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The helmet thread

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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
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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
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20.48%
Voters: 1670. You may not vote on this poll

The helmet thread

Old 03-15-14, 10:50 AM
  #7176  
howsteepisit
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Try risk rating the list and see how that works. that would be the probability of an outcome x the cost of that outcome, then sum up the costs see how cold logic works on that one. This is a process any coldly logical person should be familiar with.

We all know that rydabent wears a helmet, but it is unknown and maybe unknowable why he insists on convincing others that they need to wear one
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Old 03-15-14, 11:48 AM
  #7177  
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Maybe he's involved with Fenway Partners, who own Easton Bell Sports, who market Bell and Giro helmets.
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Old 03-15-14, 11:50 AM
  #7178  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
However I can say without any worry that his head hitting the pavement bare would have resulted in more injury. Having that buffer between head and pavement was a good thing. It may not be the best thing in the world but it is something.
That is probably (although not necessarily) true. But the only thing we can say with any certainty is that a bicycle is capable of limiting relatively mild injuries - even the manufacturers won't go beyond that. So anyone who wants to claim that a helmet saved a person from a nasty bruise or something will get little argument from anyone here. The argument, as always, is with the idea that riding a bicycle without a helmet puts one at significant risk of life-threatening injury an that wearing a helmet largely ameliorates that risk. There really isn't much evidence for that, other than the eternal "My helmet touched the ground, so it saved my life!!!" anecdotes.
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Old 03-15-14, 11:50 AM
  #7179  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
If you make two lists, one with all the positives for wearing a helmet, and the other the negatives, the positives list is way longer.
Then why aren't you wearing one right now?
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Old 03-15-14, 05:43 PM
  #7180  
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six

I rode this afternoon and I wore my helmet. I didnt even think about it after I put it on.
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Old 03-15-14, 05:45 PM
  #7181  
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How

I am coldly logical. If a helmet saves even one life, what is that worth?
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Old 03-15-14, 08:34 PM
  #7182  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
six

I rode this afternoon and I wore my helmet. I didnt even think about it after I put it on.
Why do you ever take it off?
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Old 03-15-14, 09:44 PM
  #7183  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I am coldly logical.
Never underestimate the power of self-delusion, is the moral of that story.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:56 AM
  #7184  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I am coldly logical. If a helmet saves even one life, what is that worth?
If it's your life, sure, but if you're talking in general, it gets complicated -- if a life might have been saved because drivers were acting better around cyclists, or a cyclist didn't think they were invulnerable and riding safe just because they were wearing a helmet, helmet use works against safety. Same thing if more people are sedentary because they think cycling is dangerous -- must be if helmet use is strongly encouraged to the point of social ostracization or even the law.
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Old 03-16-14, 01:12 PM
  #7185  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
How

I am coldly logical. If a helmet saves even one life, what is that worth?
Well, the value of a statistical life use by DOT is $6mm. According to NHSTA 18% of persons over the age of 18 took at least one bike ride in the summer of 2012, and the US Census reports the population of that group to be $197mm. If each of those 18% bought a helmet for $20, my calculations are that it costs $709mm to save at least one $6mm life.

Thats coldly logical.
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Old 03-17-14, 06:56 AM
  #7186  
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Ask The family of the person that wasnt wearing a helmet and died because he didnt, what his life was worth.
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Old 03-17-14, 07:37 AM
  #7187  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
How

I am coldly logical. If a helmet saves even one life, what is that worth?
Don't see what is logical about it if it applies when riding a bike, but never elsewhere.
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Old 03-17-14, 08:47 AM
  #7188  
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I have trouble finding any accident where I can ascertain a decedent would have lived had they been wearing a helmet - can you provide contact information please?

Edit;

Rydabent, you seem to not like my applying standard risk assessment and valuation techniques to the question at hand, to wit how much is wearing a helmet worth. I'd love to have you explain how you determine what its worth to you. Seems to me you believe its worth your entire estate, because I am sure that if you lost your helmet and the price of a new one was all the money and assets you possess, then you'd gladly pay up so that your family would never have to say 'If he'd only wore a helmet" Its only coldly logical after all.

Last edited by howsteepisit; 03-17-14 at 10:40 PM. Reason: Bad grammer and bad typing
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Old 03-17-14, 08:59 AM
  #7189  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Ask The family of the person that wasnt wearing a helmet and died because he didnt, what his life was worth.
Ask the family of the person who died while wearing a helmet, what his life was worth.
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Old 03-17-14, 05:17 PM
  #7190  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Ask The family of the person that wasnt wearing a helmet and died because he didnt, what his life was worth.
Who is that person?
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Old 03-17-14, 05:29 PM
  #7191  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
six

I rode this afternoon and I wore my helmet. I didnt even think about it after I put it on.
today i went shopping on my bike and on my way home the left side of my bar snaps off, stayed upright by luck
not thinking about getting a helmet though..
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Old 03-17-14, 10:15 PM
  #7192  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
ask the family of the person that wasnt wearing any particular piece of safety equipment imaginable and died because he didnt, what his life was worth.
FIFY.

(Well, not completely fixed, technically. The punctuation and syntax errors are still your responsibility alone.)
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Old 03-18-14, 12:53 AM
  #7193  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
If it's your life, sure, but if you're talking in general, it gets complicated -- if a life might have been saved because drivers were acting better around cyclists, or a cyclist didn't think they were invulnerable and riding safe just because they were wearing a helmet, helmet use works against safety. Same thing if more people are sedentary because they think cycling is dangerous -- must be if helmet use is strongly encouraged to the point of social ostracization or even the law.
I wore a helmet today on a ride to the Post Office. I also wore cycling shoes, gloves, leg coverings (it was a bit cold in my shorts) and a rain cape (spitting rain at times). The helmet is the same as gloves, only it is protecting your brain instead of your hands.

I have over 30 years in the safety field, and saying that wearing a helmet "...works against safety..." is like saying wearing a hard hat on a construction site goes against safety too. Mconlonx, you are correct in one quote on your post, "I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong."

John
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Old 03-18-14, 01:03 AM
  #7194  
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
I have trouble finding any accident where I can ascertain a decedent would have lived had they been wearing a helmet - can you provide contact information please?

Edit;

Rydabent, you seem to not like my applying standard risk assessment and valuation techniques to the question at hand, to wit how much is wearing a helmet worth. I'd love to have you explain how you determine what its worth to you. Seems to me you believe its worth your entire estate, because I am sure that if you lost your helmet and the price of a new one was all the money and assets you possess, then you'd gladly pay up so that your family would never have to say 'If he'd only wore a helmet" Its only coldly logical after all.
You might try this:
Accid Anal Prev. 2013 Oct;59:469-78. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.07.022. Epub 2013 Jul 24.
MADYMO simulation of children in cycle accidents: a novel approach in risk assessment.
McNally DS1, Rosenberg NM.
Author information

Abstract
Head injuries are a significant cause of death and injury to child cyclists both on and off the road. Current evaluations of the effectiveness of cycle helmets rely on simplified mechanical testing or the analysis of aggregated accident statistics. This paper presents a direct evaluation of helmet efficacy by using computational modelling to simulate a range of realistic accident scenarios, including loss of control, collision with static objects and vehicle impact. A 6-year-old cyclist was modelled (as a Hybrid III 6-year-old dummy), in addition to a typical children's bicycle and a vehicle using the MADYMO dynamics software package. Simulations were performed using ranges of cyclist position, cycle speed and vehicle speed with and without a helmet that meets current standards. Wearing a cycle helmet was found to reduce the probability of head injuries, reducing the average probability of fatality over the scenarios studied from 40% to 0.3%. Similarly, helmet wearing reduced the probability of neck injuries (average probability of fatality reduced from 11% to 1%). There was no evidence that helmet wearing increased the severity of brain or neck injuries caused by rotational accelerations; in fact these were slightly reduced. Similarly, there was no evidence that increased cycling speed, such as might result from helmet related risk compensation, increased the probability of head injury.MADYMO simulation of children in cycle accid... [Accid Anal Prev. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI
Howsteepisit, you posed a question, so will I; how much is a child's life worth? 'Seems to be a weird question. Today there were kids (two boys) on my street playing with motorized scooters; both were wearing bicycle helmets, and the helmets did not seem to affect them at all.

I have provided studies such as this on many, many of these helmet threads (this I think is the fourth), and still some won't admit that helmets work.

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 03-18-14 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 03-18-14, 01:44 AM
  #7195  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
I wore a helmet today on a ride to the Post Office. I also wore cycling shoes, gloves, leg coverings (it was a bit cold in my shorts) and a rain cape (spitting rain at times). The helmet is the same as gloves, only it is protecting your brain instead of your hands.

I have over 30 years in the safety field, and saying that wearing a helmet "...works against safety..." is like saying wearing a hard hat on a construction site goes against safety too. Mconlonx, you are correct in one quote on your post, "I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong."

John
I know I shouldn't do this but here goes...

This post is actually too stupid to answer to.
By overspimplifying the argument of the other side you just make yourself seem simple.
Firstly helmets don't work against safety. The marketing of bicycling of as a inherently dangerous activity works against safety. This can be achieved by a few different ways. One is ranting the whole "wear your damn helmet, I just had a massive accident (due to my own incompetence on the bike) and almost died. My helmet got scratches so my head would have grated in half against the pavement without it!". Second is the state forcing helmets on every rider so then it's the state saying "this is too dangerous, you should use protective equipment". Third way of course is state marketing of helmets with fear campaigns (happened in britain for exapmple) with pictures of broken skulls and people in vegetative state.

This all leads of course leads to the average person assuming that cycling is something they don't want to do as it's dangerous. It's pretty logical really, tell people something is dangerous and eventually only the reckless will do it. Bicycling is special in this case since it is a mode of transport and as such essential. However there is a multitude of other possibilities which are "safer" or more "convenient" like using public transport or your own car. The reality though is that driving a car is not safer (in europe at least) nor is it more convenient as it costs an arm an a leg (at least in europe). Public transport is pretty nifty if you have it. It doesn't do much for health though so there's that.
Of course in a car you need to use a seatbelt. But then again it has been shown time and time again that a seatbelt is an actual life saver. A bicycle helmet is not. You did point out a study of helmet use with kids in your other post. There is a few problems with that however. First, with a child we have the relatively larger head compared to rest of the body. Due to this the head is more suspectible for injuries as a child does not have the motor skills or strenght to avoid them as well as an adult. Secondly for a helmet to work it requires an actual head strike. Most crashes do not contain head strikes as the human is relative good at protecting said head. In contrast a seatbelt works in EVERY crash situation. Whether it is enough to save a life comes down to various factors but it does help nonetheless.
Second, no one ever believes they are going to crash as no one ever thinks driving is unsafe since you are sitting in a safe armored shell (while it actually is relatively unsafe) and third, you don't need to mess up your hair with it, you don't have to lug it around, you dont' need to carry the weight on your head. And fourth, the "convenience" of driving a car goes past everything just stated.

On your second point about construction.
We all know construction yards are a dangerous working environment. Comparing that to something as safe as cycling is a bit dishonest maybe? Because in several European countries cycling can be seen as one of the safest activities one can do. Also I doubt that construction workers are going to stop coming to work if they need to use a hardhat. But as pointed out in several studies cyclists will stop cycling is a mandatory helmet law comes into the picture. That then reduces the "safety in numbers" aspect and thus leads to reduced safety.

If you actually have been in the safety industry for 30 years you should be able to realize safety is a combination of several factors and not just about the equipment. Then again maybe you are in the safety equipment area and can't see past that.

To go a bit further. No one here I believe has ever said helmets are useless. The actual usefulness is under debate since there is a strong belief that an inch of foam is not going to do any miracles. However when considering the actual safety of cycling most of the people who criticise the helmet fanaticism around here believe helmets in general are not very essential for cycling safety.
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Old 03-18-14, 08:55 AM
  #7196  
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Despite all the nay sayers, it remains that many of us have been saved from injury by helmets. I might add that educated members of the medical society also recomment wearing helmet because what they have seen in the emergency rooms.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:51 AM
  #7197  
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John The crux of the question of how much is a life worth is that we can spend from $) to save a life up to a nearly infinite amount. Money, like all resources, is limited. So the question I ask, is how much of a limited resource should be spent to save (maybe) a life, or 50 lives. As a life long safety person, You would understand there is a point where its not reasonable to spend any more on safety. Rydabent is voracious that one should wear a helmet no matter what. I submit that if everyone were to wear a helmet who rides a bike the cost per life saved would be astronomical, as calculated above. Go ahead, as your employer if 700,000,000 to save a life is a reasonable expense? Also, there is apparently somewhere, although I was only told about it by an Economics professor, some data that shows that were helmets were mandated for children bicycle usage declines, because of the implied danger that legally mandated helmet use entailed.

Another way to look at the helmet quest is by risk analysis. In human health risk assessments, a standard of acceptable risk is an increase in cancers of less than 1 x 10^-6. I really don't know, but I'd be willing to bet that bicycle helmets do not meet that standard if we use death or serious brain injury rather than cancer.

As a disclaimer, I have nothing against helmet use, I do so on occasion, but rydabent constant claims of unless your stupid you will wear a helmet wear thin on me, and so does any claim that safety must be maximized at any cost.

On adder - re wearing a hardhat on a construction site is a risk appropriate action, wearing a hardhat in an office is not, hence it is not a OSHA requirement. Same hold true with bicycle helmets, there are times whien its risk appropriate and times when it is not warranted.

Last edited by howsteepisit; 03-18-14 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Poor grammar and typing
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Old 03-18-14, 10:18 AM
  #7198  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
I wore a helmet today on a ride to the Post Office. I also wore cycling shoes, gloves, leg coverings (it was a bit cold in my shorts) and a rain cape (spitting rain at times). The helmet is the same as gloves, only it is protecting your brain instead of your hands.

I have over 30 years in the safety field, and saying that wearing a helmet "...works against safety..." is like saying wearing a hard hat on a construction site goes against safety too. Mconlonx, you are correct in one quote on your post, "I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong."

John
You deliberately ignored qualifications I made to the statement you quote regarding helmets and safety. By quoting out of context, you ignore or dismiss studies posted previously in this thread about driver behavior regarding cyclist helmet use, the issue of risk compensation, and lower ridership rates where helmet use is mandatory.

I might set off on a similar diatribe if I quote you in the same manner as having said, "wearing a hard hat on a construction site goes against safety, too." -- I am outraged that you would say such a thing and I bet my Safety Compliance Director buddy in the construction trades would agree. See how that works?

That bit you quoted from my sig line is a test. You failed.
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Old 03-18-14, 01:48 PM
  #7199  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I might add that educated members of the medical society also recomment wearing helmet because what they have seen in the emergency rooms.
I dont think they count as a unbiased experts
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Old 03-18-14, 01:52 PM
  #7200  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Despite all the nay sayers, it remains that many of us have been saved from injury by helmets. I might add that educated members of the medical society also recomment wearing helmet because what they have seen in the emergency rooms.
I've been saved from injury with shin/knee pads but I don't wear them while riding very often.

"medical society" has been brainwashed by helmet lobbyists. Many of them don't put in enough miles to really warrant listening closely to their suggestions.
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