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

Helmets cramp my style

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.

Helmets cramp my style

Old 12-09-07, 08:56 PM
  #2501  
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
Paternalism. That's a good one. I'll have to remember it.

Lots of people use the nanny-law/ism thing and I think it's the same. Over bearing, unnessasary, nit-picking. Over-reaction to minor problems with insignificant help. Worry warts who don't keep things in perspective and make things worse by emphasizing the wrong things and missing the important ones leaving a worse situation than what it was before they began.

The thread starts by someone picking out women, who ride safer, are injured less, and end up dropping cycling altogether more often when helmets are made to be worn. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. The safest riders get out of it first over something that wouldn't bat an eye if a bicycle wasn't involved.

Last edited by closetbiker; 12-10-07 at 12:08 AM.
closetbiker is offline  
Old 12-09-07, 09:06 PM
  #2502  
LWaB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Auld Blighty
Posts: 2,240

Bikes: Early Cannondale tandem, '99 S&S Frezoni Audax, '65 Moulton Stowaway, '52 Claud Butler, TSR30, Brompton

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
<SNIP> would you then recommend that we play tackle football without helmets?
Rugby Union and Rugby League players do. I don't think the injury rates are significantly different than for gridiron (although I don't have any recent figures to hand). Does heavy padding and helmets mean that risk compensation kicks in hard?
LWaB is offline  
Old 12-09-07, 09:42 PM
  #2503  
qw1a
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I tend to wear a helmet for serious riding, except if I am climbing and chances of a high-speed crash are low. I have had crashes where helmet saved me some skin or even brain tissue.
At the same time, I do not feel I have to wear a helmet if I am going to the bakery. I think making helmets mandatory was one of the dumbest things that was done for cycling.
qw1a is offline  
Old 12-10-07, 03:17 PM
  #2504  
John C. Ratliff
Senior Member
 
John C. Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 1,914

Bikes: Rans Stratus, Trek 1420, Rivendell Rambouillet

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
Rugby Union and Rugby League players do. I don't think the injury rates are significantly different than for gridiron (although I don't have any recent figures to hand). Does heavy padding and helmets mean that risk compensation kicks in hard?
Apparently rugby players have an injury rate that is about 3 times higher than football. They also have head injuries reported as the second-highest injury.

https://www.physioroom.com/sports/rug...injuries_3.php

https://wesclark.com/rrr/injuries.html

https://www.rugbycoach.com/injuries/concussion.htm

https://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/co...ct/dyh346v1?ct

In Japan, wearing a helmet while playing rugby is mandatory, but has not been found to be effective against concussion. It does prevent superficial injuries though. This helmet is much different in design from a bicycle helmet too.

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 12-10-07 at 03:37 PM. Reason: Add URL and text
John C. Ratliff is offline  
Old 12-10-07, 06:42 PM
  #2505  
trombone
&lt;user defined text&gt;
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 417

Bikes: 80's peugeot. Somewhat knackered. Lovely new Salsa Casseroll singlespeed.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Apparently rugby players have an injury rate that is about 3 times higher than football.
Interesting (although off-topic!). Do you have a citation for the above statement? I didn't see anything relating to it in the articles you linked.

Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
When on two wheels, falls can easily happen.
I'm not sure I 100% agree with this (toegther with the surrounding text). I suppose I fell off a bike a few times as a kid - but then I fell down whilst running and climbing as a kid far more often. And I've slipped and fallen far more often when bushwalking than when riding (for probably not dissimilar exposure levels in terms of hours). I actually have never seen an adult fall off a bike, except when involved in a collision (and I've only seen a very small number of those). I've seen quite a few pedestrians take a tumble though. I don't see that falling off a bike happens that easily, compared to other sorts of falls.

This recent post form the commuter area is interesting in this context:

Originally Posted by StokerPoker View Post
My ride to the store last night was great. there was a coating of ice on everything and I barely stayed on my feet walking to the garage. Got on the bike and felt much safer. Those Innova studded tired did their job fairly well. if I put too much force on the pedals in too high of a gear I could get the rear tire to spin a bit but the only other time I slid in a 3 mile ride was taking one corner a little fast and I caught a crack in the pavement.
Seems that in icy weather you might be less likely to fall on a bike...!

Last edited by trombone; 12-10-07 at 06:59 PM.
trombone is offline  
Old 12-12-07, 01:07 AM
  #2506  
John C. Ratliff
Senior Member
 
John C. Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 1,914

Bikes: Rans Stratus, Trek 1420, Rivendell Rambouillet

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by trombone View Post
Interesting (although off-topic!). Do you have a citation for the above statement? I didn't see anything relating to it in the articles you linked.
I don't have time to look it up right now, but it was in the search I did on Google.

Originally Posted by trombone View Post
I'm not sure I 100% agree with this (toegther with the surrounding text). I suppose I fell off a bike a few times as a kid - but then I fell down whilst running and climbing as a kid far more often. And I've slipped and fallen far more often when bushwalking than when riding (for probably not dissimilar exposure levels in terms of hours). I actually have never seen an adult fall off a bike, except when involved in a collision (and I've only seen a very small number of those). I've seen quite a few pedestrians take a tumble though. I don't see that falling off a bike happens that easily, compared to other sorts of falls...

...Seems that in icy weather you might be less likely to fall on a bike...!
Well, the thing is that it is a balancing act. A bicycle must be actively balanced. I do know that my recumbant is more stable, and easier to ride, on slippery wood surfaces than it is to walk those same surfaces. So what you say may have some validity (especially if you are using studded tires on the bike)

John
John C. Ratliff is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 02:26 PM
  #2507  
WaltPoutine
GNU Cyclist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: La Belle Province
Posts: 185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It s a problem comparing rugby versus US football. The games are played very differently. I would have thought that US football injuries would be higher because of the tendency to go for direct collision as opposed to a tackle to the legs. So, if rugby union injuries are higher than US football it's quite surprising. I suspect that injury reporting in different cultures would conflate many of the affects.

Apart from that the use of helmets in US football is controversial as it seems to have encouraged a style of play which results in high levels of mTBI and more serious injuries.

For years coaches have thought that the best way to deal with the violence of football is through high-tech equipment. The helmets, facemasks, shoulder pads, rib pads, hip pads and thigh pads that players routinely wear are, like military hardware, continually updated. They support a lucrative sports-industrial complex.

The improved equipment has not, however, prevented catastrophic head injuries from regularly occurring, especially at the professional level, where the size and speed of the players are exponentially greater than at the high school or college level.

Last January, Andre Waters, a former defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals, committed suicide at the age of 44. The forensic pathologist who investigated Waters's death claimed that his brain tissue resembled that of an 80-year-old man.
-- https://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/...l_complex.html


All of this is moot beside the central point of the thread: there is no good evidence that bicycle helmets provide a net benefit either to individuals or to populations. The thread starts with an insulting, inaccurate (and possibly sexist) assault on the choice of the majority of us not to wear helmets: whose business is that? It has now wandered on for over one hundred forum pages with not a single convincing reason to make it anyone else's business to either pronounce judgement on someone else for wearing (or not wearing a helmet) and multiple ignorant insults cast by helmet wearers at non-helmet wearers.

Put a sock in it please. Right now the only data that's available from large scale experiments in forcing cyclists to wear helmets shows that head injury rates are not improved. Thanks.
WaltPoutine is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 02:35 PM
  #2508  
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 WaltPoutine View Post
... It has now wandered on for over one hundred forum pages with not a single convincing reason to make it anyone else's business to either pronounce judgement on someone else for wearing (or not wearing a helmet) and multiple ignorant insults cast by helmet wearers at non-helmet wearers...
Hear hear!

For a number of years I've looked for good arguments to wear helmets for specifically, cycling over other activities and come up with zero.

There's nothing wrong with wearing them, but just don't be judging others who choose not to.

Last edited by closetbiker; 12-14-07 at 06:38 PM.
closetbiker is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 06:36 PM
  #2509  
John C. Ratliff
Senior Member
 
John C. Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 1,914

Bikes: Rans Stratus, Trek 1420, Rivendell Rambouillet

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by WaltPoutine View Post
...Put a sock in it please. Right now the only data that's available from large scale experiments in forcing cyclists to wear helmets shows that head injury rates are not improved. Thanks.
That's only because you are not looking for the data. Try this:
1: J Trauma Nurs. 2007 Apr-Jun;14(2):84-7. Links
The effect of bicycle helmet legislation on pediatric injury.Pardi LA, King BP, Salemi G, Salvator AE.
Akron Children's Hospital, Ohio 44308-1062, USA. lpardi@chmca.org

BACKGROUND: Research supports the use of a correctly fitted bicycle helmet to reduce the risk of bicycle-related head injury. Although parents believe bicycle helmets work, a large percentage of children do not wear helmets while riding.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to track pediatric bicycle-related injuries presenting to a pediatric trauma center 1 year before and 5 years after 2001 bicycle helmet legislation aimed to protect children 0 to 16 years.

METHODS: Prospective data collection of pedal cycle injury e-code 826.1 from hospital discharge data set from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2005. Bicycle-related injuries among children 0 to 16 years were grouped by injury type (head, extremity, and other), age, and gender.

RESULTS: For years reviewed (2000-2005), bicycle-related injuries were highest in the period May through August. Bicycle-related injury rates per 100,000 for this population were 1,452 a year before legislation. The injury rate decreased 27% (1,054/100,000) one year later. Overall, bicycle-related injury per 100,000 continues to be down by 24%. Data show that extremity injury is greater than head and other injury categories in both male (24% greater) and female (27% greater) children 0 to 16 years one year before legislation. Data show extremity injury rates per 100,000 is greater than head and other injury categories in both male (24% greater) and female (38% greater) categories 5 years later. Bicycle-related injury rates per 100,000 in boys were greater than girls for all years reported. Male extremity injury was 45% higher for 10- to 16-year-old boys than for 5- to 9-year-old boys a year before legislation and continued to rise to 58% in 2005. Male head injury rates per 100,000 were higher in 5- to 9-year-old boys (598/100,000) than in 10- to 16- year-old boys (354/100,000) one year before legislation. In 2005, the bicycle-related head injury rates per 100,000 dropped to 485 for 5- to 9-year-old vs 223 for the 10- to 16-year-old boys. Female extremity injury rate per 100,000 for 5- to 9-year-old girls in 2000 was 367, exceeding the 10- to 16-year category rate of 213 per 100,000. In 2005, female extremity injury per 100,000 was 299 for the 5- to 9-year-old girls and rose 16% to 250 for 10- to 16-year-old girls. Head injury rates per 100,000 for 5- to 9-year-old girls in 2000 were 325, ending with a rate of 254 per 100,000 in 2005. Head injury rates per 100,000 for 10- to 16-year-old girls in 2000 were 93, ending in 2005 with a rate of 91 per 100,000.

CONCLUSION: The greatest reduction in injury occurred 1 year after legislation, suggesting that promoting bicycle helmet use in the community is effective in reducing injury. The overall rate of bicycle-related injury in the population studied continues to be down 24%, suggesting bicycle helmet legislation for children is an effective adjunct in reducing injury. Extremity injury rates were greater than head injury in both male and female populations, suggesting that future bicycle safety initiatives address extremity injury. Female head injury rates in the 10- to 16-year-old population changed very little from baseline and would benefit from further investigation of female riding habits and perceived barriers to bicycle helmet use.

PMID: 17579327 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Related LinksInfluence of socioeconomic status on the effectiveness of bicycle helmet legislation for children: a prospective observational study. [Pediatrics. 2003]Impact of bicycle helmet safety legislation on children admitted to a regional pediatric trauma center. [J Pediatr Surg. 1998]Impact of mandatory helmet legislation on bicycle-related head injuries in children: a population-based study. [Pediatrics. 2002]Barriers to bicycle helmet use. [Pediatrics. 2001]How bicycle-related injuries change bicycling practices in children. [Am J Dis Child. 1990] See all Related Articles...
(emphasis added, jcr)
John
John C. Ratliff is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 06:53 PM
  #2510  
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
I should mention that a convincing reason to wear a helmet means different things to different people.

Superficial protection can be attained and that may be reason enough for some people (although why superficial protection from falling down while walking is spurned by wearing helmets when it's not from falling while cycling, I'll never know).

A child falling at a low speed is different than an adult being hit while riding at high speed. We know what tolerance limit a helmet is made to withstand and what it is not made to withstand. I always found the argument that an adult needs to show a child that wearing a helmet shows the child that a helmet is not just for children was a little ridiculous because of course, they are made for children, or at least, more for the typical fall a child is likely to have vs. the typical fall an adult is likely to encounter while riding in traffic.

Some advocates seem to equate different scenarios with the same results. A tumble from 3 feet is not the same as colliding at high speed with an automobile.

Some people also don't mind a bump or a bruise. Look at football, rugby, or hockey players. It's part of the game to be bumped about. Some sportsmen fall more often than others. It's not right to equate everyone to the same risks with the same protection for all kinds of scenarios.

Some might call such thinking (that everybody should be wearing a helmet) nannyism. Where others impose their over-protectiveness on others.

Last edited by closetbiker; 12-14-07 at 10:26 PM.
closetbiker is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 08:05 PM
  #2511  
Steveredsun
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 47

Bikes: 2003 specialized rockhopper, 2007 Trek SL 1000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've been saved by a helmet at least 2 times in my life. The first I was downhill skiing ridiculously fast on a groomed, hard run and my edge caught and my head bashed the snow real hard. I had only a minor concussion but I can only imagine what would have happened without the helmet at all.. eek...

Second time I was mountain biking a few years ago and got distracted and somehow hit a curb and I flipped over my handle bars and landed head first. Nothing serious I just got back up and kept riding, but embarrassed because there was people around.

Which is why I ALWAYS wear my helmet now.
Steveredsun is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 08:30 PM
  #2512  
John C. Ratliff
Senior Member
 
John C. Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 1,914

Bikes: Rans Stratus, Trek 1420, Rivendell Rambouillet

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
I should mention that a convincing reason to wear a helmet means different things to different people.

Superficial protection can be attained and that may be reason enough for some people
Closetbiker,

Would you like your head in the position that this helmeted head of a school boy was in?






Oh, that's right, you're too good a bicyclist to ever be caught in this position. Now, why is it that you cannot at least concede that in some circumstances, a helmet can be a lifesaver?

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 12-14-07 at 08:34 PM. Reason: add a sentence
John C. Ratliff is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 08:34 PM
  #2513  
trombone
&lt;user defined text&gt;
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 417

Bikes: 80's peugeot. Somewhat knackered. Lovely new Salsa Casseroll singlespeed.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
That's only because you are not looking for the data. Try this:

1: J Trauma Nurs. 2007 Apr-Jun;14(2):84-7. Links
The effect of bicycle helmet legislation on pediatric injury.Pardi LA, King BP, Salemi G, Salvator AE.
Akron Children's Hospital, Ohio 44308-1062, USA. lpardi@chmca.org
I think I've said this before, but I'm highly sceptical that a study that looks solely at hospital admission statistics can usefully say a great deal to inform the debate on mandatory helmet wearing.

Such a study would, as a bare minimum, have to be controlled for exposure levels (i.e. include measurement of the number of cyclists / cycling hours pre and post legislation). The study you reference does not appear to do this, so there is no way to determine if the effect is due to the efficacy of helmets or an overall reduction in cyclist numbers. Very sloppy research, IMHO, especially as where this has been done it has been shown that the number of accidents reduces less, proportionally, than the reduction in cyclists - indicating that mandatory cycling legislation might actually make cycling more dangerous.

As I've also said before, this is a different question as to whether helmets are in an individuals best interest. The problem is with using hospital data sets derived from pre and post helmet legislation to try and answer the individual question, because any individual effects are swamped by the reduction in cyclist numbers. Even where the data sets are not pre / post legislation, there are still problems with hospital data as it is also generally not controlled for exposure (seeing that helmeted cyclists represent fewer head injuries in hospital admissions actually doesn't help much provided you can also show that in other respects - cyclists numbers, hours ridden, riding style, geography etc - there is no significant difference between helmeted and unhelmeted cyclists.)

It might sound like I'm dodging the issue, and trying to avoid a conclusion I don't like. But I'm not; I would dearly love to see some high-quality research in this area; goodness knows we need it.

Getting good data sets is very hard for this type of research, which is why so much research uses incomplete or unsatisfactory data. This isn't a problem in itself; the problem arises when the authors of the study ignore the problems inherent with the data when drawing conclusions.

For what it's worth, my own conclusions from the studies I have read are that for the individual, wearing a helmet is probably worthwhile (although the data is far from unequivocal), whilst mandatory helmet legislation is counter-productive (the data is more certain on this point, but there's still some room for debate as the data is not 100% robust).

I also conclude, however, that a cyclist riding on the road is really taking no greater risk than a pedestrian, and overall is likely to like longer and healthier than someone who doesn't exercise. So I salute all cyclists, helmeted or not. And I'd hesitate to recommend either wearing or not wearing a helmet. I think it falls into the 'whatever you feel comfortable in, just don't let it worry you enough to stop cycling' category.
trombone is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 09:05 PM
  #2514  
John C. Ratliff
Senior Member
 
John C. Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 1,914

Bikes: Rans Stratus, Trek 1420, Rivendell Rambouillet

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Trombone,

I agree with most of your last statement, for adults, but it seems that you are doing some "data mining" yourself. Several of you are simply criticizing the studies that you don't agree with, and using anything that agrees with your preconceived ideas to better your position. I have a question, do you think that in the Roseburg accident I posted above, the helmet saved this boy's life?

John
John C. Ratliff is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 10:11 PM
  #2515  
WaltPoutine
GNU Cyclist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: La Belle Province
Posts: 185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Absolutely useless study

John, that study makes absolutely no mention of the numbers of people cycling. Given that there's plenty of other evidence to show that compulsory helmet laws decrease the absolute numbers of cyclists then it should not be surprising that there are fewer bicycle-related head injuries. It's pretty shocking that you would cite something like that after having posted so voluminously throughout this thread. Are all the other studies you cite as irrelevant? Again, please take a large, woolly sock (hopefully unwashed since the last Paris-Brest-Paris) and mumble on it. Thanks.
WaltPoutine is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 10:17 PM
  #2516  
WaltPoutine
GNU Cyclist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: La Belle Province
Posts: 185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good god!

John, the piece you posted explicitly says that the boy was trapped under the wheel BY HIS HELMET and they had to cut the strap of it to get him out! How on earth does that mean that he was "saved by his helmet?!" Are you so simple minded that you relying on the expert testimony of the police officer who says it saved his life?

Really, for someone that's spent so long pronouncing himself an expert on occupational safety or whatever it is I have to wonder what use your qualifications are. They certainly don't seem to have made you a critical thinker.
WaltPoutine is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 10:34 PM
  #2517  
WaltPoutine
GNU Cyclist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: La Belle Province
Posts: 185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's even worse

If you even look at the data presented in the abstract then the same naive methods of interpretation show that bicycle helmet legislation caused an increase in extremity injuries for 10 to 15 year old girls:
2000: 213 per 100,000
2005: 250 per 100,000

Hmmmm. Maybe you have to do something a bit smarter than just looking at the numbers of people admitted to hospital with a particular injury before and after a piece of legislation is enacted...... I wonder were fly-fishing injuries up or down?

I love the sinister conclusion which indicates that we may be seeing compulsory foam body suits: "Extremity injury rates were greater than head injury in both male and female populations, suggesting that future bicycle safety initiatives address extremity injury."
WaltPoutine is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 10:40 PM
  #2518  
Six jours
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 6,401
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
John, the piece you posted explicitly says that the boy was trapped under the wheel BY HIS HELMET and they had to cut the strap of it to get him out! How on earth does that mean that he was "saved by his helmet?!" Are you so simple minded that you relying on the expert testimony of the police officer who says it saved his life?

Really, for someone that's spent so long pronouncing himself an expert on occupational safety or whatever it is I have to wonder what use your qualifications are. They certainly don't seem to have made you a critical thinker.
I don't think that's entirely fair to John. I don't doubt that the boy's life was saved by the helmet, nor do I doubt that helmets can save lives. I simply doubt that helmets save nearly as many lives as their proponents would have us believe, and I argue that helmets statistically make a relatively small impact on the safety of the experienced adult cyclist -- an impact small enough to make the "Anyone who doesn't wear a helmet is an idiot" argument seem foolish and petty.
Six jours is offline  
Old 12-14-07, 11:44 PM
  #2519  
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 Six jours View Post
I don't think that's entirely fair to John. I don't doubt that the boy's life was saved by the helmet, nor do I doubt that helmets can save lives. I simply doubt that helmets save nearly as many lives as their proponents would have us believe, and I argue that helmets statistically make a relatively small impact on the safety of the experienced adult cyclist -- an impact small enough to make the "Anyone who doesn't wear a helmet is an idiot" argument seem foolish and petty.
Well, what I know is that our death rate to cyclists in the last 20 years hasn't changed much despite going from an almost negligible wearing rate of helmets to over 70% compliance with our law that was passed over 10 years ago.

Every year people do lose their lives while cycling. Anybody can say their life was saved by their helmet but it certainly seems as if wearing a helmet doesn't make any difference at all in how often this happens (from 5 deaths in '86, 7 deaths in '05). The only difference I have seen is that now, cycists are dying with helmets on

(like this poor unfortunate cyclist who died this past summer wearing his helmet)



Last edited by closetbiker; 12-15-07 at 12:36 AM.
closetbiker is offline  
Old 12-15-07, 01:55 AM
  #2520  
John C. Ratliff
Senior Member
 
John C. Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 1,914

Bikes: Rans Stratus, Trek 1420, Rivendell Rambouillet

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
Well, what I know is that our death rate to cyclists in the last 20 years hasn't changed much despite going from an almost negligible wearing rate of helmets to over 70% compliance with our law that was passed over 10 years ago.

Every year people do lose their lives while cycling. Anybody can say their life was saved by their helmet but it certainly seems as if wearing a helmet doesn't make any difference at all in how often this happens (from 5 deaths in '86, 7 deaths in '05). The only difference I have seen is that now, cycists are dying with helmets on

(like this poor unfortunate cyclist who died this past summer wearing his helmet)


Does it occur to you guys that perhaps the reason people don't take up cycling is not the perception of danger, but the actual, real fact that cyclists are being killed by autos. No, a helmet won't help if you get hit full-bore by a 2000 pound auto at 50+ mph. But it will help if you get side-swiped by an auto, and hit the ground (a few feet makes a difference). But, we need some real action to make drivers aware that they are responsible for everyone's safety.

Now, there is a new hazard that happened in Portland last week. A motorist came up beside a cyclist, and pushed her off her bike, then grabbed her purse. I believe that the cyclist was captured by others (I'll have to look further--I was studying at the time).

Closetbiker, you have not answered my question about the Roseburg boy and the helmet. Would you rather have had his head pinned by the tire, or his helmet?

John
John C. Ratliff is offline  
Old 12-15-07, 02:04 AM
  #2521  
John C. Ratliff
Senior Member
 
John C. Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 1,914

Bikes: Rans Stratus, Trek 1420, Rivendell Rambouillet

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by WaltPoutine View Post
John, the piece you posted explicitly says that the boy was trapped under the wheel BY HIS HELMET and they had to cut the strap of it to get him out! How on earth does that mean that he was "saved by his helmet?!" Are you so simple minded that you relying on the expert testimony of the police officer who says it saved his life?

Really, for someone that's spent so long pronouncing himself an expert on occupational safety or whatever it is I have to wonder what use your qualifications are. They certainly don't seem to have made you a critical thinker.
Would you rather it be his head that was trapped under the tire?

John
John C. Ratliff is offline  
Old 12-15-07, 02:12 AM
  #2522  
John C. Ratliff
Senior Member
 
John C. Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 1,914

Bikes: Rans Stratus, Trek 1420, Rivendell Rambouillet

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by WaltPoutine View Post
John, that study makes absolutely no mention of the numbers of people cycling. Given that there's plenty of other evidence to show that compulsory helmet laws decrease the absolute numbers of cyclists then it should not be surprising that there are fewer bicycle-related head injuries. It's pretty shocking that you would cite something like that after having posted so voluminously throughout this thread. Are all the other studies you cite as irrelevant? Again, please take a large, woolly sock (hopefully unwashed since the last Paris-Brest-Paris) and mumble on it. Thanks.
You are making an assumption that the helmet laws themselves caused the decrease in the bicyclists. What other confounding factors could there possibly be? Perhaps the reporting of accidents by local radio and TV networks led to the perception of increased hazard, or perhaps it was the personal experiences that made parents realize that their kids could be hurt, and killed, on bicycles. In short, you are using a simplistic "cause-effect" direct relationship when there are confounding factors you have not considered that give a reasonable answer to the question of reduced ridership.

It's like the situation of coffee drinking causing pancreatic cancer. If you look at coffee drinkers, there is an association between coffee drinking and pancreatic cancer. But if you look closer, you will see that coffee drinkers are also highly represented by smokers. Smoking is a known cause of pancreatic cancer. So smoking was a confounding factor which led to the false conclusion that coffee drinkers face an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

In a similar way, you are assuming that helmet laws decrease ridership for bicyclists. But at the same time, traffic has become worse, road rage is a weekly affair (we had people shot on Highway 26 this week), and you figure that it is helmet laws that are keeping people off bikes. You may want to re-think that premise.

John
John C. Ratliff is offline  
Old 12-15-07, 05:55 AM
  #2523  
LWaB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Auld Blighty
Posts: 2,240

Bikes: Early Cannondale tandem, '99 S&S Frezoni Audax, '65 Moulton Stowaway, '52 Claud Butler, TSR30, Brompton

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
You are making an assumption that the helmet laws themselves caused the decrease in the bicyclists.
<SNIP>
In a similar way, you are assuming that helmet laws decrease ridership for bicyclists.
That is exactly what happened in Australia and it happened over a very short period of time. This behaviour is confirmed by traffic counts before and after the implementation of the law. All of those other factors, while possible and perhaps even likely to influence cycling, would not give such a sudden and dramatic fall in the numbers of riders nationwide.

Many posts ago I asked a question along the lines of 'are helmets, which may be effective individually, counter-productive if the overall population becomes unhealthier and dies sooner?'
LWaB is offline  
Old 12-15-07, 07:56 AM
  #2524  
WaltPoutine
GNU Cyclist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: La Belle Province
Posts: 185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cyclists are NOT killed at high rates

Does it occur to you guys that perhaps the reason people don't take up cycling is not the perception of danger, but the actual, real fact that cyclists are being killed by autos.
It would appear that you have spent too much time posting and not enough reading what others have posted: cyclists are not killed at appreciatively higher rates than pedestrians. So ... why aren't people giving up walking at the same rates that they give up cycling? Is it possibly because pedestrians are not beset by false friends like yourself, that they don't have some self-proclaimed expert spouting inconclusive and highly questionable studies in support of helmet wearing for pedestrians?

Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the reason that people don't take up cycling is because of the hysterics that over emphasize the dangers of this safe, fun and easy means of transport?
WaltPoutine is offline  
Old 12-15-07, 08:03 AM
  #2525  
WaltPoutine
GNU Cyclist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: La Belle Province
Posts: 185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mumble mumble

What other confounding factors could there possibly be?
Look, all the data presented in this long and fruitless thread is "beset by confounding factors". That's the problem. I'll say it again one more time for the hard of thinking: THERE IS NO GOOD EVIDENCE TO WARRANT ANYONE MAKING A JUDGEMENT ABOUT HELMETS.

If you had made a sincere effort to review and understand the literature you would realize that there is a dearth of solid information on either the individual aetiology of head injuries to bicycle helmet wearers or meaningful statistical comparisons between helmet-wearing and non-helmet-wearing populations. You have posted bucketloads of spurious research based on apparently a quick skimming of the abstracts of studies which all fall into similar problems as egregious as the particular one under discussion. Really, you are making a lot of noise in defence of a proposition which is based on interference with other people's reasoned, careful choices: it's intolerable. You really exemplify an intolerant, know-all spirit. On the positive side I've gained an even greater appreciation for libertarians and their default skeptical reaction to anyone that wants to legislate people's behavior.
WaltPoutine 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.