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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 11-18-07, 02:27 PM
  #2451  
trombone
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Yes, i did go out and ride, to a rally of Portland cyclists who are fed up with uneven enforcement of traffic laws by Portland police. There were over a hundred of us, and we were not the militants, just the everyday commuters and cyclists from the area. Brian and I had a good ride over the Portland hills, where I found the limitations of my recumbant (hills are HARD work).
Good for you! I've read some of the discussions about recent incidents in Portland, and how the law enforcements authorities seem to regard cyclists with some alarm. Good luck in lobbying for change.

I've never ridden a recumbent, although it's on my list of things to try, along with tandeming. My brother rides a recumbent trike, and loves it. Out of interest, given your earlier comments about the design of recumbents being somewhat safer from a head injury point of view do you think there is less of a need to wear a helmet on a recumbent trike (from which you can't fall off!) vs a standard bike?

Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Concerning the fine details of professional safety, yes, you can eliminate the hazard. Guarding does this quite nicely (can't get hands into pinch points means that the hazard for the worker has been eliminated). This does not eliminate it for maintenance, where the guards are removed, but does for the worker on the machine. Noise hazards are reduced, and my company is using a different model than OSHA (or other governing bodies). We use an 8-hour Time-Weighted Average of 80 dBA cutoff for the Hearing Conservation Program, program our dosimeters start collecting at 70 dBA, and use a 3 dB doubling rate (OSHA starts at 85 dBA, and their regulations for controls start at 90 dBA and a 5 dB doubling rate, putting some 15-20 percent of the workforce in jeopardy). By doing this, the "hazard" can be eliminated, even is noise is still present.
I'm going to split hairs again and suggest that your use of the word 'eliminate' still really only equates to 'reduce to a very low (even negligible) level'. There is a risk your SPL meter is reading too low, there is a risk that hand guards may become dislodged, there is a risk that the entire machine could explode in a ball of flame. These risks exists, and probably could even be quantified. The point is that they are very low risks, so can for all practical purposes be disregarded.
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Old 11-18-07, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by trombone View Post
I'm going to split hairs again and suggest that your use of the word 'eliminate' still really only equates to 'reduce to a very low (even negligible) level'... The point is that they are very low risks, so can for all practical purposes be disregarded.
and it brings up the point of why it is when the level of a risk that is equal to a defined safe and acceptable risk, is treated differently.

It seems to be an issue of perception, not reality, when things are handled differently when the difference has been shown as non-existant.

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-18-07 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 11-18-07, 06:20 PM
  #2453  
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Originally Posted by trombone View Post
Good for you! I've read some of the discussions about recent incidents in Portland, and how the law enforcements authorities seem to regard cyclists with some alarm. Good luck in lobbying for change.

I've never ridden a recumbent, although it's on my list of things to try, along with tandeming. My brother rides a recumbent trike, and loves it. Out of interest, given your earlier comments about the design of recumbents being somewhat safer from a head injury point of view do you think there is less of a need to wear a helmet on a recumbent trike (from which you can't fall off!) vs a standard bike?



I'm going to split hairs again and suggest that your use of the word 'eliminate' still really only equates to 'reduce to a very low (even negligible) level'. There is a risk your SPL meter is reading too low, there is a risk that hand guards may become dislodged, there is a risk that the entire machine could explode in a ball of flame. These risks exists, and probably could even be quantified. The point is that they are very low risks, so can for all practical purposes be disregarded.
First, we had an interesting ride, and the rally was well-attended. This was in spite of the downpour of rain that occurred during the rally. The organizers had to move it under the Hawthorne bridge in order to have the TV coverage; it was to be at the park's fountain. Here's the story from the Orgonian, and below it is a short video about the rally. My bike is featured at the end of this clip.

https://www.oregonlive.com/news/orego...710.xml&coll=7

https://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingn...lly_for_s.html

On the first point, yes, there is a reduced need for a helmet for head injury from a fall from a trike verses a bike; inherent stability verses inherent instability (try just leaving a bike standing up without a kick stand, for instance). I have heard of trikes crashing though, when at speed and especially going downhill in a turn. There is discussion that by lowering the height of a recumbant rider, there is also a reduction in the need for a helmet for them. But that is not necessarily true. If you'll go to this thread, you'll see a situation where a helmet really helped:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ghlight=helmet

On the second point, you'll note that I stated "eliminate the hazard," not "eliminate the exposure." Most exposures have what is known as a "dose-response" curve, where not every dose is hazardous. Water, for instance is essential, as is vitamins D and E. They become hazardous at a certain point, and can kill an individual. Noise can do harm to the individual, but to keep a hearing person in complete sound isolation can lead to problems from sensory deprivation. So I still maintain that we can "eliminate the hazard" with engineering controls, while not necessarily eliminating the exposure.

One final note for this post, that is that PPE (e.i. helmets) are not a form of engineering control. They are personal protective equipment. Now, if hitting one's head was so rare that these helmets did not come back with scratches, dents, dings, broken foam, etc., then you would have a case for not wearing them. But since they are obviously taking these impacts, and cushoning the head on many thousands of riders, that particular case (economics) is harder to make.

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 11-18-07 at 07:12 PM. Reason: add news story and video link
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Old 11-18-07, 07:13 PM
  #2454  
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Anyone noticed that we have hit a milestone of sorts, and are on the 100th page of this thread?

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Old 11-18-07, 07:35 PM
  #2455  
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Now, if hitting one's head was so rare that these helmets did not come back with scratches, dents, dings, broken foam, etc., then you would have a case for not wearing them. But since they are obviously taking these impacts, and cushoning the head on many thousands of riders, that particular case (economics) is harder to make.
I don't think there is really any question about whether people are falling off their bikes and hitting their heads/helmets, although why this seems to be happening much more often than it did in the pre-helmet days is an interesting aside. The question is whether those scratched, dented, dinged, and broken helmets are actually saving lives or preventing serious injuries. I won't even argue that "thousands of heads" are being "cushioned" by helmets. If "cushioning" is the goal then you should be as gung ho about elbow, knee, hip, and shoulder pads as you are about helmets.
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Old 11-18-07, 11:12 PM
  #2456  
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Its a matter of perspective

Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
I don't think there is really any question about whether people are falling off their bikes and hitting their heads/helmets, although why this seems to be happening much more often than it did in the pre-helmet days is an interesting aside. The question is whether those scratched, dented, dinged, and broken helmets are actually saving lives or preventing serious injuries. I won't even argue that "thousands of heads" are being "cushioned" by helmets. If "cushioning" is the goal then you should be as gung ho about elbow, knee, hip, and shoulder pads as you are about helmets.
Could it be that the helmets are hitting first simply because of the increased diameter and that riders heads may not have even contacted in some of the cases because of the bodies natural good design? When you do a tuck and roll (somersault) without a helmet its easier but try it with a bike helmet on, you can't do it easily without contacting your head. Additionally, simply because a helmet has dents, dings and scratches doesn't mean that it has protected anything. Have you ever worn a hat in the sun while working on or under a car or something else close up (after not wearing one for quite some time) and have you noticed yourself bumping the brim into everything because it sticks out farther from your skull?

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Old 11-19-07, 12:20 AM
  #2457  
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Could it be that the helmets are hitting first simply because of the increased diameter and that riders heads may not have even contacted in some of the cases because of the bodies natural good design?
Sure, that could be part of it.

The real problem, though, is that today's bike rider is a clueless trend follower who is regularly falling off his bike because he doesn't know any better and thinks his helmet makes him "safe".

For some reason they get all upset when I explain it to them like that.
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Old 11-19-07, 08:07 AM
  #2458  
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
I don't think there is really any question about whether people are falling off their bikes and hitting their heads/helmets, although why this seems to be happening much more often than it did in the pre-helmet days is an interesting aside. The question is whether those scratched, dented, dinged, and broken helmets are actually saving lives or preventing serious injuries. I won't even argue that "thousands of heads" are being "cushioned" by helmets. If "cushioning" is the goal then you should be as gung ho about elbow, knee, hip, and shoulder pads as you are about helmets.
You're talking to a guy who has used some of the most sophisticated anti-bump suits in the world; as a former smokejumper and USAF pararescueman, I have made parachute tree jumps with these tree suits. We had 1 inch of foam between us and the trees/terraine for these jumps. Here's a photo of them:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationP....html#16867141

They do protect the whole body, and included a special feature, a protective strap sewn into the pants that goes from the outside of one leg, under the boot of that leg, up the inside of the leg to about 2/3 up the thigh, crosses to the inside of the other leg, down that leg, under the other boot, and up about a foot on the outside of the other leg. What is it for? Well, it protects what we sometimes call a "vital organ" in the groin.

Why am I not so concern about elbows, knees, hips, etc., as I am the head? Well, I've banded my elbow, hit my knee, etc., and they get damaged and heal. But hitting the head can damage the brain, and it doesn't heal quite so well. You don't function too well for a few weeks without a brain either. So to me, it would require special protection.

Now, above Charles Veil asked about the helmet causing head touchdowns. That could happen, but in many situations, the head will contact the ground with amazing force. I used to think that I could get through many types of accidents on a bike without head touch-down. Indeed, that happened to me on several occasions, where I was able to roll out without touching my head down. But it only takes one time. I remember my first real bike accident when I was about 8 years old (second grade or so), riding home from school at noon, racing another friend, and having the front wheel slide out on the roadside. I went down, and hit the right side of my head, hard. Saw stars. Scraped the side of my face. I returned to school, only to have to leave for the principal's office with what I now recognize as my first ever migraine headache. I have had migraines ever since periodically. In that case, it was before I was taught how to fall, but I doubt I would have been able to change the outcome with that training. In the USAF in Korea, I took judo classes, and became very good at falling techniques. They were protective, but I now know from experience that it is not possible to tuck and roll and not have head contact in some situations. My most recent fall about five years ago had my tucked head impacting the ground first, along with my shoulder. The impact was sufficient to destroy my helmet. So no, you cannot tuck your way out of all these situations, and the helmet will offer protection during these types of crashes. Whether that protection is sufficient depends upon the type of crash, but note that in smokejumping, we used helmets too.

John
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Old 11-19-07, 12:27 PM
  #2459  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Why am I not so concern about elbows, knees, hips, etc., as I am the head? Well, I've banded my elbow, hit my knee, etc., and they get damaged and heal. But hitting the head can damage the brain, and it doesn't heal quite so well. You don't function too well for a few weeks without a brain either. So to me, it would require special protection.
Do you wear always safety goggles while you ride to protect your easily damaged, unrepairable eyes?
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Old 11-19-07, 04:09 PM
  #2460  
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I'm no doctor, so please correct me if I'm off base here, I'm not even claiming what I'll post to be accurate, and I'm looking for a response to see how this explaination could be incorrect. I've PMed this to a couple of people here (as well as emailed several brain injury authorities) and so far, no one has shown me that this is incorrect. If I'm off base, show me how I am.

Bicycle helmets are primarily designed to reduce the effect of linear forces, by providing a soft crushing layer which reduces the peak linear acceleration to the brain during impact. Linear impacts were found to cause mainly only localised (focal) injury at the point of impact. These shock waves are non-injurious as they do not cause permanent displacement of brain matter.

Head impacts from bicycle crashes do not generally involve a direct square-on impact. Most commonly there is an angled impact as the head hits the ground with forward momentum; or the windshield of a motor vehicle. Such an impact is likely to impart some degree of rotational force on the head and brain. Sudden rotation of the head was found to be the cause of most severe diffuse brain injuries. When rotational forces are applied, there is a change in the angular velocity of the brain and the skull. This results in diffuse shearing strains which can cause permanent displacement of matter throughout the entire brain.

The brain floats within the skull surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), one of the functions of which is to protect the brain from normal light "trauma", e.g., being jostled in the skull by walking, jumping, etc., as well as mild head impacts. Concussion is considered a type of diffuse brain injury (as opposed to focal brain injury), meaning that the dysfunction occurs over a more widespread area of the brain. Reports of helmeted cyclists receiving concussions are common. Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is one of the most common and devastating types of brain injury and is one of the major causes of unconsciousness and persistent vegetative state after head trauma. Unlike brain trauma that occurs due to direct impact and deformation of the brain, DAI is the result of traumatic shearing forces. The major cause of damage in DAI is the tearing of axons, the neural processes that allow one neuron to communicate with another.


My guess is that this is what Clive Cook (Chief Pathologist, Perth, Australia) was referring to ("In situations of a fall they [helmets] are next to useless because they do not protect against diffused brain damage. The damage to the brain would still have occurred because it is the rattling inside the skull that caused the damage."). It also explains why brain injury can occur with no head impact at all (such as in rear-end car crash whiplash injuries) and often does not appear after impacts (with ot without helmets on). It's the twisting forces inside the skull that lead to DAI, not a direct blow to the head.

I think the concern with focal traumatic brain injury is with a possible intracranial hemorrhage or a depressed skull fracture occuring resulting pieces of the broken skull pressing into the tissue of the brain, but the rub is this - I use the helmet while riding, and while riding I have forward momentum. This has to be the prime risk. It also might be the explanation that the measured effects of increased helmet usage (DL Robinson, published in BMJ and GB Rodgers, for the Journal of Products Liability) shows no measurable effects in head injuries. The largest study ever, Rodgers, shows a small but significant increase in risk.

Dr. Michael Schwartz, neurosurgeon and member of Canadian Standards Association Committee has said,

" . . helmets will mitigate the effects of falling off your bicycle and striking your head . . . If a cyclist is accelerated by a car, then the helmet will not work and will not prevent a severe or even fatal injury. As neurosurgeons, we can treat some of the complications of head injuries. What we cannot alter is the kind of injury that occurs diffusely through the brain that is caused right at the moment of impact. In fact, right at that initial bump, there is violent shaking of the brain, which has the consistency roughly of Jello; it fractures actually internally."
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Old 11-19-07, 08:36 PM
  #2461  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Do you wear always safety goggles while you ride to protect your easily damaged, unrepairable eyes?
Yes, I wear either my glasses or safety glasses, which are much less expensive than the sunglasses that are advertised for cycling. I bought a pair the day of my accident in 2001, and they did save some eye injury. I do take them off in the rain though, as they then are more of a problem with the rain drops on them than they are worth for the safety factor.

John
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Old 11-19-07, 09:36 PM
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Why am I not so concern about elbows, knees, hips, etc., as I am the head? Well, I've banded my elbow, hit my knee, etc., and they get damaged and heal. But hitting the head can damage the brain, and it doesn't heal quite so well. You don't function too well for a few weeks without a brain either. So to me, it would require special protection.
As a response to my post, it's perfectly circular. Again, "The question is whether those scratched, dented, dinged, and broken helmets are actually saving lives or preventing serious injuries." There is a great deal of evidence that they are not, regardless of whether you accept that evidence or not.
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Old 11-19-07, 10:30 PM
  #2463  
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
Sure, that could be part of it.

The real problem, though, is that today's bike rider is a clueless trend follower who is regularly falling off his bike because he doesn't know any better and thinks his helmet makes him "safe".

For some reason they get all upset when I explain it to them like that.
And maybe I come from the day before yesterday

John
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Old 11-19-07, 10:32 PM
  #2464  
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
As a response to my post, it's perfectly circular. Again, "The question is whether those scratched, dented, dinged, and broken helmets are actually saving lives or preventing serious injuries." There is a great deal of evidence that they are not, regardless of whether you accept that evidence or not.
There is also a great deal of evidence in studies that helmets are effective. I've presented these abstracts in the last six months, and most of you simply look for flaws, rather then reading them and accepting that they may be saying something important. In other words, there is some blindness on both sides.

John
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Old 11-19-07, 10:47 PM
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Fair enough. I don't think I'm on record as saying that helmets offer no protection, and if I am, I take it back. My position has always been this: first, that the jury is still out on helmets as protective devices, so claiming that people who don't wear them are idiots, organ donors, etc. is stupid and offensive, and second, that many folks seem to believe -- and certainly act as though -- that helmets make you "safe" and can mitigate the effect of almost any cycling accident.

As always, I encourage people to investigate the issue and make up their own minds. I personally think that helmets probably offer at least some benefits, and almost always wear one myself. I just strongly object to people who would ridicule me for making an informed decision, or take away my ability to make that decision entirely.
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Old 11-19-07, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
Fair enough. I don't think I'm on record as saying that helmets offer no protection, and if I am, I take it back. My position has always been this: first, that the jury is still out on helmets as protective devices, so claiming that people who don't wear them are idiots, organ donors, etc. is stupid and offensive, and second, that many folks seem to believe -- and certainly act as though -- that helmets make you "safe" and can mitigate the effect of almost any cycling accident.

As always, I encourage people to investigate the issue and make up their own minds. I personally think that helmets probably offer at least some benefits, and almost always wear one myself. I just strongly object to people who would ridicule me for making an informed decision, or take away my ability to make that decision entirely.
I have no problems with these statements at all. My reason for being here is to counter what I perceive as a persistent thread through these discussions of discounting the protective nature of helmets. They are accepted in other sports that I have participated in, from rock climbing to football to parachute jumping. I wore one in helicopters on normal duty. I made a few parachute jumps without them, but they were water jumps.

I wear a helmet when scuba diving (and Closetbiker, I wrote one of the first articles in a professional diving instruction magazine on solo diving ("A Case for Solo Diving," John Ratliff, NAUI 2710, NAUI News, , May/June 1981, pg. 17-18). For scuba diving, the helmet is a modified bike helmet (old, hard-shell) that is yellow with reflective tape on it. My first concern is being seen by boaters in the river I dive in. Its secondary purpose is to provide some small level of protection when I exit on the rocks, in case I sleep. The third purpose is to provide a platform for a light.

On bicycle helmets, I will address Closetbikers concerns in another post. I have just gone through the pile of studies I have accumulated, and put them into a binder so that I can reference them easier. I have 16 such studies in that binder right now (and a like number saved as bookmarks on my FireFox browser).

John
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Old 11-20-07, 12:03 AM
  #2467  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
I'm no doctor, so please correct me if I'm off base here, I'm not even claiming what I'll post to be accurate, and I'm looking for a response to see how this explaination could be incorrect. I've PMed this to a couple of people here (as well as emailed several brain injury authorities) and so far, no one has shown me that this is incorrect. If I'm off base, show me how I am.

Bicycle helmets are primarily designed to reduce the effect of linear forces, by providing a soft crushing layer which reduces the peak linear acceleration to the brain during impact. Linear impacts were found to cause mainly only localised (focal) injury at the point of impact. These shock waves are non-injurious as they do not cause permanent displacement of brain matter...
Closetbiker,

You have some points here, but I think there are some areas to question in your quote above. I hope you don't minde too much, but I need to take these one at a time.

Early in your discussions on this now huge thread, you were quoting a paper by Peter van Schaik titled "Bicycle Helmets and The Mechanics of Head Injuries." van Schaik pointed to research that went back to the 1940s, when during WWII a fellow named A.H.S. Holbourn published an article titled "The Mechanics of Head Injuries" in The Lancet, 2, 438-441, 1943. In that paper, Holbourn made the points that van Schaik published in his internet paper. But he made them in reference to British armed forces suffering head injuries from motorcycle accidents, and Holbourn advocated for helmets for motorcycle riders during WWII. In a paper published by W.J. Curnow titled "The efficacy of bicycle helmets against brain injury (Accident Analysis and Prevention, 846, (2002). He stated in this paper:
In the days of helmets for road users, all deaths from head injury and severe effects such as coma were attributed to lesions to the brain that are obvious at examination after deaths (Strick, 1961). These include so-called focal injuries (Gennarelli, 1993) which comprise contusions, lacerations and the subdural haematoma (SDH) that may follow. They occur at the site of impact when an external object which penetrates the skull or bone of a damaged skull stries the brain. Cains and Holbourn (1943) hypothesised that a hard-shell helmet could spread the force of a blow over a wider area and reduce such injury. They concluded from a study of accidents to motorcyclists that this was so...

2.3 Angular (rotatonal) acceleration

Holbourn (1943) proposed a theory of brain injury that has no role for linear acceleration as a direct cause and rejects the mechanism of coup/contre-coup. Hestarted rom the physical properties of the brain being bout as dense and incompressible as water and having low rigidity. Using models of the brain and skull, he deduced that linear acceleration arising from a blow produces only small shear strains which have no injurious effect on the brain. Forces of rotation, by contrast, produce large shear strains and cause the brain to slide along the internal surface of the skull. Blood vessels may then be ruputred, causing SDH. He attributed so-co]alled contre-coup injuries to rotation...

3. Some implications for helmets

The testing and design of standard helmets continue to reflect the discredited theorythat linear acceleration is the dominant cause of brain injury and to neglect rotation. Ommaya et al ((11971) therefore called for revision of the standards, to include protection against its injurious effects, but to no avail.

Cains and Holbourn (1943) agued that the hard-shell motorcycle helmets of the time could reduce rotation; having a lower coefficient of friction than the head, a helmet would slide over objects, spreading a blow over a longer time. The argument may not hold for bicycle helmets. In tests involving a forward velocity plus a drop height of 1.4 m, Corner et al (1987) showed that even helmets with hard polymer shells did not slide on impact. They recommended that shells should be very stiff with a low impact sliding reaction. Instead, in order to overcome an obstacle in introducing mandatory wearing, the Australian standard was amended to allow soft shells as being more acceptable to users...Tests of impacts on asphalt at 34 km/h have since shown that soft helmets grab the surface, rotating the head and producing high angular accelerations. (Anderson et al, 1993). Ventilation holes might well aggravate this effect.

Cairns and Holbourn (1943) also argued that the buffering action of the slings and hatbands of their helmets would spread a blow over a longer time and tend to diminish rotation, but standard tests do not show whether the liner of a bicyle helmet does this. In any case, the effect on the brain is uncertain; Gennarelli (1984) and Gennarelli and Thibaut (1982) suggested that the sue of padding in cars and motorcycle helmets decreases SDH, but the risk of DAI may increase...
There is much, much more, but note that this review article in 2002 went way back to 1943 and other articles in the 1980s and 1990s. There have been many other articles in the last five years which have clarified some issues. For instance, this article has documented the fact of contre-coup injury for a bicyclist.
1: Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2002 Nov 23;146(47):2234.Links
[Diagnostic image (115). A comatose woman after a car collision. Subdural 'contre-coup'-hematoma without cranial fracture, with brain edema, and crowding]
[Article in Dutch]

Kasaoka S, Maekawa T, Bakker J.

Yamaguchi University Hospital, Advanced Medical Emergency and Critical Care Center, Ube, Japan.

A 70-year-old woman was hit by a truck from her right side when riding her bicycle. CT revealed contre-coup severe brain injury.

PMID: 12481520 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Depreitere et al ("Bicycle-related head injury: a study of 86 cases, Accident Analysis and Prevention 36 (2004) 561-567) studied these 86 cases, and stated concerning the types of injury to the brain:
From our results, it cannot be stated that bicycle accidents produce a typcial pattern of injuries. All types of craniocerebral lesions occurred in the bicycle accident victims. Some of the lesions had a notable high frequency. The high frequency of skull fractures probably means that most of our pedal cyclists had their head impacted by a stiff surface, such as a road surface or a windshield. Cerebral contusions were the second most frequent lesions.

When comparing the bicycle accidents in which a motor vehicle was involved to the other accidents, diffuse axonal injury, intraventricular bleeding and gliding contusions were more frequent in the motor vehicle collisions. Apart from this finding, which can be explained by the common pathogenic mechanism of these injuries based on high shear stresses within the brain parenchyma that are known to be associated with car collisions, the injury patterns in the bicycle accidents with and without involvement of a motor vehicel were quite simiral. Tthe higher frequency of intracerebral haematomas in the accinedts without a motor vehicle is probably explained by thehigher ages in that accident group...
They go on to make recommendations concerning bicycle helmets, that they cover more of the front of the forehead, and lower on the side. Of the 86 cases that they studied, only three were wearing helmets (and these three were fatal accidents). The last sentence of the report stated, "Meanwhile, it is evident that improving pedal cyclist head protection in Belgium should start with the promotion of the wearing of bicycle helmets."

Well, it's time for the dishes and to go to bed.

John

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Old 11-20-07, 05:09 AM
  #2468  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Yes, I wear either my glasses or safety glasses, which are much less expensive than the sunglasses that are advertised for cycling. I bought a pair the day of my accident in 2001, and they did save some eye injury. I do take them off in the rain though, as they then are more of a problem with the rain drops on them than they are worth for the safety factor.

John
Three comments.
1. That is your choice, do you recommend making that a mandatory requirement for all other cyclists? If not, why not? Wouldn't the same argument for mandatory helmet laws and social pressure to wear helmets also apply to mandatory ANSI type protection from eye trauma?
2. Regular Glasses or sunglasses do not offer the same level of eye protection as safety goggles; so why not safety goggles at all times?
3. If rain causes you a safety problem because you choose not to wear "safety protection" why do you continue to ride with less "safety?"
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Old 11-20-07, 07:50 AM
  #2469  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Three comments.
1. That is your choice, do you recommend making that a mandatory requirement for all other cyclists? If not, why not? Wouldn't the same argument for mandatory helmet laws and social pressure to wear helmets also apply to mandatory ANSI type protection from eye trauma?
2. Regular Glasses or sunglasses do not offer the same level of eye protection as safety goggles; so why not safety goggles at all times?
3. If rain causes you a safety problem because you choose not to wear "safety protection" why do you continue to ride with less "safety?"
1. Yes, let's go with that, and not only mandate mandatory eye protection for all cyclists, but also mandate that all sunglasses meet the ANSI Z81.2 requirement for impact protection. I would not have thought of that, except for your question. That sounds like a great idea.

2. Well, vision correction does help.

3. I-Like-To-Bike.

You seem to be making a statement about choice, right? ...

John
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Old 11-20-07, 08:48 AM
  #2470  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
You seem to be making a statement about choice, right? ...
Yes. Choice, AND knowlegeable decisions about acceptable risk vice mandated countermeasures driven by a counterproductive goal of elimination of all risk, no matter how low the actual risk factors, no matter what the cost, no matter what the effect.
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Old 11-20-07, 10:33 AM
  #2471  
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
I don't think there is really any question about whether people are falling off their bikes and hitting their heads/helmets, although why this seems to be happening much more often than it did in the pre-helmet days is an interesting aside...
I don't know. I think it has a lot more to do with a vocal minority than what happens to most people.

Just as with the ED issue, I think if there was a significant problem, people wouldn't ride bikes because of it.

I'm glad I rode in the days before there was a helmet issue because it sure is an interesting perception thing since it developed. Particularily when there were helmets out there, pre-issue. Something's changed, attitude wise, while the "problem" (if a problem could be described as a risk equal to another risk that isn't considered a "problem") hasn't changed much.

Proponents for helmet use started to promote dubious numbers out of context to convince people there was a problem that they were offering a solution to.

When the Bell Biker was sold, few wore them because the perception of need of this particular type was low. By the time other models came out, they convinced others of the need for the product, by using special interest lobbyists. The risks may have been the same, but the perception changed.

I think bumps, cuts and scrapes come with the territory of falling off a bicycle but when we get to "serious" injury there has yet to made significant protective equipment. About the only difference I've seen in my home province since we went from almost nobody wearing helmets to, in places, about 90% compliance, is that people are now dying wearing helmets. Still, it's a relatively rare occurance when this happens and our death rate for cyclists is equal to that of motorists and better than that of pedestrians.

I think there has been much damage done to cycling by "dangerizing" it and not the least of which is chasing ineffective solutions to some of the problems that could be improved on.

I guess that's the way I would put it. If a problem is equal to another common risk that would be deemed "acceptable", I would say a helmet is an ineffective way to deal with a non-existant problem.

Doesn't mean that anyone should not wear them or some could use theire protective qualities more than others, but to look down on another for not wearing a helmet shows a terrible lack of respect for anothers choices and a serious lack of understanding just how much good riding a bicycle can do not only for the rider, but for everyone else too.

Last edited by closetbiker; 11-20-07 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 11-20-07, 10:44 AM
  #2472  
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Accidents happen, and if I was a motorist I would expect a cyclist to take all precautions to keep himself safe and mitigate injuries in the event I somehow hit him. We're sharing the road with fast moving vehicles. I wouldn't want to be sued for an injury that could have been prevented.
I understand about not wanting to wear one though - I hate helmet hair! Take it off off-road.
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Old 11-20-07, 11:04 AM
  #2473  
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holy cow

Millions of cyclists ride without helmets and have for nearly 100 years with no ill effects. In my own experience I rode for nearly 25 years without a helmet. Its only been in the last 20 that helmets were even available unless you wore you fathers old WWII captured German army helmet or something like a hard hat or football helmet. I think the whole idea is humorous in a certain sort of way. If you get hit by an automobile that flimsy piece of styrofoam won't save you and if you insist on blasting down hills at 35 mph, on bad tires in the dark, without adequate lighting, well then, you are an accident waiting to happen.
Cycling safety is more about riding sensibly than putting on a helmet. If a guy is clumsy or reckless and is constantly falling off his bicycle then maybe he ought to take up knitting!

My sights safety film from the 1950's

https://www.myspace.com/eccentriccyclistcharlie
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Old 11-20-07, 11:34 AM
  #2474  
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+1 to Charlie Vail, also why don't the helmet companies get their helmets tested by Snell labs? Why do these kooks always fall down?
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Old 11-20-07, 11:35 AM
  #2475  
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Originally Posted by charles vail View Post
Millions of cyclists ride without helmets and have for nearly 100 years with no ill effects. In my own experience I rode for nearly 25 years without a helmet. Its only been in the last 20 that helmets were even available unless you wore you fathers old WWII captured German army helmet or something like a hard hat or football helmet. I think the whole idea is humorous in a certain sort of way. If you get hit by an automobile that flimsy piece of styrofoam won't save you and if you insist on blasting down hills at 35 mph, on bad tires in the dark, without adequate lighting, well then, you are an accident waiting to happen.
Cycling safety is more about riding sensibly than putting on a helmet. If a guy is clumsy or reckless and is constantly falling off his bicycle then maybe he ought to take up knitting!

My sights safety film from the 1950's

https://www.myspace.com/eccentriccyclistcharlie
I agree with everything here except your first sentence. There have been thousands of deaths from bicycles in the last 100 years, just in the USA. Think about the old high wheelers, and their propensity for injuring the riders. That led to the development of the "safety bike," which you probably are riding, and the recumbant bicycle, which not too many people have embraced. I haven't looked at your film yet, but will in a minute.

John
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