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The helmet thread

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The helmet thread

Old 02-26-12, 09:19 AM
  #1576  
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Originally Posted by rydabent
hallows

You claim you never have and never will wear a helmet. That means you will never take part in any organized ride or rally that requires one. Are you that anti social??
It's not a claim, it's a statement of fact. Like I wrote in my previous post, there will always be someone who cannot believe I ride without a helmet, just as I can't believe that someone can't believe it. Riding in huge packs is not something I'm interested in, so I guess that makes me antisocial (I'm actually a very scary and evil person in real life); I prefer to explore on my own or with a group of friends. The reason why organized rides require participants to wear helmets is to limit their liability, so that if a rider falls and is injured, they can't sue the ride organizers (and really now, a person who sues someone else because they fell off their own bike has other issues than not wearing a helmet or not knowing how to ride a bike).

Or it might just be that some people live in small centers that don't have organized rides.

Last edited by Deathly Hallows; 02-26-12 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 02-26-12, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
And yet there are plenty of bare-headers who will claim that false perceptions by the public to the contrary -- that helmets will help prevent concussions, help in an accident with vehicles at high speed -- are indeed the fault of the Helmet Industrial Complex.
Wut?

#1 Please rephrase without triple negatives
#2 Please provide proof that someone that is not you has said whatever it is that your not claiming that they didn't not say.
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Old 02-26-12, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
Wut?

#1 Please rephrase without triple negatives
#2 Please provide proof that someone that is not you has said whatever it is that your not claiming that they didn't not say.
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Old 02-26-12, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
"For bicyclists ≥16 years of age, there were only slight changes in the average number of deaths per year and the mortality rate per 100000 person-years, and the time series analysis demonstrated no significant change in deaths after legislation."

*Phew*... good thing I've said from the beginning that children are one of those classes helmets are useful for, eh?
You may be one of the people making that distinction, but not everyone is. Child cyclists are people, too, so their safety vis-a-vis helmet use is worth noting in my book. Anyway, I provided a bunch scientific studies showing helmets offer some protective effect for serious head injuries (e.g., fracture, concussion, etc., not just scrapes and scratches) or death. Take 'em or leave 'em. Fwiw, here's the full summary of the article in question:

There were 362 bicycle-related deaths in the 12-year period (1–15 years: 107 deaths; ≥16 years: 255 deaths). For bicyclists 1 to 15 years of age, the average number of deaths per year decreased 52%, the mortality rate per 100000 person-years decreased 55%, and the time series analysis demonstrated a significant reduction in deaths after legislation. The estimated change in the number of deaths per month was −0.59 deaths per month. For bicyclists ≥16 years of age, there were only slight changes in the average number of deaths per year and the mortality rate per 100000 person-years, and the time series analysis demonstrated no significant change in deaths after legislation.
https://pediatrics.aappublications.or.../605.full.html

Originally Posted by sudo bike
I've never said there aren't studies out to the contrary; I know there are, I've seen them. Some of them dubious, some of them I'm not surprised by (such as the quoted one showing helmets can be effective for children), some of them, such as some of the others here, seem more valid. I've said that the evidence is shaky and contradictory. There's been more than one study already posted concerning helmets relative inability to prevent concussions and other brain trauma, theoretically due to the fact that brain injury may be caused by rotational injury. But again, if you take a more conservative position in how much a helmet can help with, the evidence becomes less and less contradicted. These results you post on preventing serious injury and death (that's not what all of them said) have other studies that reach very different conclusions to counter them, however. The Australian study was mentioned (that one I think I have bookmarked somewhere...), here is one that says while helmets reduce injury, it's not clear that they prevent concussion.
Well, that article (abstract, at least) does not mention concussions per se, rather pathologic EEG, skull fracture, intracerebral haemorrhagic contusion, and an increase in intracerebral pressure (edema), and it says, "It is remarkable [i.e., worthy of note] that more serious head injuries did not occur in the helmet group....In our opinion the bicycle helmet can reduce the incidence and the grade severity of head injuries significantly, particularly as we had 2 deaths in the non-helmet group and none in the helmet group. The use of a bicycle helmet is therefore strongly advocated."

Could you please provide more links? I've been able to find only a small handful of studies suggesting helmets provide little/no or ill effects, dozens that suggest some protective effect, and quite a few that show protection from serious injuries or death. Of the first group, one deals with oral/maxillofacial trauma in young children; not many helmets cover the chin and face, so rather redundant findings.
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Old 02-26-12, 01:56 PM
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Incidentally, sudo bike, here's another source I found while looking for the German text of Kelsch et al. This concludes that "Radhelme schützen und können bei Unfällen das Risiko schwerer Kopfverletzungen und erheblicher Folgeschäden deutlich verringern."

"Cycle helmets protect and can notably lessen the risk of severe head injuries and substantial complications in accidents."

https://www.verkehrswacht-bruchsal-br...ahrradhelm.pdf an Expert Commission of Thüringen, Germany report "Bicycle Helmets: Effective Protective from Head Injuries"
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Old 02-26-12, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
2 case studies regarding kids.

1 by one guy, hardly scientific, published in "The Annals of Improbable Research"...
Anyone else notice how many dubious sources get thrown around in this issue? "Helmets don't protect you, and they reduce the number of cyclists and do risk-compensation stuff because an anti-helmet website says so. Oh, and I got this newspaper editorial, too!"
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Old 02-26-12, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Six-Shooter
Anyone else notice how many dubious sources get thrown around in this issue?
Yes. And I've seen you post a couple of them

From the ECF

https://www.ecf.com/road-safety/helme...lective-vests/

What is the ECF doing?

They discourage cycling by portraying it as abnormally dangerous-you are less likely to be killed in a mile of cycling than a mile of walking*(Wardlaw 2002).

A well respected literature review states ‘When the risk of injury to head, face or neck is viewed as a whole, bicycle helmets do provide a small protective effect. This effect is evident only in older studies. New studies, summarised by a random-effects model of analysis, indicate no net protective effect.’ (Elvik 2011)

Injured cyclists are less likely to have head injuries than injured pedestrians or car occupants (ONISR 2005).

They portray bicycle helmets as offering far more protection than they do. Bicycle helmets are only designed to withstand minor knocks and bumps, not being hit by motor vehicles; see more here On Bicycle Helmet Standards.

Countries that have penalised people for normal cycling (without helmets), have failed to reduce head injury rates despite increased helmet wearing rates. See an ECF factsheet on the case of Australia and its helmet laws – Australia and cycle helmet laws

The health benefits of cycling far outweigh the injury risks (de Hartog et al, 2010)

Reduced cycling reduces health and environmental benefits.

Reduced cycling reduces Safety in Numbers, thus increasing the risk of injury to remaining cyclists (Jacobsen PL, 2003).

You don't have to agree with these studies, but you should acknowledge that there is a non-consensus as to the effect of helmet use

Last edited by closetbiker; 02-26-12 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 02-26-12, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Yes. And I've seen you post a couple of them

From the ECF

https://www.ecf.com/road-safety/helme...lective-vests/

What is the ECF doing?

They discourage cycling by portraying it as abnormally dangerous-you are less likely to be killed in a mile of cycling than a mile of walking*(Wardlaw 2002).

A well respected literature review states ‘When the risk of injury to head, face or neck is viewed as a whole, bicycle helmets do provide a small protective effect. This effect is evident only in older studies. New studies, summarised by a random-effects model of analysis, indicate no net protective effect.’ (Elvik 2011)

Injured cyclists are less likely to have head injuries than injured pedestrians or car occupants (ONISR 2005).

They portray bicycle helmets as offering far more protection than they do. Bicycle helmets are only designed to withstand minor knocks and bumps, not being hit by motor vehicles; see more here On Bicycle Helmet Standards.

Countries that have penalised people for normal cycling (without helmets), have failed to reduce head injury rates despite increased helmet wearing rates. See an ECF factsheet on the case of Australia and its helmet laws – Australia and cycle helmet laws

The health benefits of cycling far outweigh the injury risks (de Hartog et al, 2010)

Reduced cycling reduces health and environmental benefits.

Reduced cycling reduces Safety in Numbers, thus increasing the risk of injury to remaining cyclists (Jacobsen PL, 2003).
A number of obvious problems with those arguments:

* "you are less likely to be killed in a mile of cycling than a mile of walking" Actually, that depends on where you cycle. In New Zealand, for example, the annual number of injuries per million hours spent travelling (95% CI) for cyclists is eclipsed only by motorcyclists and is about six times higher than pedestrians. About three times higher than pedestrians for serious injuries (AIS=>3). Incidentally, the majority of deaths and injuries recorded did not occur with motor vehicle involvement.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989960/

* Elvik says helmets clearly reduce the risk of head injury. Only four studies suggesting some level of potential increased neck injury lead him to suggest "no net protective effect," and one of those studies actually concludes, "The study is inconclusive about the risk for neck injuries." https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont.../1/27.abstract

(Another of the four says, "A legislative initiative for wearing bicycle helmets as well is therefore necessary." https://www.biomedsearch.com/nih/Bicy.../10718089.html Another says, "When worn, protection against injury was demonstrated. A campaign to promote use of bicycle helmets should be targeted at non-residents and older bicyclists. Authorities should consider compulsory helmet laws for bicyclists..." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16645684)

So, it's worth digging further than the initial misleading soundbite. Worth noting, too, that when he says "new" studies, he does not mean chronologically new, just not included in the meta-analysis he's re-analyzing.

* "Bicycle helmets are only designed to withstand minor knocks and bumps, not being hit by motor vehicles"

See all the scientific research and helmet testing standards I've posted for a broad and detailed refutation of that idea.

* "Countries that have penalised people for normal cycling (without helmets), have failed to reduce head injury rates despite increased helmet wearing rates."

The use of "normal" there is obviously loaded. Further,

"The bicycle-related head injury rate declined significantly (45% reduction) in [Canadian] provinces where legislation had been adopted compared with provinces and territories that did not adopt legislation (27% reduction)." https://pediatrics.aappublications.or...5/e60.abstract Impact of Mandatory Helmet Legislation on Bicycle-Related Head Injuries in Children: A Population-Based Study

"Canadian youth and adults are significantly more likely to wear helmets as the comprehensiveness of helmet legislation increases. Helmet legislation is not associated with changes in ridership."
https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/16/4/219 The effects of provincial bicycle helmet legislation on helmet use and bicycle ridership in Canada

or

"The number of insurance claims from bicyclists killed or admitted to hospital after sustaining a head injury decreased by 48% and 70% in the first and second years after the law [in Australia], respectively. Analysis of the injury data also showed a 23% and 28% reduction in the number of bicyclists killed or admitted to hospital who did not sustain head injuries in the first and second post-law years, respectively. For Melbourne, where regular annual surveys of helmet wearing have been conducted, it was possible to fit a logistic regression model that related the reduction in head injuries to increased helmet wearing." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8011045 Mandatory bicycle helmet use following a decade of helmet promotion in Victoria, Australia--an evaluation.

Last edited by Six-Shooter; 02-26-12 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 02-26-12, 04:03 PM
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And you don't think the studies you've posted have a number of obvious problems?

Oh wait. I remember. Everything you post is right, and anything that contradicts what you post is wrong.

Any discussion is pointless.

Last edited by closetbiker; 02-26-12 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 02-26-12, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
And you don't think the studies you've posted have a number of obvious problems?

Oh wait. I remember. Everything you post is right, and anything that contradicts what you post is wrong.
I don't think Six-Shooter believes that. I'd suggest that s/he is engaged in straighforward trolling by cutting and pasting links and abstracts of papers that s/he could not possibly have had the time to digest and study.

I would guess that some of these are simply pulled from the criticised paper links on the cyclehelmets.org site. e.g. the Wesson paper and many of the others cited above.

https://cyclehelmets.org/1202.html


Last edited by RazrSkutr; 02-26-12 at 06:34 PM. Reason: add useful ped/cyclist trend chart
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Old 02-26-12, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Six-Shooter
* "Bicycle helmets are only designed to withstand minor knocks and bumps, not being hit by motor vehicles"

See all the scientific research and helmet testing standards I've posted for a broad and detailed refutation of that idea.
And again we have a clear claim that bicycle helmets are useful for impacts with motor vehicles.
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Old 02-26-12, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Six-Shooter
(Another of the four says, "A legislative initiative for wearing bicycle helmets as well is therefore necessary." https://www.biomedsearch.com/nih/Bicy.../10718089.html
Just taking a casual peek at the reams of stuff that you post makes me wonder do you do anything beyond a google search for abstracts? The paper that you're citing there actually argues that because motorcycle helmets reduce head injuries, so to should bicycle helmets:
Originally Posted by Hausotter, W. 2000. Unreadable German Medical German Title
Just as in professional and sports activities, protection of the head and neck also when bicycling has been urgently recommended and its effect repeatedly confirmed by recent statistical results. Wearing helmets by motorcyclists has clearly reduced the severity and frequency of head injuries since it became compulsory. A legislative initiative for wearing bicycle helmets as well is therefore necessary.

Last edited by RazrSkutr; 02-26-12 at 06:35 PM. Reason: color correlate motorcyclists and bicycle
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Old 02-26-12, 07:25 PM
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I dont see what the point of arguing over this is. We're grown adults. We can decide for ourselves and be responsible for the consequences. It's as pointless as arguing over the usage of condoms.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by HBxRider
I dont see what the point of arguing over this is. We're grown adults. We can decide for ourselves and be responsible for the consequences. It's as pointless as arguing over the usage of condoms.
That would be true if there were no mandatory helmet laws (MHL). And who is it that pushes or supports MHLs? Many adults are not allowed to decide for themselves.

How many mandatory condom use laws have you come across?
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Old 02-27-12, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Then why claim multiple times that risk compensation plays a "significant" role in cycling, without specific evidence to back it up...?
Because that's my assertion?

Look, it's not completely arbitrary speculation, it's speculation I'm basing on other more available evidence, but I'm not going to pretend I can prove exactly how it applies to cycling. I don't think it's the end-all-be-all in the helmet debate. I just think it's silly to stick fingers in ears and pretend it doesn't exist at all; that's empirically false, and illogical to boot. Risk/reward perception changes, decisions based on them change... I can hardly think of a more logical statement.

Also, I don't think I said it plays a significant role in cycling alone, but that the risk/reward analysis plays a significant role in our everyday lives; that's a bit more provable.
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Old 02-27-12, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Six-Shooter
You may be one of the people making that distinction, but not everyone is.
Who? As I recall, even closetbiker has stated children may stand to benefit more from helmet use due to their increased likelihood of a solo fall. Perhaps I'm mis-remembering, though. At any rate, I would disagree that there is strong evidence that children do not stand to benefit from helmet use.

Child cyclists are people, too, so their safety vis-a-vis helmet use is worth noting in my book. Anyway, I provided a bunch scientific studies showing helmets offer some protective effect for serious head injuries (e.g., fracture, concussion, etc., not just scrapes and scratches) or death. Take 'em or leave 'em. Fwiw, here's the full summary of the article in question:
Indeed it is worth noting, as I have. Keep in mind, I don't think helmets are totally useless, I just think they are overkill for day-to-day commuting and errand-running. Start talking about special risk groups (certain disabilities, children, elderly, etc) or certain kinds of riskier riding (racing, trail riding, etc), and I think the answer stands to change.

As far as your evidence, as I noted with my breakdown of the previous, they don't all say anything other than what I've been saying: That helmet use for normal adult riding doesn't have much affect on fatalities or serious injury. Those that do face other studies that come to opposing conclusions. So I don't think I'm terribly out of line saying that evidence that helmets save lives or prevent serious injury is contradictory and therefore suspect.

Could you please provide more links? I've been able to find only a small handful of studies suggesting helmets provide little/no or ill effects, dozens that suggest some protective effect, and quite a few that show protection from serious injuries or death. Of the first group, one deals with oral/maxillofacial trauma in young children; not many helmets cover the chin and face, so rather redundant findings.
Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time anymore for link-digging, but when I get home I'll check my bookmarks and see which ones I've saved. I'm almost sure I have the Aussie study, at least.

FWIW, I've seen plenty of studies showing that helmets help with relatively minor injuries, but have seen multiple studies and statistics casting much doubt on the assertion that they save lives or prevent concussions and other similar injuries.

EDIT: Sorry, I just checked... it must have been on a previous install . It's been posted in this thread, I think in the first few pages (the study on the MHL in Oz).

Last edited by sudo bike; 02-27-12 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 02-27-12, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI
And who is it that pushes or supports MHLs?
I give up -- who?
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Old 02-27-12, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
And you don't think the studies you've posted have a number of obvious problems?

Oh wait. I remember. Everything you post is right, and anything that contradicts what you post is wrong.

Any discussion is pointless.
Funny how that works. I actually do my research by reading through scores of original research studies, government reports, census data, etc. and posting links to some of it, but since a couple people don't like those links or can't be bothered to actually read and learn from primary sources, I get called a troll or told discussion is pointless

Discussion is pointless to you when someone actually uses facts and sources instead of pulling nonsense out of thin air. It's striking how you rarely respond with any evidence or analysis of the evidence presented, but rather throw up your hands and walk away, only to come back and repeat the process.

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Old 02-27-12, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
Wut?

#1 Please rephrase without triple negatives
#2 Please provide proof that someone that is not you has said whatever it is that your not claiming that they didn't not say.
Wow... Quadruple negative. That's impressive.

Point being: people think cycling is dangerous and that helmets will somehow help with that. The helmet companies do nothing to talk people out of this perception, quite the contrary, they are happy to take advantage of it. But I'm still waiting for any kind of a clear link that helmet companies are resposible for perception by the public regarding the "danger" of cycling, or that they misstate what a helmet can do to mitigate injury beyond what they are designed for.

The people responsible for such are probably the same kinds of people who think MHLs are a good idea, woefully underrepresented in this thread...
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Old 02-27-12, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
Just taking a casual peek at the reams of stuff that you post makes me wonder do you do anything beyond a google search for abstracts? The paper that you're citing there actually argues that because motorcycle helmets reduce head injuries, so to should bicycle helmets:
You're not connecting the dots, but that's the problem with a "casual peek." I was hoping people would see the comic irony when some anti-helmet people have latched onto a soundbite from Elvik's re-analysis of Attewell, without having read or understood it (or probably Attewell, either), and that soundbite is ultimately derived from sources that advocate for helmet laws.

Last edited by Six-Shooter; 02-27-12 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 02-27-12, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by RazrSkutr
And again we have a clear claim that bicycle helmets are useful for impacts with motor vehicles.
Had you taken the time to read, you would have noted that I italicized "minor knocks and bumps." I already posted links to numerous studies showing that they can protect against much more serious injuries.

But, hey, since you bring it up, this Cochrane Review finds that "Wearing a helmet dramatically reduces the risk of head and facial injuries for bicyclists involved in a crash, even if it involves a motor vehicle." https://www.thecochranelibrary.com/us...d/CD001855.pdf

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Old 02-27-12, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Six-Shooter
... Discussion is pointless to you when someone actually uses facts and sources instead of pulling nonsense out of thin air.
No. Discussion is useless when only one aspect of an argument is considered. You can't deny, there is legitimate opposing studies and arguments to your assertions.

It's striking how you rarely respond with any evidence or analysis of the evidence presented, but rather throw up your hands and walk away, only to come back and repeat the process.
It's been just about 8 years that I've been providing studies for this thread. I couldn't even count the amount of evidence I've linked here. I learned a long time ago that it's not worth the time to argue if one side will not even consider the issue in a reasonable light.

Go on as much as you like, but the helmet debate has been going on for decades now, and the vast majority of people of the world have chosen to go lidless. Not everyone, and not all the time, but it's a minority of cyclists in the world that insists on helmet use.

There is a silver lining to rants like yours. It provides incentive for someone who have some questions to go out and search the evidence for themselves and come to their own conclusions. I know that's what I did. After wearing a helmet for about 10 years, I finally looked into the research and found things weren't as they seemed or were presented. It took another 10 years of consultations and discussions, but I finally took my helmet off because I came to the conclusion the helmet provided little benefit and contributed to a distortion of perception to the reality of cycling.

Feel free to wear your helmet, they do provide some benefit, but as with most things, there is a negative side to them as well. It'd be naive to think there isn't, and it'd be folly to promote an incomplete picture of helmet use.
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Old 02-27-12, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by skye
Looks like the helmeteers just got another puncture in their little fantasy bubble. It's a ***** when science doesn't back up your myths.
This evaluation finds the helmet law has failed in aspects of promoting cycling, safety, health, accident compensation, environmental issues and civil liberties.
Who here is arguing for mandatory helmet laws?
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Old 02-27-12, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
Much harumphing without anything else to back it up.
Your link (eg, the "teenage brain" one) backs it up!
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Old 02-27-12, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
Who here is arguing for mandatory helmet laws?
I think the argument here is what happens when helmet use is adopted. Do the real life results match the case control studies?

And speaking from experience, what I've seen in this thread is what I saw 20 years ago. People started questioning the wisdom of cyclists without helmets and then getting involved in compelling them to do so.

I still have a couple of clippings from the paper when the issue of the possibility of a helmet law was in the air. The arguments are remarkably familiar.

One thing I think that has changed over the years is the exposure of the poor quality of some of the studies used for helmet promotion. Another is that after having some experience with both helmet use and helmet laws, there is far more opposition to such laws because of the negative aspects of helmet promotion and compulsion.

Last edited by closetbiker; 02-27-12 at 09:57 AM.
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