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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 05-27-05, 03:15 PM
  #251  
alanbikehouston
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Originally Posted by onbike 1939
Do we really have to have this re-cycled yet again with people who know better laying down the law and assuming that everyone else is stupid. Most of the arguments presented in this thread are simplistic in the extreme. Much better to respect the fact that alternative views do exist and with good reason, and to stop trying to nanny people.
Yup. Folks who are "anti-helmet" are entitled to their point of view. But, I hope they have purchased LOTS of health insurance and disability insurance. Because the "freedom" to not ride with a helmet should NOT become the "freedom" to have your medical bills paid by the taxpayers while you are laying in a hospital or long-term nursing home.

Please don't insult us by pretending that there is any factual, scientific, or logical basis for being anti-helmet. It's just macho B.S. from the same guys who can always explain why they should be "free" to use drugs, smoke, or drive home after a night of boozing. "I don't need no nanny, man...it's a free country, dude..."

I visited my grandmother after she had a stroke and was in a coma. There were eight or ten young guys who were in the coma treatment center. According to the doctor, each and every one of them was a young guy who had been riding a motorcycle or a bicycle without a helmet. Keeping those vegetables warm was costing the taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. Being "macho" is a fun game, up until that last instant of brain function (or disfunction).
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Old 05-27-05, 03:24 PM
  #252  
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OOOH....Safety Nazi alert!
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Old 05-27-05, 03:37 PM
  #253  
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Moved for obvious reasons. This is a safety issue. Thread also merged with proper helmet thread.

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Old 05-27-05, 05:02 PM
  #254  
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Originally Posted by randya
OOOH....Safety Nazi alert!
I love this. Rush Limbaugh invented this line about fourteen years ago. Anytime Rush is absolutely out of something intelligent to say (which is pretty much all of the time), Rush call folks on the other side of the issue "a Nazi" : Someone says that "Women ought not be raped or beated by Men". Rush will respond that "Well, the Femi-Nazi's are pushing their 'politically correct' b.s. again"

or

"Every Child has a right to medical care"...Rush will say "the health care Nazi's are pushing socialized medicine down our throats again"

or

"The children of African-American and Hispanic taxpayers ought to have to right to attend public universities"... Rush will respond that "the civil rights Nazi's are pushing the "politically correct" line that we must be forced to take THOSE people into our greatest universities...and remember folks, those big dopes and thugs will be sitting right next to your pretty little white daughter..."

It gets tiresome that whenever some guy has absolutely nothing rational, logical, or factual to say about an issue, they simply steal Rush's strategy and begin the "Nazi" and "politically correct" name-calling game.

The Snell Foundation has made the case for helmets saving lives and saving brains through many years and many millions of dollars of research. Calling the folks who are fighting to make cycling safer "Nazi's" is both astoundingly insulting and astoundingly ignorant.

Last edited by alanbikehouston; 05-27-05 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 05-27-05, 05:19 PM
  #255  
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
So, your resort to answering the Snell Foundation's many years and many millions of dollars of helmet research with the term "Nazi" certainly makes it clear: you don't have the slightest intelligent thought to add to this discussion.
Actually, I added my thoughts to this discussion long ago, with plenty of credibility. Then you chimed in on a brand new thread - titled, by the way, "Helmets a Must!", which in and of itself is nothing but troll bait - concerning this old, old topic with a bunch of high-level BS about how everybody MUST wear a helmet so society doesn't have to support a few head injury vegetables on the taxpayers nickel.

I suggest that before you respond again, you read and carefully study the previous 15 or 16 pages of this thread. Although you may find some posts that mirror your extremely narrow viewpoint, there's plenty of discussion on both sides of the issue that's WAY more intelligent and informed than the crap you posted. Let me refresh your memory as to what I was responding to:


Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Yup. Folks who are "anti-helmet" are entitled to their point of view. But, I hope they have purchased LOTS of health insurance and disability insurance. Because the "freedom" to not ride with a helmet should NOT become the "freedom" to have your medical bills paid by the taxpayers while you are laying in a hospital or long-term nursing home.

Please don't insult us by pretending that there is any factual, scientific, or logical basis for being anti-helmet. It's just macho B.S. from the same guys who can always explain why they should be "free" to use drugs, smoke, or drive home after a night of boozing. "I don't need no nanny, man...it's a free country, dude..."

I visited my grandmother after she had a stroke and was in a coma. There were eight or ten young guys who were in the coma treatment center. According to the doctor, each and every one of them was a young guy who had been riding a motorcycle or a bicycle without a helmet. Keeping those vegetables warm was costing the taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. Being "macho" is a fun game, up until that last instant of brain function (or disfunction)..
As for the vegetables, I say no point in wasting any more money on them, unplug them, they're done.

Last edited by randya; 05-27-05 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 05-28-05, 04:15 AM
  #256  
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Yup. Folks who are "anti-helmet" are entitled to their point of view. But, I hope they have purchased LOTS of health insurance and disability insurance. Because the "freedom" to not ride with a helmet should NOT become the "freedom" to have your medical bills paid by the taxpayers while you are laying in a hospital or long-term nursing home.

Please don't insult us by pretending that there is any factual, scientific, or logical basis for being anti-helmet. It's just macho B.S. from the same guys who can always explain why they should be "free" to use drugs, smoke, or drive home after a night of boozing. "I don't need no nanny, man...it's a free country, dude..."

I visited my grandmother after she had a stroke and was in a coma. There were eight or ten young guys who were in the coma treatment center. According to the doctor, each and every one of them was a young guy who had been riding a motorcycle or a bicycle without a helmet. Keeping those vegetables warm was costing the taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. Being "macho" is a fun game, up until that last instant of brain function (or disfunction).
The above perfectly illustrates my point. Many thanks.
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Old 05-28-05, 11:58 AM
  #257  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Please explain your reasons and evidence for your reasons why the above makes sense toyou because those points have all been made and have been easily refuted.
And your points have been just as easily refuted.

Round and round we go...
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Old 06-05-05, 11:58 AM
  #258  
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I haven't read all this thread but just to throw in my two cents:

I often don't wear a helmet when road riding because
1. I've had the experience a few times of bees getting under the helmet which resulted in a major distraction.
2. I find a cycling cap to be the perfect cycling headgear. Allowing for perfect and effortless placing of the visor just where it needs to be. Bees don't get caught under it either. Not being able to shade my eyes from the sun is a major drawback to a helmet for me.
3. The insulating characteristics of expanded polystyrene aren't what I need on my head on a hot day.
4. I'm very unlikely to crash, and, if I do, I'm very unlikely to hit my head.
5. When I was a kid and learning to ride, I learned on a bike that was way to big for me and crashed on the pavement at least several thousand times, no helmet, no head injuries. The old reflexes do a good job of protecting that head.

I always wear a helmet when I mtb because
1. I'm very likely to crash and every little bit helps
2. In the woods the sun is no big deal

My wife wears her helmet on all of her biking. She crashes more, at least every year or two even on the road bike (I've seen her take some spectacular headers). The sun and bugs don't seem to bother her.

My comment about this rubbish of the cost to society of caring for people injured by doing something someone else doesn't like. This is one of the most dangerous arguments against our freedoms that can be made and should never be given the light of day. Anyone that subscribes to this subscribes to a belief that everyone should be living to minimize their cost to society. To achieve this we'll need a panel (Nazi is an appropriate metaphor) to decide how everyone should live. Then we'll need a police force to enforce it. No free will, that could increase your burden on society! To truly minimize your cost to the rest of us all of your daily actions and decisions need to be decided for you. And we'll have to constantly monitor everyone to make sure they don't violate the law.

It truly concerns me that so many people on a bicycling forum are so easily swayed to giving up freedom "for the good of society" or "for their own good". Hitler once believed that the USA could be taken over without firing a shot. When I read some of these post I wonder if he was right and it's only taking longer.

Last edited by phinney; 06-05-05 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 06-05-05, 12:16 PM
  #259  
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Helmets are optional, I'll give you that. BUT if you have ever seen anybody go down hard, I mean REALLY hard, you would see their merits right away. Just take a look at some of the paleton crashes in the TDF or the Giro races in Italy.

I always have one on as do my wife and kids. No Exceptions !
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Old 06-05-05, 12:32 PM
  #260  
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LittleJoe,

But just a couple of years ago the pro's didn't wear helmets. For normal biking speeds the head just doesn't store up enough inertia to crush like a grape in most road crash scenarios. If they're bombing down an Alp and do a header into a stone wall there isn't a helmet on Earth that would save them.

That said, if I was racing and therefore were in a situation where the likelihood of a crash was more likely, I'd wear a helmet.
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Old 06-06-05, 04:25 AM
  #261  
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I wear a helmet because I have seen people that have survived taumatic head injury. Feeding tubes are less cool looking than helmets and really cramp one's style.

Many years ago I stopped wearing a helmet, mainly out of laziness and a desire to feel "free" on the bike. For some reason I started feeling I was being a bit careless. That week that I went back to wearing it I took the worst header I have ever taken. Most of the wrecks I have had I have been able to maneuver a bit as I went down to minimize injury. This header was so quick I didn't realize what had happened until I was flat on my back and felt my helmet bounce off the pavement 2 or 3 times. My initial landing was on my shoulder and head. I had deep bruising in my shoulder but my head was fine. Well as fine as it was before the accident.
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Old 06-06-05, 06:32 PM
  #262  
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I don't know who is from the US, but you guys down there (Im from Canada) don't even where helmets when riding a motorbike. I find that unbelievable...

My helmet has saved my life...

I was 10 yrs of age and I was on a busy street and a semi was in front of me and I wanted to cross the street from right to left...I didn't see and got hit by a van doing 50 km. Doesnt seem like much but my handlebar punched a hole in her hood, cracked my pelvis and broke my leg. I woke up 30 minutes later.

BTW: my helmet was cracked to shyt and I have it on ym wall
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Old 06-06-05, 06:36 PM
  #263  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
read post #216 and #224. If you're up to it read post #167 too.
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to get out of those posts. I take precautions when I do anything. We have non-slip stickers in the bottom of our shower. I wear a seatbelt always and drive a car with airbags. If I dive into a pool I make sure I know how deep it is where I am diving and I don't do it drunk (a whole lot of TBI cases are from people diving into the shallow end of pools or into in ground pools that were poorly designed). I don't run up and down stairs with my shoes untied. I make sure to avoid stepping on banana peels. I look both ways before I cross the street. I wear hearing protection when I go shooting, and eye protection too. If I have to run a chainsaw I try to borrow some of those chaps that bind the blade up, luckily I don't have to use a chainsaw often. When I use an axe I try to set up my work space so a missed swing will hit another log instead of my foot or leg. Almost lost a couple of fingers on a tablesaw several years ago because the safety shields had been removed (AND a more powerful motor had been installed), I still lack feeling in my bird flippin' finger.

Pointing out that most TBI cases are from average pedestrian falls doesn't mean anything. Most people can and do walk. Most of the falls people have while walking cause no injury, but because there are at least 5 billion walkers in the world there will be quite a few TBIs. There are not 5 billion cyclists, and of the cyclists in the world not everyone of them rides daily, but they do usually walk daily. Walking at 25 mph or more would be quite impressive too, though pretty easy on a bike. Pretty hard to do an headover while walking on level ground, but it does happen occasionally on a bike.

Basically I like my head in one piece, and find scalp lacerations to be a little too sobering for me. I could care less if anybody else wears a helmet. That should be their choice. The only reason we have mandatory seatbelt laws in this country is because the insurance companies convinced people it was making their rates higher. I am not in favor of mandatory seatbelt laws or helmet laws, but nobody rides in my car without wearing a belt. I will sit there as long as it takes them to buckle up. I don't want their dumb butts breaking my neck as they move rapidly from the back seat to the front windshield in case of an accident.

BTW I also wear cycling gloves because picking gravel out of my palms doesn't make my day.
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Old 06-07-05, 07:42 AM
  #264  
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I see what you are saying.

Nothing is foolproof. The only way to be 100% safe is to be locked away in a padded room. That is no life at all, and I don't mind taking risks. For years my dear old Mom begged me to stop riding, citing the danger. I told her I would rather die doing something I love than sitting in a chair in front of the TV.

My biggest complaint with bike helmets is that they don't offer protection to the truly delicate parts of the human head, the face and the base of the skull/top of the spinal column. I doubt I would wear a full face helmet though, no matter what, not in the hot months anyway.

Most of my bike accidents have not involved head impact. I usually catch myself and manage to roll, but not always. To me the helmet is most useful in case of impact with a car in which case the cyclist will rarely have a chance to manage the accident and the velocity at impact is liable to be much higher than most bicycle only accidents.

Perhaps I will go back and read this whole thread when I have time.
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Old 06-07-05, 02:25 PM
  #265  
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I always use a helmet after my brother nearly died last year in a crash. He wasn't wearing a helmet and was hospitalised for several weeks. His friend had an almost identical crash a week or two later and walked away unscathed, aparat from a broken helmet.

I use a mtb helmet with an adjustable visor all the time so the sun is not an issue for me.

It just seems a no brainer (see what I did there? ) not to use a helmet.
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Old 06-08-05, 07:56 AM
  #266  
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closetbiker,

The majority of car on bike collisions that I have witnessed or experienced have involved the car traveling at fairly low speeds, and in or near intersections. Most have been in or near intersections when the driver believed that bikes must yield to cars (it is amazing how many drivers believe that if you ask around). If you get hit at by a car that is traveling at any kind of normal road speed (45+ mph) you are going to be torn up pretty good no matter what. None of this means that helmets are not protective. You seem to just be focusing on the fact that they are not protective all the time. Nothing is effective all the time. Seatbelts protect people yet if you have an accident travelling at interstate speeds you are going to be hurting or dead, especially the belt is your only protection.

Years ago a friend of mine got into a fight at a party. He was drunk, the other guy was drunk too and was the aggressor. The aggressor took a swing and my friend hit him with a right cross. The other guy fell backwards and hit his head on the curb. He was dead within minutes. An ambulance could not have gotten there in time. One punch, one fall with the head travelling at whatever gravity will accelerate ones head at between ~6' and the ground. My friend had to live with the idea that he killed someone and was eventually sued by the other guys parents (both parties were 19 or 20 and graduated high school together). Luckily his criminal and civil cases were both thrown out because there were dozens of witnesses as to who started it and that force was not escalated. I didn't pay enough attention in physics class to be able to calculate the speed of the guys skull as it met the curb but I bet it was not nearly as fast as I was going when I took the header I described above.

Last edited by Alloy Addict; 06-08-05 at 08:01 AM. Reason: edited because I missed reading a post
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Old 06-08-05, 07:35 PM
  #267  
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Way to go keeping up the good fight, closetbiker! I don't have the energy to read this thread every day, much less post.

For everyone else: No one is saying that helmets don't help sometimes. They save lives on occasion. It is just that the risk involved with safe bicycling is so small that the precaution doesn't always make sense. Helmets would help in cars; all race car drivers wear them, why don't normal people wear helmets in cars? Swimming is a riskier activity than cycling; should we deride those who don't wear life jackets at their local pool? Do you wear steel-toed boots when you moe the lawn? Should people wear helmets when they get drunk at bars in case they fall off the bar stools? (I have a friend who was wearing a helmet at the bar for a gag, fell off the bar stool and broke her ankle) So please stop with the "I don't care if you wear a helmet, you're just helping natural selection" bit - you claim not to care, then insult.
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Old 06-09-05, 03:48 AM
  #268  
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If you people don't want to wear helmets- Don't. Why do you care if anyone else does? Does it change your life or affect you?

If you live somewhere that requires helmets then just do what you want to do and be prepared to get hassled. Civil disobediance baby!
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Old 06-10-05, 03:36 PM
  #269  
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Thanks for stating that you wear a helmet and your kids do too. I think I've seen far too many parents make their kids wear helmets when they themselves don't wear them. I think this sends a child a message "When I grow up, I won't have to wear a helmet." Thanks for setting a good example for your kids while saving your life at the same time.
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Old 06-18-05, 10:33 PM
  #270  
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oh man... i've just read through just about 400 posts. this is a big issue for me. i'm a professional biker. i waffle on the helmet issue, and i'm just going to keep my mouth shut where i fall and the decisions i've made and why. i'm willing to simply say i live in the gray area and i don't bag on anybody's choices.

but mostly i wanted to say two things: 1) reading over 400 posts, it all could have been said in about 100 because a lot of it was hammering the same points over and over, like a lot. i'm not dissing. not at all. i'm mostly half-amused and fully entertained at how zealous everybody was. i'm not being sarcastic or superior. i thought it was cool. 2) what if all of this energy and time and research had been directed toward public road safety and bike awareness campaigns? how much safer would we all be, helmet or not?

just a thought. happy riding.
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Old 06-19-05, 10:38 AM
  #271  
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Originally Posted by pacman76
what if all of this energy and time and research had been directed toward public road safety and bike awareness campaigns? how much safer would we all be, helmet or not?

just a thought.
Good post! I have also tried to impress upon people here on the forum the results that might be achieved if all the time and energy spent discussing and arguing amongst each other here was redirected towards education of others and advocacy in the real world.
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Old 06-25-05, 10:37 AM
  #272  
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oh well down here in singapore, drivers are rouges... you better watch yourself or no one will watch you.
basically, i feel helmets are very important on roads. one life, live it!
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Old 06-25-05, 02:12 PM
  #273  
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Somehow, I got a double post. 'Sorry about that. See below.

John

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Old 06-25-05, 02:13 PM
  #274  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
...After all, Dutch cyclists do not wear helmets and use their bikes far more often than Americans while Americans do wear helmets and guess who has the greatest fatality rate? By far? Per 100 million trips, the Dutch cyclists die at a rate of 1.6 when Americans die at a rate of 26.3. Maybe there is more to cycling safety than just pushing helmets in place of proper road use.
And maybe, just maybe, Dutch drivers are a bit more considerate, and the Dutch government has better-engineered the highways too. Maybe, drivers don't mix with cyclists at high speed.

Way, way back in this thread I showed Closetbiker the folly of some of his arguements concerning helmets. I showed him that the quoted source for his medical opinion, that dated back to the 1940s, was actually promoting helmet use by motorcyclists. If you do read back on this thread, you will see that helmets have value, and that Closetbikers arguments concerning not wearing them don't hold much water. It is apparent that learning has not taken place here, and that he has his own agenda.

While saying that, I do agree with Closetbiker that much more needs to be done to educate bicyclists on how to ride. But that's only half the equation. The other half has to do with educating drivers, and in this culture, with the massive advertising campaigns for "zoom zoom," that will not easily be accomplished. I do think the Dutch have good ideas, but part of that is the behavior of Dutch drivers.

John
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Old 06-25-05, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
While saying that, I do agree with Closetbiker that much more needs to be done to educate bicyclists on how to ride. But that's only half the equation. The other half has to do with educating drivers, and in this culture, with the massive advertising campaigns for "zoom zoom," that will not easily be accomplished. I do think the Dutch have good ideas, but part of that is the behavior of Dutch drivers.
Exactly half of the equation? About half? Or what?

In other words, let's say we could make all motorists perfect drivers. By what degree would car-bike collisions decrease?

Now consider the other "half" of your equation. What if we could make cyclists perfect? By what degree would car-bike collisions decrease?

To answer these questions we have to look at the role that imperfect motorist driving plays in car-bike collisions, and the role that imperfect cycling plays. You might think they're about the same, but, in fact, in more than half of car-bike collisions the cyclist did something blatantly wrong (ride on the wrong side of the street, run a red light, ride at night without lights/reflectors, etc.). These types of collisions would still occur, even if the motorist was perfect.

Only in a very small percentage of car-bike collisions did the motorist do something blatantly wrong.

The other thing we have to look at is reality: what are the odds we could actually improve driving behavior significantly, versus the odds of improving cycling behavior significantly? In particular, where do we have a better chance of making big improvements? Consider that our biggest problem with drivers are mistakes caused by DUI, or being too tired. What dent could the teeny cycling community put into this issue compared to the efforts already being made? Anything significant? Do you have a software background? Do you know what Big O analysis is? Or the 80/20 rule (you can solve 80% of the problem with 20% of the effort; the remaining 20% takes another 4x effort).

Finally, keeping that in mind, consider that in the car-bike collisions where the motorist is at least partially at fault, according to defensive driving principles, a perfect cyclist could have avoided the collision anyway.

The equation is not 50/50. Almost all of the fruit is low hanging, and all the low hanging fruit has to do with changing cyclist behavior. We've come a long way with getting helmets to be acceptable. There is much more to do. But focusing on stuff like trying to affect (much less improve) motorist behavior, and building bike lanes, is diversionary, and gets us no where in terms of truly increasing cyclist safety.

Did you see the thread about the latest protest in NYC? Like the solution is "safe routes". Puhlease! When is cycling advocacy going to figure out that we need to focus totally on cyclist behavior. Most cyclists don't even realize that they can avoid almost all car-bike collisions by altering their own behavior. Let's at least get that information out there instead of wasting our time on pointless matters.

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