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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 09-09-08, 11:59 PM
  #3951  
John C. Ratliff
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...Continued

Now, about that 85% figure, this was from one study. I know of one study that stated various studies had a range of 35% to 85% reduction in head injuries from helmet wearing. The 85% figure can be valid, and represent a population this is different in age, sex, the physical environment, etc., so that another population can also have a valid figure of 35%. Helmets themselves differ over time, and that can figure into the result, as can whether a lot of children are involved (difference in height, weight, speed at accident, involvement with cars or trucks, and fit with children verses adults).

Finally, you discuss the three-fold increase in risk of head injury for a miss-fitted helmet, and assert that this translates into greater than a 100% risk of injury. But remember that the 85% figure (or 35%, from other studies) is the potential reduction. Let’s put it this way. Say that we sample 100 cyclists without helmets who hit their heads after falling off their bicycle. We find out that for 85% of them, the exact area that the head hit, which caused a fractured skull or a brain injury, was an area that would have been covered by the helmet had they been wearing one. That means that those 85 people would have been protected from the effects of that particular fall. We know this from the helmet standards and tests that have been conducted on helmets, and from the history of the particular falls. Now, let’s say that the increased risk from a poorly fitted helmet is 1.96-fold increase in head injury for the individual. That means that the ill-fitted helmet user was about twice as likely, with the helmet, to have a brain injury from this fall. Of those seemingly protected 85 individuals, if any one of them had an ill-fitted helmet, and that individual’s head hit the ground instead of the helmet (helmet slid sideways, or up on the forehead), that individual would have a head injury. Let’s say that out of those potentially “saved” a head injury by wearing a helmet, 45 of them had poorly-fitted helmets. Those 45 individuals had a 1.96 higher chance of head injury than did the 40 individuals with good-fitting helmets.


Inj Prev. 1999 Sep;5(3):194-7.Click here to read Click here to read Links
Fit of bicycle safety helmets and risk of head injuries in children.
Rivara FP, Astley SJ, Clarren SK, Thompson DC, Thompson RS.

Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Seattle, WA 98104, USA. fpr@u.washington.edu

BACKGROUND: Although bicycle helmets are effective in preventing head and brain injury, some helmeted individuals nevertheless sustain head injury. One of the possible reasons may be poor fit of the helmet on the head. This study was undertaken to examine the relationship between helmet fit and risk of injury. METHODS: 1718 individuals who were helmeted riders in a crash were queried on helmet fit and position. A sample of 28 children 2-14 years of age who sustained a head injury while wearing a bicycle helmet and 98 helmeted individuals of the same age treated in the same hospital emergency departments for injuries other than to the head, underwent anthropometric measurements of helmet fit. Measurements were made of the child's head, the helmet, and on a cast made of the child's head. RESULTS: Individuals whose helmets were reported to fit poorly had a 1.96-fold increased risk of head injury compared with those whose helmets fit well. Children with head injuries had helmets which were significantly wider than their heads compared with children without head injuries. Helmet fit was poorer among males and among younger children. CONCLUSIONS: Poor fit of helmets may be associated with an increased risk of head injury in children, especially in males. Helmets may not be designed to provide optimal protection.
This is about as good as I can do right now. My studies have started again, and I am getting much busier with homework, so except for some fairly short comments, this will be my last long post in a while.

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 09-10-08 at 12:06 AM. Reason: change one word, "Now," to "Finally."
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Old 09-10-08, 04:28 PM
  #3952  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
...Continued

.... The 85% figure can be valid, and represent a population this is different in age, sex, the physical environment, etc., so that another population can also have a valid figure of 35%. Helmets themselves differ over time, and that can figure into the result, as can whether a lot of children are involved...

This is about as good as I can do right now... this will be my last long post in a while.

John
this is as good as you can do?

the 85% figure can be valid? Helmets differ and that can figure into the result?

I don't know what we'll do in your absence John.
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Old 09-10-08, 04:50 PM
  #3953  
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I bought a helmet as soon as I bought my road bike but I must admit that I leave it behind sometimes. It bothers the piss out of me and is not fun to sweat in. I must accept my stupidity though because there is no excuse good enough for not wearing one.
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Old 09-10-08, 05:35 PM
  #3954  
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Originally Posted by GoryGlory View Post
I bought a helmet as soon as I bought my road bike but I must admit that I leave it behind sometimes. It bothers the piss out of me and is not fun to sweat in. I must accept my stupidity though because there is no excuse good enough for not wearing one.
You might try to find a comfortable one.

Closetbiker,

It is possible for both the 85% and the 35% to be correct for the populations sampled, and the protocols used. That range seems valid to me though.

John
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Old 09-10-08, 07:21 PM
  #3955  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
You might try to find a comfortable one.

Closetbiker,

It is possible for both the 85% and the 35% to be correct for the populations sampled, and the protocols used. That range seems valid to me though.

John
even the authors of the only study that claimed an 85% reduction in head injury, admitted the 85% figure was wrong and revised their prediction downwards in 1996.

Just how reliable is a study that uses a figure that has been dismissed as wrong? What questions does that raise about the reliability of the rest of the figures used?

and further, that wrong 85% rate applied only to the age group 0-4 years old. The reduction rate was 42% of 5-9 year olds, and 23% of 10-14 year olds. I wonder what the reduction rate would have been for 40 year olds?

Last edited by closetbiker; 09-10-08 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 09-10-08, 11:23 PM
  #3956  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
even the authors of the only study that claimed an 85% reduction in head injury, admitted the 85% figure was wrong and revised their prediction downwards in 1996.

Just how reliable is a study that uses a figure that has been dismissed as wrong? What questions does that raise about the reliability of the rest of the figures used?

and further, that wrong 85% rate applied only to the age group 0-4 years old. The reduction rate was 42% of 5-9 year olds, and 23% of 10-14 year olds. I wonder what the reduction rate would have been for 40 year olds?
Or 62 year olds?

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 09-10-08 at 11:55 PM. Reason: add a thought
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Old 09-10-08, 11:24 PM
  #3957  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Or 62 year olds?

John
maybe, 2% & 1% respectively?
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Old 09-10-08, 11:58 PM
  #3958  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
maybe, 2% & 1% respectively?
Maybe -10%

I could have died of a stroke from trying to out-race some teen, then fallen. The helmet provided just the amount of air resistance to increase the work load enough at the high speed to induce the stroke

Enjoy,

John
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Old 09-11-08, 07:22 AM
  #3959  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Maybe -10%

I could have died of a stroke from trying to out-race some teen, then fallen. The helmet provided just the amount of air resistance to increase the work load enough at the high speed to induce the stroke

Enjoy,

John
Hmmm... you're saying wearing a helmet can cause a brain injury (aka- stroke)?

Last edited by closetbiker; 09-11-08 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 09-11-08, 06:56 PM
  #3960  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
Hmmm... you're saying wearing a helmet can cause a brain injury (aka- stroke)?
No, stroke was the outcome, exertion while being overweight and older were the determinants, ego was a direct contributing factor, and the little bitty bit of increased air resistance from the helmet was an indirect contributing factor. On second thought, maybe I'll just let that teenager go ahead of me...

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 09-11-08 at 07:01 PM. Reason: add a sentence; add "and older"
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Old 09-11-08, 10:18 PM
  #3961  
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heh heh.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, John. I don't have time to get to it just now, but I want to read it properly and consider your points, so I will get back to you in a day or so.
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Old 09-12-08, 02:23 PM
  #3962  
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Another good reason for wearing a helmet in Montana:

https://www.missoulian.com/articles/2...top/news01.txt

John
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Old 09-12-08, 03:59 PM
  #3963  
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Alls I knows is that two weeks ago when i broke the f*ck out of my arm hitting a pothole at a good speed, at least 6 hospital staff thanked / congratulated me for wearing a helmet.
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Old 09-12-08, 06:38 PM
  #3964  
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I take it your arm would have been much worse without the helmet?
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Old 09-15-08, 10:40 AM
  #3965  
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Yesterday I had my first crash on my road bike. Surprisingly, it wasn't flying around turns, mashing down a hill, or trying to set a land-speed record. It happened after accelerating to speed after a red light. From what I remember, my chain slipped, while my upper body compensated and pushed the bars to the far right and I went over the bars. I'm not saying I'd be dead without my helmet, but I could have landed on my head and been laying in the street with a concussion. Wear it.
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Old 09-15-08, 12:04 PM
  #3966  
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^^^

I could have won the lottery yesterday.

But, I didn't.

Too bad.

Speedo
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Old 09-15-08, 02:33 PM
  #3967  
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Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
^^^

I could have won the lottery yesterday.

But, I didn't.

Too bad.

Speedo
I often think the of the helmet question as one that relates similarly to the psychology of buying lotto tickets
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Old 09-15-08, 04:02 PM
  #3968  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
I often think the of the helmet question as one that relates similarly to the psychology of buying lotto tickets

I think it's FAR more likely your head would be saved by a helmet then winning a major lotto prize....Now THOSE people LOVE pi$$ing away their money.....

I have never played lotto.
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Old 09-15-08, 04:56 PM
  #3969  
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Originally Posted by mondaycurse View Post
Yesterday I had my first crash on my road bike. Surprisingly, it wasn't flying around turns, mashing down a hill, or trying to set a land-speed record. It happened after accelerating to speed after a red light. From what I remember, my chain slipped, while my upper body compensated and pushed the bars to the far right and I went over the bars. I'm not saying I'd be dead without my helmet, but I could have landed on my head and been laying in the street with a concussion. Wear it.
My chain has slipped too. In fact, my chain once broke during a full power standing start in a kilo. I pulled a hamstring doing a high kick on that one, but I didn't fall, nor have I ever during those incidents.

So while that may be a valid reason for you to wear your helmet, it isn't for everyone.
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Old 09-15-08, 05:09 PM
  #3970  
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Originally Posted by Tommyr View Post
I think it's FAR more likely your head would be saved by a helmet then winning a major lotto prize...
I think differently
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Old 09-15-08, 05:11 PM
  #3971  
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
My chain has slipped too. In fact, my chain once broke during a full power standing start in a kilo. I pulled a hamstring doing a high kick on that one, but I didn't fall, nor have I ever during those incidents.

So while that may be a valid reason for you to wear your helmet, it isn't for everyone.
I've had chains slip, fall off, get jammed, and break.

I kept my balance and dismounted safely
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Old 09-15-08, 06:06 PM
  #3972  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
I think differently
That's fine! No problem!
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Old 09-16-08, 09:47 AM
  #3973  
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Originally Posted by Tommyr View Post
I think it's FAR more likely your head would be saved by a helmet then winning a major lotto prize.
Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
I think differently
Then you're not very smart.
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Old 09-16-08, 04:29 PM
  #3974  
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More savvy commentary from our resident deep thinker, I see. Apparently "Neener neener" was too tough to spell.
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Old 09-18-08, 09:35 PM
  #3975  
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
Wait -- you're arguing for the effectiveness of a device that sits on top of your head based upon the results of landing on your face? Hmm...
Yes. The helmet cracked in half from the impact. I think that's pretty effective.
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