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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 07-14-08, 04:49 PM
  #3501  
meanwhile
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Originally Posted by twiggy_D View Post
Meanwhile,

I think you'll find even the 6 helmet is making a killing, moreso by it's mass selling potential.
It's as bad as the beer and beans issue.
You can go into certain supermarkets and buy an own brand pack of beer, which is exactly the same as a certain named brand which costs many times more. Made in the same place, just shoved into differently branded cans.
Same story with beans.
At least we don't have to worry about added sugar with helmets... as far as I'm aware.

Btw, be careful talking about tinned beans with Americans: they think they're supposed to come with little lumps of pork fat floating in the tin. Yuck!

The amount of money that Bell and their retailers are making on 50 and 100 helmets is fascinating to contemplate. Especially if you have a strong greed gland, as I have.
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Old 07-14-08, 05:15 PM
  #3502  
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
...The amount of money that Bell and their retailers are making on 50 and 100 helmets is fascinating to contemplate. Especially if you have a strong greed gland, as I have.
I posted this on this thread over a year ago...

In Freakonomics, leading economist Steven Levitt writes

Armed with information, experts can exert a gigantic, if unspoken, leverage; fear...

No one is more susceptible to an experts fear mongering than a parent. Fear is a major component of the act of parenting. A lot of parents spend their energy simply being scared. The problem is that they are often scared of the wrong things. The facts they do manage to glean have usually been varnished or taken out of context to serve an agenda that isn’t the parents.

Most innovations in the field of child safety are affiliated with - shock of shocks - a new product to be marketed.These products are often a response to some growing scare in which the outrage outweighs the hazard.
in The Culture of Fear, Barry Glasner writes,

The short answer to why Americans harbor so many misbegotten fears is that immense power and money await those who tap into our moral insecurities and supply us with symbolic substitutes. The success of a scare depends not only on how well it is expressed but also, as I have tried to suggest, on how well it expresses deeper cultural anxieties.
...Bell provides a substitute solution, at a substantial profit, in place of a real solution that is much more difficult to deal with.

this page

https://www.helmets.org/helmcost.htm

gives an educated guess with an explanation on how much that helmet costs to make.

$5

there's gold in them thar hills (of EPS), and it's no surprise that helmet companies back helmet-law lobby groups
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Old 07-14-08, 05:22 PM
  #3503  
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From closet's link:

If you want to produce Lance Armstrong's helmet, you add lots more in design costs, testing, manufacturing costs, advertising, promotional costs (supporting Lance and the team), and all the premium extras that make it worth paying a hundred bucks more for equal or perhaps even less impact protection.
I'm sure, however, that most people who do spend more on a helmet think that they're getting better protection. It's a "It stands to reason" thing - why else would anyone pay $100 or $200 for a helmet?

Traditionally, of course, the helmet makers would make sure that the cheap helmets looked absolutely awful. There was probably no engineering reason for this, it was just a way of trying to get people to spend more money. We seem to be out of that phase anyway.
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Old 07-14-08, 06:32 PM
  #3504  
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
Btw, be careful talking about tinned beans with Americans: they think they're supposed to come with little lumps of pork fat floating in the tin. Yuck!
*shudders*
I'll keep that in mind if I'm ever in the USonA

I actually doubt that cheaper than cheap helmets production/overhead costs amount to $5 per unit.
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Old 07-14-08, 08:14 PM
  #3505  
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Meanwhile,

So, how do you explain this statement in the paper that was quoted:
The number of serious head injuries among cyclists of all ages has fallen as a result of increasing helmet use, despite doubts about the effectiveness of helmets, report researchers from Imperial College in this week's BMJ (1).
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/P2250.htm
Now, if a helmet is not beneficial in a crash between an auto and a bike, and only good for the 12 mph crashes (basically, someone falling down from height), how do you explain the survival of people in those crashes where helmets have been documented to help? Or do you simply deny that helmets have ever been documented to help?

What I see here is a group dynamic, known in accident prevention circles under David DeJoy's Human Factors Model of Accident Causation, as reinforcing factors. We have a hand full of people who are reinforcing each other's belief system that a perfectly good piece of PPE (helmets) are totally ineffective. They are doing so because they have a vested interest in not having mandatory helmet laws promulgated in their area, or resentful because such laws currently exist where they are. This is my observation about this group writing here.

I see this same dynamic in the work environment, where workers will deny that they are affecting others. In one case a few months back, I had a welder tell me that his welding flash would not affect any other employees if only they would wear their safety glasses. He ignored the fact that they were in a reduced light environment, and that he was blinding them with the visible spectrum of light. He was referring to the UV spectrum being filtered, which it would be, but even then, the UV would affect other's skin.

The same is happening here with bike helmets. You guys are reinforcing each other so much that a good discussion will not be allowed to take place, which I think is your aim.

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 07-14-08 at 08:26 PM. Reason: add link, add job story
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Old 07-14-08, 08:26 PM
  #3506  
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Wasn't that a quote from the headline of the article and not from the paper?

As a columnist, I know the authors do not write the headlines, the editor does.

The article says most adult accidents involve other vehicles where helmets are not designed to protect the rider and children are typically involved in low-impact, non-twisting injuries.

Head "injuries" fell in emergency admissions, but head "injuries" are not defined and there has been a distinction made between adults and children and the injuries they receive.

Last edited by closetbiker; 07-14-08 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 07-14-08, 08:52 PM
  #3507  
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I think I may be becoming a "reverse convert". I've been cycle commuting for 6 years, having not been a cyclist at all before that, beyond taking it out of the basement once or twice a year for a nice short pleasure ride. When I started commuting, I made sure to buy helmet, because I'm married with kids and was unsure of myself riding in traffic. I've worn it pretty faithfully the whole time, save the occasional rebellion out on short errands.

For some reason, just in the last few weeks, I've gone to a more serious level of rebellion. I'm telling myself that I'm curious to know what it's like to not use one, and I want to find out. I want to know if I'll feel any differently about riding, how friends and family will react, if motorists on the road treat me any differently. In short, I'm justifying it by looking at it as an experiment. I think that I have every intention of going back to wearing one, but who knows how I'll feel about it by then? In any case, I've intentionally gone without since last Thursday, and intend to continue for at least a few weeks.

It sounds silly, but I think I'm being a little influenced by a comic strip. Not necessarily the specific argument shown in that strip, but the idea in general, probably influenced by the Dutch, that if bicycles are normal transportation, you don't strap on a helmet for normal transportation. (Well, maybe motorcycles, but I'm not a motorcyclist so I don't have to worry about that one. Besides, I think motorcycling is even riskier than bicycling due to the higher speed.) Indeed, since I've stopped wearing one, I feel more like a normal driver on my bike, and less like a hobbyist, even though I've never been purely a hobbyist, because I'm down one less accessory normally associated with American recreational cycling.

Now, I do understand the common sense argument that if you're in a crash, you may be marginally better protected wearing one than not. I've looked at some of the stats and websites that people on this thread point out, both pro and con, but I can't say I completely understand it all on either side. In the end, I may go back to wearing one if only to placate the wife (who I have not yet dared to inform of my decision) and to avoid the guilt associated with not setting a good example for all the kids who see me, including but not limited to my own. (In Maine, helmets are legally required for everyone under 16 years old.) Or I may just revert to the tried and true "better safe than sorry" justification,which frankly still motivates me when I think about it. And finally, I'll probably be joining the board of my state's bicycle coalition within the next month, so of course there's the party line to toe there.

I think the thing that makes me happiest about going without, so far, is the feeling of having escaped the tyranny of helmets as the first and last word in bicycle safety. About the only thing most of the non-cycling public knows about bike safety is "Always wear a helmet." We on this board know that the ability to handle yourself in traffic, and for some of us, acting similarly to other vehicles and obeying traffic law, greatly reduces the risk of getting into a collision in the first place, but try and explain that to most non-cyclists and they can't get beyond "but you should wear a helmet anyway, you never know." The really dark side of it for me is how the emphasis on always wearing a helmet reinforces the notion that cycling in traffic is inherently dangerous, and that there's nothing to be done for it except wear a helmet and hope for the best. I do not believe that. I suspect it's less risky overall to cycle responsibly, legally, and vigilantly with experience, without a helmet, than to cycle the opposite way with one. With the behavior, you are decreasing your risk of getting into a crash, whereas with the helmet, you are merely maybe decreasing your risk of head injury should you get into one, which is more likely without the responsible behavior. (Yes, of course, the safest would be to do both.)

But you know what? It feels REALLY GOOD to get on my bike to go somewhere in street clothes and any old hat I feel like, or none. Like I said, it makes me feel more normal. And maybe that makes it more inviting to other people thinking about using their bikes for transportation. Maybe the positive general advocacy outweights the negative individual risk. Although I realize too that beginners are more likely to get into a crash, and therefore have more of a reason to use one. I don't pretend to know, and I don't know for sure where I'll come down in a few weeks.

Soon, though, I'll probably have to tell my wife.
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Old 07-14-08, 09:25 PM
  #3508  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
Wasn't that a quote from the headline of the article and not from the paper?

As a columnist, I know the authors do not write the headlines, the editor does.

The article says most adult accidents involve other vehicles where helmets are not designed to protect the rider and children are typically involved in low-impact, non-twisting injuries.

Head "injuries" fell in emergency admissions, but head "injuries" are not defined and there has been a distinction made between adults and children and the injuries they receive.
Closetbiker,

You are correct, that was from the article. This is from the paper:
Our findings indicate that cycle helmets are of benefit both to children and, contrary to popular belief, to adults. The reason that people most frequently cite for not cycling is risk of injury; measures to increase cycle use must therefore address safety. Local publicity campaigns encouraging the voluntary wearing of helmets have been effective and should accompany national drives to promote cycling.
Head injuries were defined in the article:
From information in the primary diagnosis field, we identified head injuries as either "fracture of vault or base of skull" (ICD-9 800, 801) or "intracranial injury" (ICD-9 850-4). We used only data concerning emergency admissions and completed first episodes.
Now, I'd better got back to my wife at supper, or maybe I'll have a different kind of head injury

John
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Old 07-14-08, 09:47 PM
  #3509  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Meanwhile,

So, how do you explain this statement in the paper that was quoted:

The number of serious head injuries among cyclists of all ages has fallen as a result of increasing helmet use, despite doubts about the effectiveness of helmets
I explain the statement as follows.

The first part of the statement is true:
The number of serious head injuries among cyclists of all ages has fallen

The second part is an assertion:
as a result of increasing helmet use

The third is an opinion:
despite doubts about the effectiveness of helmets

Lets look at each part in turn.
The first part is justified by these data (from the original paper):


Note how the % of injuries to the head declines over the priod under study.

The second part is justified using the following data:

during which time the wearing of helmets increased (Research International Ltd, personal communication).

These data are not actually presented. However it comes from a quentionnaire sent out to less than 300 children, asking them about helmet use.

(This is a totally inadquate meausure of helmet use, I'm sure you would agree. The authors use this to extrapolate to adults, which the data doesn't support. It is a tiny sample. And it is based on self-reporting, not unbaised observation. However, for now, lets continue as if this data were actualy valid).

These data are used to support the assertion that this, and this alone, is the cause of the decline in injury levels. No attempt is made to isolate other variables, to examine trends prior to the period of the study, to examine other effects on road safety in the period under study. This is a serious methodological error.

Indeed, whilst I don't have UK data to hand, we can look at analogous data for Australia:


MHL came in in WA in 1992. Note how:
a) the rate of injury had been in decline for about 20 years prior to the MHL coming in (and the associated rapid rise in helmet wearing rates)
b) the rate did not start to decline faster than previously after 1991

Note also that the rate of decline in the UK stats presented is of a very similar order ot the Australian data, even for periods where helmet wearing was at very low levels.

I would say that the authors of the paper have identified a general decline in head injury rates amongst cyclists, and have then leapt to the conclusion that it is because of helmet wearing, basing this leap of faith on the flimsiest data regarding helmet use.

And just in case you thought the incompetence of the authors couldn't get worse, check out this quote form the original paper:

Of the 12.6 million emergency admissions in the study period, 35 056 (2.8%) were for injuries sustained while cycling.

Note that 35056 is 0.28% of 12.6m, not 2.8%. As I remember, dividing one number by another and expressing the result as a percentage was something I learned in middle school. Whatever kind of statistician Adrian Cook is, he is not a competent one. (you might also reflect on the poor quality of peer review that allows such a blatant error to get through to publication).

John, whilst I appreciate your efforts to read research about this topic, surely even you must agree that this isn't a good study. In fact, it's a truly terrible one - junk, I would say.

Last edited by trombone; 07-14-08 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 07-14-08, 11:11 PM
  #3510  
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Originally Posted by JohnBrooking View Post
I think I may be becoming a "reverse convert". I've been cycle commuting for 6 years, having not been a cyclist at all before that, beyond taking it out of the basement once or twice a year for a nice short pleasure ride. When I started commuting, I made sure to buy helmet, because I'm married with kids and was unsure of myself riding in traffic. I've worn it pretty faithfully the whole time, save the occasional rebellion out on short errands...
John,

Glad to see that you are joining the bicycle transportation group. As I have said, I would much rather see people bicycling, even without a helmet, than not. I have made a similar trip, and have even gone so far as to change my horse (regular bicycle to a long wheel-base recumbant, now with 9.000 miles + on it). Let us know about your experiments, and your wife's reaction if she finds out.

I continue to wear my helmet on the bike though, because for that one-in-a-million time when I might need it, it would be there. I sometimes ride in my street clothes (although it's getting a bit hot here for that), and commute 4 days a week. One of my better strategies is to not bicycle commute on Fridays, as that around here is when traffic gets wild.

John
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Old 07-14-08, 11:30 PM
  #3511  
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Trombone,

You definitely have picked up at least a typo. Good looking, and perhaps one of the better examinations of this paper that I've seen here. But remember, I was not the one to single out this paper. It was being quoted out-of-context by others, and I simple started reading the actual article, then the paper. It seems that the science behind it has some support, but also some other detractors. Here is one small portion of a rather long comment on the paper:
The real issue is the dangerous state of the roads, almost entirely due to the ill-managed use of cars. This is a problem of systems not of individuals; the system includes the majority of doctors (and, sadly, myself) who drive cars regularly, but might like to be fitter and healthier. Blaming individual victims by asking them to wear helmets is not a useful answer to a serious problem. Perhaps the BMJ should invite experts such as Mayer Hillman6, Robert Davis4, or John Adams3 to review the evidence and suggest editorial conclusions?

Yours,

Richard Keatinge
But at the end of the comments is one with a table. The information is interesting, and I would rather people went to the table for a look as it doesn't translate well onto HTML format here. But here are some of those comments:
The trends we see in Scotland are remarkably similar to the English picture, with both the number of discharges constant over the 1990s and that the percentage contributed by head injuries reducing fairly steadily. This trend continues in Scotland after 1995, where the English analysis stops

The percentage of cyclists’ injuries recorded as head injuries in Scotland seem 10-15% higher than in England. Direct comparisons are hard as data as data collection systems are definitely different and clinical care and admission policies may be different north and south of the border.



Yours sincerely,

DR DERMOT GORMAN ADAM REDPATH
Consultant in Public Health Medicine Statistician, ISD

DAVID MURPHY

Senior Information Analyst, ISD
So apparently the trends seen in the British study are confirmed by similar trends in Scotland.

John
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Old 07-15-08, 01:52 AM
  #3512  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
...
So apparently the trends seen in the British study are confirmed by similar trends in Scotland.
Indeed. That, in fact, was my point. That trend is seen all over the place (see WA data in previous post), and apparently is independent of helmet use. Pointing at a trend, and then claiming helmets are causing it is a non sequitur.
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Old 07-15-08, 05:30 AM
  #3513  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Meanwhile,

So, how do you explain this statement in the paper that was quoted:

The number of serious head injuries among cyclists of all ages has fallen as a result of increasing helmet use, despite doubts about the effectiveness of helmets, report researchers from Imperial College in this week's BMJ
Strange. First you make a big thing about having to read papers, rather than articles, now you're quoting a PR puff piece...

As I already explained, John, when a paper's conclusion is controversial it is necessary to read the paper and see what the methodology used was. In this case the paper simply cherry picks a period and geographical region where "serious head injuries" fell and assumes that the change can be attributed to helmet use. Gosh! Do you think that we can prove anything we like this way? E.g. that always betting on a horse with a 5 letter name is a guaranteed profit maker, that the length of women's skirts is related to the number of UFO sightings? The answer is... yes! If you don't control and you do select your data ruthlessly, you can always get the result you want.

Of course, this shouldn't have an effect. Scientific papers are supposed to be read (rather than grasped second hand via PR puff piece) and evaluated against similar studies - and against sound methodology. In this case someone did the work for you and it was linked to from the paper - and I pointed out the link for you. But to make things even easier:

The authors refer to lack of controls in other studies but it appears their own study lacked a few of its own.

Most but not all serious head injuries to cyclists result from motor vehicle involvement. The authors appear not to be aware of, and the report does not acknowledge, an important change in the pattern of cycling that may mask a change in motor vehicle involvement. With the trend of a rising popularity of the mountain bike has come an increase in off-road trail cycling. Thus, while overall cyclist exposure to the risk of an accident may have remained constant, the exposure to risk of an accident involving a motor vehicle may have fallen.

Another serious omission is the absence of information on prevailing rates of head injury among other road users. Robinson in Australian Doctor, 27 February, 1998,

https://lash.une.edu.au/~drobinso/ozdoc.html

showed cyclists in Western Australia over a two decade period experienced declining head injury percentages similar to other road users, substantially because of a series of driver behaviour modification measures imposed by the government.
Back to John:

Now, if a helmet is not beneficial in a crash between an auto and a bike, and only good for the 12 mph crashes (basically, someone falling down from height), how do you explain the survival of people in those crashes where helmets have been documented to help? Or do you simply deny that helmets have ever been documented to help?
Show me a case and we'll discuss it. But as you seem unaware of this fact I'll reveal a secret: Lots of people have survived bike crashes at speeds of greater than 12mph WITHOUT a helmet. So if you fall off a bike at 17mph and survive while wearing a helmet, I wouldn't automatically credit your $100 peice of Bell styrofoam with your survival. Yes, there certainly are special circumstances in a higher speed crash where a helmet will help - otoh there are ones which make a helmet irrelevant in a lower speed crash - for instance if the helmet takes more than the 8kg share of body weight it is designed for, hits a round object, or the blow comes concentrated off centre, with the possibility of creating a rotational injury.

But really, vague BS doesn't cut it against hard statistics - especially when you are the one about to start screaming that anyone who disagrees with you is... A WITCH! Sorry, wrong century: IN DENIAL!

What I see here is a group dynamic, known in accident prevention circles under David DeJoy's Human Factors Model of Accident Causation, as reinforcing factors. We have a hand full of people who are reinforcing each other's belief system that a perfectly good piece of PPE (helmets) are totally ineffective.
That would be a semi-intelligent argument if the expert witnesses weren't on our side. You, John, are the one ignoring the opinion of (for instance) Europe's leading bike helmet testing engineer and forensic witness. You, John, are the man who cites a paper whose authors say that bike helmets can't help in 2VAs to defend your belief that they can. The time you get to invoke "My opponents are suffering from a syndrome" is when you have won the rational argument. It's not an instead-of - used that way it's an ad hominem attack, and an invitation to receive an ass kicking, as people poke fun at you for resorting to low attacks, especially when you are the man doing exactly what you are accusing other people of - ignoring rational evidence. The helmet makers and the helmet testers say that you are wrong, but you're not addressing this. You are the man whose irrational behavior needs explaining.


I see this same dynamic in the work environment..
..Where all the time your co-workers say:

"John, why won't you READ THE FRIGGING PAPER instead of MAKING UP BULL**** POP PSYCHOLOGY REASONS WHY EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG. Really, John, reading a paper isn't that hard. Do you need new glasses? Yes, we know that you should have read the paper 20 years ago before opening your mouth and going on record, and now you'll feel dumb if you say you were wrong. That's what science is about, John - looking dumb if you didn't read the paper. READ THE PAPER, JOHN - IT WON'T HURT!"

Of course, you and the scientific method don't seem to be terribly well acquainted, John. Otherwise you'd have said:

"Hey! I have an opinion and other people agree with me too! So my accusation could be equally true of me! So I'm talking bull**** if I try to argue that I have to be right using this argument - it's nothing but an especially pretentious ad hominem attack. And that 'people never listen to me thing' makes me look as if I'm Mr No Self Esteem. Oh, the shame! Thank the Good Lord I didn't press post.. oh, wait."

That's called logic, John. Scientists use it. Along with "reading papers".

Last edited by meanwhile; 07-15-08 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 07-15-08, 05:49 AM
  #3514  
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Originally Posted by trombone View Post
Indeed. That, in fact, was my point. That trend is seen all over the place (see WA data in previous post), and apparently is independent of helmet use. Pointing at a trend, and then claiming helmets are causing it is a non sequitur.
People drink drive less than they use to; cars are better; driving tests are stricter. To single out helmets as a causative factor you have to control out these things. The Imperial authors tried to do this by comparing head injuries to other injuries for cyclists and assuming that a relative reduction HAD to be due to helmets. Of course it doesn't. The difference could be due to changed patterns in bike use - notably more BMX and MTB sports use - or more first time riders having 1VAs. The authors have simply picked a sample that showed the trend they wanted and assumed causation - a classic error of people with gambling addiction, as John has brought Da Shrink Talk into this debate.

John is probably aware of the work of his British counterpart John Franklin Perhaps somewhat bitterly, as Franklin has achieved far more influence in the UK than he has in the US - perhaps, ohh, because he isn't in the habit of accusing anyone who disagrees with him as being part of a subconscious conspiracy? Oh, and Franklin seems to be pretty on the ball about reading papers. Here's what Franklin has to say:

https://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:q...ient=firefox-a

Cycle helmet use in Britain has increased significantly since the mid 1980s. This has come about largely due to the vigorous promotion of cycle helmets by Government, the medical profession and others as an effective and unequivocal means of reducing the severity of head injuries to cyclists.
This paper looks at trends in cyclist casualties in Britain over the period when helmet use has risen from virtually zero to as much as 40 per cent or more in some parts of the country. It then looks at similar research that has been carried out in other countries to establish any similarities...

The largest sample ever used in an assessment of
the effectiveness of cycle helmets was made by Rodgers
in 1988 when he studied over 8 million
cases of injury and death to cyclists in the USA
over 15 years. He concluded that there was no evidence that hard shell helmets had reduced the head injury and fatality rates. Indeed, he suggested that helmeted riders are more likely to be killed.

A study by Kunich analysed cyclist and pedestrian fatalities for the USA from 1986 to 1996, during which period cycle helmet use rose from close to zero to 30 per cent or more. Although cyclist fatalities fell during this period, the decline was proportionately less than for pedestrians, and the continuation of a long-term trend most probably associated with decreased exposure. Kunich
concluded that there is no evidence that cycle helmets are effective in reducing deaths.

Burdett carried out a similar analysis for Canada from 1975 to 1997. Fatality trends were similar for
cyclists and pedestrians throughout the period, and both fell. Although cycle helmet use had risen to 50 per cent by 1997, there is no detectable impact on the fatalities recorded. In Australia, mandatory helmet laws from 1990 - 1992 provided a whole-population sample with which to assess the effectiveness of a large increase in helmet use. Early official studies claimed a
success as head injuries declined significantly, but the studies failed to take account of the large decrease in cycle use brought about by the helmet laws or the concurrent trends in declining head
injury across all road users. However, the Australian Road Accident Prevention Research Unit has subsequently reported
that head injuries since helmet use became compulsory may only have fallen
by 11 per cent – less than the decrease in cycle use. Despite a large increase in helmet use, the risk of head injury amongst people who continue to cycle has risen, and in some parts of Australia injury rates are at an all-time high.
Is Franklin part of the conspiracy against you as well, John?

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Old 07-15-08, 06:02 AM
  #3515  
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Anyway, if John promises to stay from ad hominem (sp?) attacks, I promise not to make fun of those attacks. (Umm, which isn't much of a promise, as there won't be attacks to make fun of.) Perhaps he could explain why if helmets can absorb the energy involved in an accident at reasonable speed the helmet rating systems don't show that? Most helmets aren't up to the higher Snell standard, which is still below the level needed to cope with a head weight only impact at, say, 18mph.
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Old 07-15-08, 06:57 PM
  #3516  
John C. Ratliff
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Meanwhile,

What conspiracy are you talking about? I was making an observation about your behavior, that you, closetbiker, trombone and a few others are, on this site, reinforcing your beliefs. Simple as that, and the above posts show that this is continuing. I have to return to my studies (different subject entirely), but I will shortly leave you with a different bit of information to chew on.

John

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Old 07-15-08, 07:22 PM
  #3517  
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The following is a table of deceleration forces verses velocity, which comes from NASA in 1964.


This table shows the deceleration forces for an unprotected human head, as stopping in just under 0.5 inches deceleration distance. At 20 feet per second (13.6 mph) the head hits at about 175-200 Gs. In a helmet which gives a deceleration distance of between 1 and 2 inches, the G forces are between 10 and 25 Gs, according to this chart. That is a huge difference.

Note that this table is a log-log table, which shows exponential relationships as straight lines. If you have not seen log-log tables before, I suggest that you google it and learn about them.

It also shows what we all agree upon, that severe auto accidents give deceleration forces which are not survivable.

My only point on this is that if a person is involved with an auto, and the forces are lower (such as being brushed by the car and crashing in a ditch), that having a helmet on will increase the likelihood that the person will survive.

Chew on this for a while, and I'll get back when I'm done with homework and lab reports.

John

Brauer, Roger L., Ph.D., CSP, PE, Safety and Health for Engineers, Second Edition, Wiley-Interscience, A John Wiley & Sones, Inc., Publication, 2006, pg 144.

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Old 07-16-08, 08:05 AM
  #3518  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Meanwhile,

What conspiracy are you talking about? I was making an observation about your behavior, that you, closetbiker, trombone and a few others are, on this site, reinforcing your beliefs.
Sure John. That doesn't sound at all paranoid. And you certainly don't have to explain why you hold beliefs about helmets that the helmet makers and the world's leading helmet testers and even pro-helmet researchers are wrong. It's sufficient to know that everyone who disagrees with you does so solely because they are "reinforcing each others beliefs"*. You never have to read papers and address their content, although you get to criticize other people for not doing so.

Yep. Makes perfect sense. Your opponents disagree with you, citing a leading authority on the safety technology under discussion, you say "I DISAGREE!" and it's your opponents who are irrational.

*Of course, you do realize that one way people reinforce each others beliefs is by sharing factual information and logic? That's part of the way science works. It's rather telling here that you didn't write something like " closetbiker, trombone and a few others are, on this site, reinforcing your beliefs by a shared consensus that allows you to ignore valid facts and research." Instead what you've done is rather saying "I accuse these people of eating food and drinking water." Have you ever read what Orwell wrote about people who can't write clear prose being unable to think clearly?
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Old 07-16-08, 08:31 AM
  #3519  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
The following is a table of deceleration forces verses velocity, which comes from NASA in 1964.
It's wonderful that you know what a log table is, John (I have a degree in theoretical physics, btw, so I think I can just about follow your schoolbuy mathematics...)

Of course the table you is quite obsolete - standards have changed considerabl sinc then. Read eg https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ge...iew/index.html

But at least you read a page of a relevant book in 1964. That's a start!

The problem is that you then relied on your own brain to make the jump from this table of data to real world engineering and decided that when the rest of the world disagreed with your brain, your brain has to be right. As you enjoy debates where people apply dismissive names to other people's reasoning, John, the name for this though pattern is "paranoid egotism".


My only point on this is that if a person is involved with an auto, and the forces are lower (such as being brushed by the car and crashing in a ditch), that having a helmet on will increase the likelihood that the person will survive.
All things being equal, less of a bad thing is usually better than more. Or, at least not worse - you can't get deader than dead. Everything you've assumed is a reasonable guess for someone who doesn't have access to data from empirical testing by experts.

The problem is that you keep insisting that what you think trumps that real world data expert gathered when you're shown it. In fact, you refuse to refer to that data at all - for all I know you still haven't read it.

The relevant points - made by the links you have already been given are:

- The odds of rotational injury are low in any accident

- Wearing a helmet makes them higher; and the consequences can be extremely severe

- Helmets are good at protecting you from the consequences of muppet grade accidents - falling off your bike while not moving, riding into the back of a parked car at low speed because you have your eyes closed

- Thus, if you're going to ride like a muppet, wearing a helmet is probably beneficial. If you're not, then it's quite possibly harmful.

- You have stated that you wear a helmet because of your fear of collisions involving cars; such collisions typically induce a rotational effect which makes wearing a helmet worthless or quite possibly more dangerous. There are good reasons to wear a helmet, and good reasons not to; but you are wearing a helmet for an indisputably bad reason. This occurred because you did not take control of your own safety rationally and effectively.

As Sun Tzu might have said if he had a bike: Know yourself and know your helmet, and you will ride a thousand roads without injury. Unless the Big One comes up, in which you'll need more than the lining from a box of chocolates to help you.

NOTE: If people were confused by some earlier comparisons between John and the UK author whose book he didn't read, I think I may have confused him with someone else - my bad!
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Old 07-16-08, 09:46 AM
  #3520  
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[QUOTE=trombone;7061243]I explain the statement as follows.

The first part of the statement is true:
The number of serious head injuries among cyclists of all ages has fallen

The second part is an assertion:
as a result of increasing helmet use

The third is an opinion:
despite doubts about the effectiveness of helmets

QUOTE]

Hi Trombone,
I can sense the frustration of someone living with regulations that are not based on any substance (or possibly science). Prehaps the only consolation might be that you are part of a statistical experiment on the effectiveness of bike helmets.

For what it's worth my take on bike helmets is that they evolved from mountain biking where low speed tumbles are common (at least they were for me).... usually falling off sideways at 0 mph trying to ride up steep slopes. I'm prepared to believe that bike helmets provide some protection for this type of incident.

Do I believe that standard polystyrene bike helmets provide protection for crashes on 45 mph descents, vehicle impacts or hitting stationery objects - no. And there is certainly not much evidence for them working in these situations.

On the regulation issue - I was in Japan last year. In a country famed for it's adherence to rules there seemed to be no rules (enforced or otherwise) when it came to cycling - great fun and I didn't see a single incident in the 2 weeks that I was there.
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Old 07-16-08, 10:53 AM
  #3521  
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Originally Posted by trombone View Post
Nope, it's not. The one time I came off my bike, my helmet lightly scraped the ground above my ear. If I hadn't been wearing it, erm, it wouldn't have scraped the ground.
Bull****! You would've hit your head on the ground without the helmet.

Another anecdote; every day I take my bike through the gate at the side of my house. It's a very poor design, and for some reason isn't very tall, even though it has a beam across the top. In order to get through it without bumping my head, I have to duck.
So? Think of it this way: if you didn't duck and you hit the beam, the helmet would protect you.

Sometimes I knock my head on it when I get my bike out. Not often, but sometimes. And when I do so, i sometimes laugh at myself and think 'good job I'm wearing a helmet!'. However, on reflection I have never bumped my head on it when not wearing a helmet, and I go through it just as often at other times without my helmet. I suspect that I don't always duck enough when wearing my helmet, as I'm not allowing for the fact my head+helmet is bigger than my head alone.
That's just you being silly. Look at it this way: At least you laughed when you did hit instead of saying "ouch" as you'd normally do without a helmet.

More anecdotes, yadda yadda, I know they don't prove anything statistically. But they do illustrate that situations can occur where the additional size of a helmet can cause it to hit something that otherwise the head alone would have missed. (This is, actually, self-evident). The question is whether this has any significant effect on the outcomes of accidents. I do not know the answer to that question, as as far as I know there is no research covering that topic. But I suspect the effect is very small / insignificant.
That's just the riders being silly. If you're really going that close to objects, you're asking for trouble.
See bolded above
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Old 07-16-08, 03:26 PM
  #3522  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
This table shows the deceleration forces for an unprotected human head, as stopping in just under 0.5 inches deceleration distance. At 20 feet per second (13.6 mph) the head hits at about 175-200 Gs. In a helmet which gives a deceleration distance of between 1 and 2 inches, the G forces are between 10 and 25 Gs, according to this chart. That is a huge difference.
What bike helmet is greater than 2 inches thick? I've never seen one, and it would have to be likely closer to 2.5 inches thick to allow for 2 inches of compression.
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Old 07-16-08, 03:34 PM
  #3523  
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
Bull****! You would've hit your head on the ground without the helmet.
No, it wouldn't. I'll try and take some pictures of the scratches on my helmet later to show you. I landed on my shoulder, and my head didn't come close to hitting the ground at that point. I then slid along the ground on my side for about 15 or 20 metres; I distinctly remember seeing the road going past right underneath my face. It was during the sliding phase that my helmet brushed the road very lightly. I didn't even realise it at the time; only later when examining my helmet. Had my head been a cm or so closer to the road, the helmet would have bitten into the road surface more, potentially causing my head to violently rotate to the right.

Consequently I have some superficial scratches to my helmet just above my right ear. The helmet didn't hold my head up off the road (had it done so, the damage would be more significant), so it is obvious that, in that incident, had I not been wearing a helmet I would not have bumped my head.

Whatever. It's not really a useful story anyway, being anecdotal.
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Old 07-16-08, 03:36 PM
  #3524  
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Originally Posted by trombone View Post
No, it wouldn't. I'll try and take some pictures of the scratches on my helmet later to show you. I landed on my shoulder, and my head didn't come close to hitting the ground at that point. I then slid along the ground on my side for about 15 or 20 metres; I distinctly remember seeing the road going past right underneath my face. It was during the sliding phase that my helmet brushed the road very lightly. I didn't even realise it at the time; only later when examining my helmet. Had my head been a cm or so closer to the road, the helmet would have bitten into the road surface more, potentially causing my head to violently rotate to the right.

Consequently I have some superficial scratches to my helmet just above my right ear. The helmet didn't hold my head up off the road (had it done so, the damage would be more significant), so it is obvious that, in that incident, had I not been wearing a helmet I would not have bumped my head.

Whatever. It's not really a useful story anyway, being anecdotal.
You're making false assumptions. Your head would've most likely had hit the ground. Your neck can't be that stiff.

Lesson: the helmet worked. It got scratched and you didn't. That's its job.
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Old 07-16-08, 04:47 PM
  #3525  
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
You're making false assumptions. Your head would've most likely had hit the ground. Your neck can't be that stiff.

Lesson: the helmet worked. It got scratched and you didn't. That's its job.
And remember, any damage to the helmet, no matter how insignificant, represents a "life saved".

Really, it's amazing that any of us survived the pre-helmet days, considering how horrifically dangerous bicycling is and how incredibly effective cycling helmets are.
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