bicycle once in a while. No one I know there ever fell on their head and we did some very silly things on bikes. I started wearing a helmet a year ago since I promised my grandmother I would.
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Old 06-13-05, 12:02 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by 46x17
Just for the record. I have been riding bicycles since I could walk. I grew up in Switzerland. No one there ever wore a helmet. Almost everyone rides a bicycle once in a while. No one I know there ever fell on their head and we did some very silly things on bikes. I started wearing a helmet a year ago since I promised my grandmother I would.
Also, just for the record, you often see people wearing helmets and body armor when they go mtb'ing or downhill biking. Why? Because it's a lot more dangerous than riding to grandma's house, so is blazing through traffic every day. There are situations that completely go against statistics that say bicycling is safe.
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Old 06-13-05, 12:14 PM
  #16  
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I wear one all the time. I find myself relatively unconcerned whether anyone else wears a helmet. This is true whether or not another is injured with or without one on. I have never hit my head while cycling.
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Old 06-13-05, 01:45 PM
  #17  
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Having been to most of the listed countries, I'd argue that fatalities directly correlates inversely with general driver skill- the US definitely has the worst drivers of any of those countries on the list.
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Old 06-13-05, 04:01 PM
  #18  
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Statistics can be made to say almost anything. I know that helmets are not a panacea, and are rated only up to a certain speed, and all that. For me, the decision is made by hearing about so many people, both on and off these forums, who have had a crash that split their helmet wide open, but not their head. In this country of mandatory seat-belts and child seats, I think not wearing a helmet is more likely to make a would-be cyclist think the helmetless cyclist is irresponsible than to make him/her think that cycling must be safe.
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Old 06-13-05, 04:50 PM
  #19  
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Pretty much everything that has been posted here has been covered on the sticky "Spring airheads... helmets cramp my style"

Helmets are not going to stop motor vehicles from hitting cyclists and cyclists are not proportionatly a large part of the brain injured community. A helmet is not going to save your life if a motor vehicle hits you on your bike but it's a rare probability to be hit by a car if you ride your bike responsibly and look out for motorists who don't drive responsibly.

I've got to wonder what happened between 1985 and 1995 because before 1985, although everyone knew that a bad accident could happen, it was believed it didn't happen very often. After 1995, a large number of people seem to feel bad accidents are a common occurrance.

I think there has been a campain of fear driven by commerce to sell something that has been sold to allay that fear, but not only is the perceived threat that has been sold to the unwary very questionable, the claimed protection of what is being sold, is even more questionable than the questionable threat.

"Senior neurosurgeons have given evidence to court that helmets are only effective in preventing minor scalp lacerations and not more serious injuries."
Preventing a cut is a whole lot different from saving lives.

Quotes from the sticky thread include

. . helmets will mitigate the effects of falling off your bicycle and striking your head . . . If a cyclist is accelerated by a car, then the helmet will not work and will not prevent a severe or even fatal injury.
-- Dr. Michael Schwartz, neurosurgeon and member of Canadian Standards Association Committee establishing helmet standards

and

In situations of a fall they [helmets] are next to useless because they do not protect against diffused brain damage. The damage to the brain would still have occurred because it is the rattling inside the skull that caused the damage.

-- Chief Pathologist Clive Cooke,
Coroner's Court Testimony, Perth, Australia

also,

Most of us have heard that "bicycle helmets can prevent up to 85% of head injuries". It's worth noting that if helmets actually prevent only 1% of head injuries then that statement is still correct, because of the "up to" bit. A 1% effectiveness rate is still "up to 85%"... where did this 85% figure come from, and is it accurate? The answer is that it came from a flawed 1989 study, and it's inaccurate...not a single case examined in the study involved a collision with a motor vehicle. the May edition of the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention, has found that a widely quoted estimate of reduction in risk of brain injury from helmet use is unreliable. Effective interventions for care of health need to be based on scientific evidence. It is concluded that the review takes no account of scientific knowledge of types and mechanisms of brain injury.

Last edited by closetbiker; 06-13-05 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 06-13-05, 05:15 PM
  #20  
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Is the resistance to helmets because they are inneffective or is it becasue their use is often manadatory? Is it because other manadated items are on the bike rather than our person?
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Old 06-13-05, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Pretty much everything that has been posted here has been covered on the sticky "Spring airheads... helmets cramp my style"

Helmets are not going to stop motor vehicles from hitting cyclists and cyclists are not proportionatly a large part of the brain injured community. A helmet is not going to save your life if a motor vehicle hits you on your bike but it's a rare probability to be hit by a car if you ride your bike responsibly and look out for motorists who don't drive responsibly.

I've got to wonder what happened between 1985 and 1995 because before 1985, although everyone knew that a bad accident could happen, it was believed it didn't happen very often. After 1995, a large number of people seem to feel bad accidents are a common occurrance.

I think there has been a campain of fear driven by commerce to sell something that has been sold to allay that fear, but not only is the perceived threat that has been sold to the unwary very questionable, the claimed protection of what is being sold, is even more questionable than the questionable threat.



Preventing a cut is a whole lot different from saving lives.

Quotes from the sticky thread include

. . helmets will mitigate the effects of falling off your bicycle and striking your head . . . If a cyclist is accelerated by a car, then the helmet will not work and will not prevent a severe or even fatal injury.
-- Dr. Michael Schwartz, neurosurgeon and member of Canadian Standards Association Committee establishing helmet standards

and

In situations of a fall they [helmets] are next to useless because they do not protect against diffused brain damage. The damage to the brain would still have occurred because it is the rattling inside the skull that caused the damage.

-- Chief Pathologist Clive Cooke,
Coroner's Court Testimony, Perth, Australia

also,

Most of us have heard that "bicycle helmets can prevent up to 85% of head injuries". It's worth noting that if helmets actually prevent only 1% of head injuries then that statement is still correct, because of the "up to" bit. A 1% effectiveness rate is still "up to 85%"... where did this 85% figure come from, and is it accurate? The answer is that it came from a flawed 1989 study, and it's inaccurate...not a single case examined in the study involved a collision with a motor vehicle. the May edition of the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention, has found that a widely quoted estimate of reduction in risk of brain injury from helmet use is unreliable. Effective interventions for care of health need to be based on scientific evidence. It is concluded that the review takes no account of scientific knowledge of types and mechanisms of brain injury.
Don't you ever feel like you're just beating your head against a brick wall (Oh no! Better wear your helmet!)?...
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Old 06-13-05, 06:19 PM
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There is no resisitance to helmets. They are just fine. They are just not what many make them out to be.

There is a mistaken belief that to ride a bicycle is to be a risk taker.

There is a resistance to the belief that helmets can have a significant impact on the reduction of injuries to cyclists.

Focus of cycling safety is far more effective if we can focus on the causes of cycling injury.

The vast majority of the world ride helmetless, and guess what? They're just fine and not dying in droves as would seem to be the suggestions of those who feel it is lunacy to ride bare headed.
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Old 06-13-05, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by randya
Don't you ever feel like you're just beating your head against a brick wall (Oh no! Better wear your helmet!)?...
Yeah, I just can't believe how many buy so much that they don't understand.

Still for everyone who belives such tripe, there are many, many more that show their different point of view by going out and riding their bike bare headed and living a long, healthy life.

Last edited by closetbiker; 06-13-05 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 06-13-05, 06:35 PM
  #24  
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About three weeks ago a cyclist in a paceline crashed. My friend and owner of the LBS that services his bike gave him a new helmet and kept his old one. From the condition of the helmet and what the ER doc at Baltimore's Shock Trauma said, he would have suffered serious head injury, not just a sore shoulder and compressed neck vertibrae (sp), had he not been wearing a helmet.
This morning I was packing a box to ship and started thinking about our Postmaster's 20 yr son who fell asleep behind the wheel. He was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected and the vehicle landed on top of him. He didn't make it, he was a fine young man and is missed in our small community. His girlfriend was wearing her seatbelt and was not seriously injured.
Sunday I took a header while mountain biking and smacked my head pretty hard on a tree. I laughed it off got up limped around, checked the bike over and continued on. I wouldn't be laughing had I not been wearing a helmet. Still it didn't stop my HB end from getting jammed into the inside of my left thigh and I have a large black and blue tender area.
You won't see me out on the road or on a trail without a suitable helmet. Cheap insurance.
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Old 06-13-05, 06:50 PM
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I've had wrecks (minor) on motorcycles and bicycles. On a bike, I remember hearing my helmet hit the trail more that a couple of times, and the helmet was left with dents in it. I wonder if I would have even remembered hitting the trail had I not been wearing a helmet? I can't imagine riding without a helmet, considering how a minor fall may cause major head trauma.
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