Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

Does Wearing A Helmet Save Lives.

Notices
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.

Does Wearing A Helmet Save Lives.

Old 08-04-09, 04:12 PM
  #51  
joejack951
Senior Member
 
joejack951's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 12,062

Bikes: 2016 Hong Fu FM-079-F, 1984 Trek 660, 2005 Iron Horse Warrior Expert, 2009 Pedal Force CX1, 2016 Islabikes Beinn 20 (son's)

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1225 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 49 Posts
Originally Posted by frymaster View Post
and that, in a nutshell, is the best argument for helmet-wearing: personal experience and choice.
Just a slight correction. It is the best argument for YOU (the person who hit their head) to wear a helmet. Not sure what you were or were not implying but the frequency and severity with which someone else hits their head while cycling has absolutely nothing to do with my chances of doing the same.
joejack951 is offline  
Old 08-04-09, 08:02 PM
  #52  
wahoonc
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,855

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
Just a slight correction. It is the best argument for YOU (the person who hit their head) to wear a helmet. Not sure what you were or were not implying but the frequency and severity with which someone else hits their head while cycling has absolutely nothing to do with my chances of doing the same.
Bingo!

Cycling for 30+ years many of them competitively. In excess of 50,000 cycling miles. Three major crashes and a few minor ones. No head injuries helmet or not. I wear helmet when I think about it. I honestly think a large part of it depends on 1) Where you ride, 2) How you ride 3) What you ride. FWIW most of my crashes occurred while racing crits on closed courses. I don't race anymore and typically ride an upright style bike.

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 11:32 AM
  #53  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 12,492
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2837 Post(s)
Liked 528 Times in 366 Posts
Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
One does have to wonder what the motivation is for those who seek to bring legislation to enforce an individual to change a behaviour that, unmodified, would only affect the individual, not society as a whole.
"Society as a whole" typically foots much of cost of the medical treatment. I think that one can make an argument that this is a reasonable thing to do ("footing the bill") for certain activities and risks.

Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
You could just as easily argue that drivers would have great potential benefit from wearing a helmet - I wonder what studies there are on head injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents.
There might not be any added benefit in the presence of airbags.
njkayaker is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 12:02 PM
  #54  
closetbiker
Senior Member
 
closetbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
"Society as a whole" typically foots much of cost of the medical treatment. I think that one can make an argument that this is a reasonable thing to do ("footing the bill") for certain activities and risks.
so would a "diet and exercise" police force be a reasonable thing to implement?
closetbiker is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 12:07 PM
  #55  
Brian Sorrell
My bicycle is fixed
 
Brian Sorrell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Auckland, NZ
Posts: 1,026

Bikes: '08 Surly Steamroller, '07 Surly Cross Check

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
so would a "diet and exercise" police force be a reasonable thing to implement?
Yes.
Brian Sorrell is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 12:10 PM
  #56  
Ed Holland
8speed DinoSORAs
 
Ed Holland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Oxford, UK or Mountain View, Ca
Posts: 2,749
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
"Society as a whole" typically foots much of cost of the medical treatment. I think that one can make an argument that this is a reasonable thing to do ("footing the bill") for certain activities and risks.
I'm not quite clear what you're saying here. Is it that you consider society can reasonably be expected to foot the bill for medical treatment? In this case I agree. People require medical treatment as a result of actions that show far less responsibility (or sense) than declining to wear a bicycle helmet. Yet rarely do we hear complaints that the actions of these unwise people affect insurance rates. However I have heard that very argument used in "the helmet debate".

Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
"
There might not be any added benefit in the presence of airbags.
Well, that is possible. I'm still amazed that a complex, high tech invention like the airbag was invented primarily because people were generally reluctant to use a simpler device, the seat belt... not that it isn't useful to have both.

I digress, in a way, but what would the forum make of a comparison between mandatory seatbelt usage, and legislation demanding bicycle helmet use, tied in with the notion of personal vs. social responsibility? There are similarities. I think.

Ed
__________________
Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.
Ed Holland is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 02:56 PM
  #57  
frymaster
Senior Member
 
frymaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: where the mild things roam
Posts: 1,092
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
so would a "diet and exercise" police force be a reasonable thing to implement?
Originally Posted by Brian Sorrell View Post
Yes.
and this is the road to totalitarianism.
frymaster is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 03:07 PM
  #58  
Brian Sorrell
My bicycle is fixed
 
Brian Sorrell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Auckland, NZ
Posts: 1,026

Bikes: '08 Surly Steamroller, '07 Surly Cross Check

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by frymaster View Post
and this is the road to totalitarianism.
(I think you mean "slippery-slope-ism".)

I think we're stuck in gridlock on the road to totalitarianism. Heck, the gov't already regulates our consumption of alcohol, tobacco, allergy medications, trans-fats, blah blah blah. Just extend the reach slightly and institute a potato chip and ice cream quota system --- BAM!! A healthy America will result. And we can spend all the savings on bicycle infrastructure.
Brian Sorrell is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 03:14 PM
  #59  
The Human Car
-=Barry=-
 
The Human Car's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD +/- ~100 miles
Posts: 4,077
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
so would a "diet and exercise" police force be a reasonable thing to implement?
Here comes the McDonald's Police
__________________
Cycling Advocate
https://BaltimoreSpokes.org
. . . o
. . /L
=()>()
The Human Car is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 03:20 PM
  #60  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 12,492
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2837 Post(s)
Liked 528 Times in 366 Posts
Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
I'm not quite clear what you're saying here.
You had said that the choice only effects the individual and not the "society as a whole". I was saying that that isn't correct because society (typically) pays for the medical treatments.

I was also saying that it might be reasonable for society to assume the cost of certain activities that might be considered "risky". A discussion of what those certain activities are is complicated.

Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
Yet rarely do we hear complaints that the actions of these unwise people affect insurance rates.
People complain about this stuff all the time!

Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
However I have heard that very argument used in "the helmet debate".
The argument is that people should be forced to wear helmets to reduce society's cost for the medical expenses. (I am not making that argument!)
What I was criticising was the "I'm only affecting (ie, hurting) myself" argument (which is generally specious). (Note that the vocal "closetbiker" isn't making this argument!)

Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
Well, that is possible. I'm still amazed that a complex, high tech invention like the airbag was invented primarily because people were generally reluctant to use a simpler device, the seat belt... not that it isn't useful to have both.
Everything I've read about airbags is that they supplement. That is, either one alone isn't enough.

Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
so would a "diet and exercise" police force be a reasonable thing to implement?
I'm saying one thing and you twisting it into something else!

Originally Posted by frymaster View Post
and this is the road to totalitarianism.
You don't need these kinds of regulations to get totalitarianism!

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-06-09 at 03:49 PM.
njkayaker is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 03:53 PM
  #61  
urbanknight
Over the hill
 
urbanknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 22,833

Bikes: Specialized Allez Elite, Raleigh Pursuit tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 144 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 107 Posts
Originally Posted by frymaster View Post
and again, this is the point of wikipedia: if you see something that is wrong, fix it. if you can't fix it, delete it. if it does not have a citation, it is wrong. if you don't do these things, stop complaining about wikipedia -- it's not something built for you, it's something built by you.
Although you make sense, the inherent flaw in that statement is that more people view wikipedia to gain information than to correct it. If one of my 200+ students did a report on the article I found instead of me reading it, none of them would have been able to correct it. Worse than that, they would have thought the wrong information was correct. If someone complains about wikipedia, it's because others can get the wrong information just as easily as an expert can find and correct it. But then again, other published works are not immune to this either. The beauty in Wikipedia is that it can be corrected quickly and easily, whereas a copyrighted book would take months or years to correct. Ever get a textbook with a paper insert correcting something? It's hilarious.
__________________
It's like riding a bicycle
urbanknight is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 03:58 PM
  #62  
Ed Holland
8speed DinoSORAs
 
Ed Holland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Oxford, UK or Mountain View, Ca
Posts: 2,749
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
njkayaker - OK, (and thanks) I think we're actually on the same page, and in broad agreement
__________________
Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.
Ed Holland is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 04:26 PM
  #63  
closetbiker
Senior Member
 
closetbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
... I was criticising was the "I'm only affecting (ie, hurting) myself" argument (which is generally specious). (Note that the vocal "closetbiker" isn't making this argument!
"Vocal"? Me?

Yikes! Checking the "who's posted" feature, I guess I am!

Funny how when you're trying to relay a point, the mind is on the point and not on how much your contributing. I think the reason I post so much is that I end up explaining the points I make so that they're understood and think a lot on what others have contributed.
closetbiker is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 08:49 PM
  #64  
wahoonc
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,855

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
"Society as a whole" typically foots much of cost of the medical treatment. I think that one can make an argument that this is a reasonable thing to do ("footing the bill") for certain activities and risks.


There might not be any added benefit in the presence of airbags.
So what are we going to do about the $164 Billion dollars that are a direct cost from automobile accidents? Not to mention the 40,000+ deaths and 4.6 MILLION injuries that require emergency room care?

I cannot see cyclists not wearing helmets coming anywhere close to those numbers.

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline  
Old 08-06-09, 09:43 PM
  #65  
frymaster
Senior Member
 
frymaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: where the mild things roam
Posts: 1,092
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Although you make sense, the inherent flaw in that statement is that more people view wikipedia to gain information than to correct it.
of course they do.... all i'm saying is that if you see something that looks wrong or you know to be wrong, find the source, make the fix and add the <ref>. that's all.

oh, and removing all those lines that say stuff like "alice webber is a ****" or whatever clever piece of vandalism the junior high students of north america are inserting these days...
frymaster is offline  
Old 08-07-09, 01:22 AM
  #66  
Brian Sorrell
My bicycle is fixed
 
Brian Sorrell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Auckland, NZ
Posts: 1,026

Bikes: '08 Surly Steamroller, '07 Surly Cross Check

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
So what are we going to do about the $164 Billion dollars that are a direct cost from automobile accidents? Not to mention the 40,000+ deaths and 4.6 MILLION injuries that require emergency room care?

I cannot see cyclists not wearing helmets coming anywhere close to those numbers.

Aaron
To be fair, 2008 was a banner year in on-the-road deaths in the US --- we finally dipped below 40,000 for the first time since 1962.
And the number of injured is down to about 2 and a quarter million (which is 1 in 130 people or so in the US).
https://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811172.PDF

The thing to do is to recognize that maintaining an automotive infrastructure costs us a fortune every year, as you point out. The cost of cleaning up the messes that automobiles leave in their wake is astonishing. That's what we need to address. Better public transportation could save tens of thousands of lives per year, and at least a hundred billion dollars. At best, helmets could save about 700 lives (the number of cycling fatalities in the US in 2008).

(I note that there are many possible explanations for why the number of automobile deaths is down while the number of cycling deaths is up --- one of which is that with the elevation of fuel costs, more people turned to the bicycle as transportation. I hope that's the actual reason. Additionally, I note that the number of cycling deaths in 2006 was still higher than in 2008, even though 2008 is an increase over 2007. Perhaps 2007 was a lucky year?)
Brian Sorrell is offline  
Old 08-07-09, 08:20 AM
  #67  
closetbiker
Senior Member
 
closetbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by Brian Sorrell View Post
... At best, helmets could save about 700 lives (the number of cycling fatalities in the US in 2008)...
They couldn't do that even if we had a helmet that was perfect and everybody wore them because although the cause of death is often listed as some type of head injury, in the majority of cases, there are other injuries that lead to death as well.

Burst spleens, torn aortas, punctured lungs, snapped necks and spines, impalements, the list goes on. It's rare it's just the head that's damaged when cyclists die in collisions with motor vehicles
closetbiker is offline  
Old 08-07-09, 08:25 AM
  #68  
exchangeandmart
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My uncle nearly died because he wasn't wearing a helmet, that was enough to persuade me to always wear a helmet when out on my bike, I wouldn't want to chance it.
exchangeandmart is offline  
Old 08-07-09, 09:03 AM
  #69  
closetbiker
Senior Member
 
closetbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by exchangeandmart View Post
My uncle nearly died because he wasn't wearing a helmet, that was enough to persuade me to always wear a helmet when out on my bike, I wouldn't want to chance it.
Wiki's page has a section on the risk

Is cycling risky enough to require helmets?

There is no one agreed way of presenting risk....Overall, cycling is beneficial to health ...Cycling is no more dangerous than being a pedestrian..."The inherent risks of road cycling are trivial... Six times as many pedestrians as cyclists are killed by motor traffic, yet travel surveys show annual mileage walked is only five times that cycled; a mile of walking must be more "dangerous" than a mile of cycling..." The proportion of cyclist injuries which are head injuries is essentially the same as the proportion for pedestrians at 30.0 % vs. 30.1 %

also under, Are helmets harmful? Undesirable effects of helmet use, Less bicycle use, wiki references a source and says,

"Helmets and their promotion may reinforce the misconception that bicycling is more dangerous than traveling by passenger car", when the reference shows this is not true.

Last edited by closetbiker; 08-07-09 at 01:50 PM.
closetbiker is offline  
Old 08-07-09, 11:36 AM
  #70  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 12,492
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2837 Post(s)
Liked 528 Times in 366 Posts
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
So what are we going to do about the $164 Billion dollars that are a direct cost from automobile accidents? Not to mention the 40,000+ deaths and 4.6 MILLION injuries that require emergency room care?

I cannot see cyclists not wearing helmets coming anywhere close to those numbers.

Aaron
All I was saying is that the cost of injuries (typically) extends beyond the person with the injuries. The argument that says that it's only the individual who bears the cost is a specious one.

I am making no comment on whether or not cyclists should wear helments.

Anyway, all those accidents sure keep the economy humming!

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-07-09 at 03:37 PM.
njkayaker is offline  
Old 08-07-09, 11:53 AM
  #71  
Brian Sorrell
My bicycle is fixed
 
Brian Sorrell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Auckland, NZ
Posts: 1,026

Bikes: '08 Surly Steamroller, '07 Surly Cross Check

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
They couldn't do that even if we had a helmet that was perfect and everybody wore them because although the cause of death is often listed as some type of head injury, in the majority of cases, there are other injuries that lead to death as well.

Burst spleens, torn aortas, punctured lungs, snapped necks and spines, impalements, the list goes on. It's rare it's just the head that's damaged when cyclists die in collisions with motor vehicles
I say "at best" 700, because doubtless many of those killed were wearing helmets.
And I say, get the darned cars off the road!! Cars kill. Get them off the roads and bicycles will be just about the safest form of transportation possible (besides walking).

(According to the WHO, worldwide about 1.2 million people are killed in automobiles every year. About 50 million are injured. They project that 2.3 million per year will die in automobiles by 2020 --- due to the rise in automobile use across the globe. I hate to raise another Wikipedia point, but it's cited anyway: https://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...ury_statistics: "The total worldwide historical number of car accident fatalities is difficult to estimate. Figures around 17 million have been suggested in 1991, and would have to be significantly higher now, making car driving one of the deadliest undertakings in the history of mankind.")
Brian Sorrell is offline  
Old 08-07-09, 12:00 PM
  #72  
Brian Sorrell
My bicycle is fixed
 
Brian Sorrell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Auckland, NZ
Posts: 1,026

Bikes: '08 Surly Steamroller, '07 Surly Cross Check

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
... and another Wikipedia point (again with a reference):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic...Economic_costs
"In the US, the monetary result of all (not just auto-related) fatal and nonfatal unintentional injuries amounted to $625.5 billion in 2005. This is equivalent to about $2,100 per capita, or about $5,500 per household. Every American household pays in one way or another, through higher prices for goods and services, or through higher taxes."

The point I want to emphasize (though the stat above includes more than automobile accidents) is that it is far more prudent to investigate ways to quell the financial and human costs of automobile usage. The financial and human costs of cycling without a helmet is negligible compared to these figures.

{steps off soapbox}
Brian Sorrell is offline  
Old 08-07-09, 01:56 PM
  #73  
closetbiker
Senior Member
 
closetbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by Brian Sorrell View Post
... The point I want to emphasize (though the stat above includes more than automobile accidents) is that it is far more prudent to investigate ways to quell the financial and human costs of automobile usage. The financial and human costs of cycling without a helmet is negligible compared to these figures.

{steps off soapbox}
The point I like seeing on the wiki page is that, to cycle, is to extend life.

Not only is it suspect to argue that cycling is more risky than taking part in many other, more common activities (like walking or driving) but unlike motoring, the exercise component trumps the risk of trauma

Under , Is cycling risky enough to require helmets?, it says,

"Overall, cycling is beneficial to health – the benefits outweigh the risks by up to 20:1"

Last edited by closetbiker; 08-07-09 at 03:06 PM.
closetbiker is offline  
Old 08-07-09, 02:44 PM
  #74  
Ed Holland
8speed DinoSORAs
 
Ed Holland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Oxford, UK or Mountain View, Ca
Posts: 2,749
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ah but the problem is the present culture of telling people what to do for their own good. It is worse still when an emotive furvor ensues and legislation is created which has demands out of all proportion to its relevance to the general population.

I remember in the UK a few years ago, a campaign for helmet use with the slogan "Stop the brain drain" set against a black and white street scene, fallen bicycle at the curb and, highlighted in red, blood running into the gutter. It was entirely clumsy, and more likely to simply make people believe that cycling is dangerous... rather than the message, which I'm sure the campaing designers intended was that a helmet would help you be safer from (some) injuries. At the time, I had absolutely no intention of wearing a helmet and this just re enforced my obstinate reaction to the whole thing.

Ed
__________________
Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.
Ed Holland is offline  
Old 08-07-09, 02:46 PM
  #75  
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,239
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
"Overall, cycling is beneficial to health the benefits outweigh the risks by up to 20:1"
Yes, I've seen ratios of between 10:1 and 20:1.

Which means that even if helmets could magically remove all the risk (clearly not the case even with head injuries and certainly not with the many other injuries which may also be life threatening) and if mandatory helmet laws discouraged only 5 - 10% of potential riders from cycling (traffic surveys and polls have put the figure closer to 30%) then instituting such a law would still be injurious to the overall public health and would result in a net loss of person-years of life.

In addition, such laws violate the basic freedom of individuals to choose how to live their own lives as long as they don't directly harm others. I certainly want to retain the right to engage in activities that might end up being harmful to me, whether it's rock climbing, skydiving, riding a motorcycle, etc. Any of those might involve some expenditure of public funds if things don't work out well - but the individual is the one taking on the primary risk and the individual should be the one deciding which activities to pursue and which they may regard as too hazardous. The same holds for cycling with or without special protective clothing.
prathmann is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.