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The Helmet Thread 2

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View Poll Results: What Are Your Helmet Wearing Habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet
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10.40%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped
24
4.80%
I've always worn a helmet
208
41.60%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do
126
25.20%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions
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The Helmet Thread 2

Old 05-22-23, 09:10 AM
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According to this study in the Netherlands:
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentra...89-020-08544-5

For the general population helmet use is not cost-effective. They are cost-effective for the elderly since they are more susceptible to TBI. If prices of helmets were lower by 20%, they would be cost effective for the general population.

So it's close, according to this one study in 2020. Another point is that the Netherlands is considered the 2nd safest country in Europe for cyclists behind Denmark.

I'm America, we have Fahrenheit 451 style aggressive drivers so if I rode mostly on the road I would probably wear a helmet. I mostly ride on sidewalks and bike trails to avoid cars, so I feel less of a need to wear a helmet.
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Old 05-22-23, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rc5781
According to this study in the Netherlands:
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentra...89-020-08544-5

For the general population helmet use is not cost-effective. They are cost-effective for the elderly since they are more susceptible to TBI. If prices of helmets were lower by 20%, they would be cost effective for the general population.

So it's close, according to this one study in 2020. Another point is that the Netherlands is considered the 2nd safest country in Europe for cyclists behind Denmark.

I'm America, we have Fahrenheit 451 style aggressive drivers so if I rode mostly on the road I would probably wear a helmet. I mostly ride on sidewalks and bike trails to avoid cars, so I feel less of a need to wear a helmet.
I'm not sure you would have less hazards on a sidewalk. And interactions with hikers and dogs on the trails? That being said, if I was falling off my bike on a regular basis then it would make sense to wear a helmet all the time. I own a helmet so I wear it. I'm cheap like that, lol.
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Old 05-22-23, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by curbtender
I'm not sure you would have less hazards on a sidewalk. And interactions with hikers and dogs on the trails? That being said, if I was falling off my bike on a regular basis then it would make sense to wear a helmet all the time. I own a helmet so I wear it. I'm cheap like that, lol.
After a couple of pretty bad falls, I've toned down my cycling style a lot. Never afraid to come to a complete stop. Time intersections to allow cars to pass. Go behind cars attempting a right turn and not looking for cyclists to the left. Going around pedestrians, dogs, baby carriages by a large distance. Stopping and waving an opposite approaching cyclist to pass by. Slowing way down on blind corners.

I often think to myself "Why...such desperate haste?" from Henry David Thoreau's Walden.
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Old 05-22-23, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rc5781
According to this study in the Netherlands:
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentra...89-020-08544-5

For the general population helmet use is not cost-effective. They are cost-effective for the elderly since they are more susceptible to TBI. If prices of helmets were lower by 20%, they would be cost effective for the general population.

So it's close, according to this one study in 2020. Another point is that the Netherlands is considered the 2nd safest country in Europe for cyclists behind Denmark.

I'm America, we have Fahrenheit 451 style aggressive drivers so if I rode mostly on the road I would probably wear a helmet. I mostly ride on sidewalks and bike trails to avoid cars, so I feel less of a need to wear a helmet.
Thanks for the link. Calculating the cost-effectiveness of reducing rates of death, traumatic brain injury, and disability resulting from bike crashes is a pretty cold-blooded way to determine whether mandating helmet use is worth considering. The same reasoning could be used to recommend the defunding of fire departments. I've been paying ever-increasing property taxes to support the local fire department for decades, and my house hasn't burned yet. Doesn't get less cost-effective than that.

The authors of the study were not disputing the efficacy of helmet use in preventing injury and death. Also, if you think avoiding riding in traffic means you're not at risk of a potentially debilitating bike accident, think again. From the article:

"About 75% of all bicycle-related head injuries are caused by single-bicycle accidents, i.e. accidents without any motorized vehicles involved. In most cases this involves falls or collisions with an obstacle [14]. Polinder et al. (2016) identified these injuries as a priority area for prevention [15]. The use of bicycle helmets has been found to be an effective measure of preventing head and brain injuries, especially in the case of these single-bicycle accidents [16,17,18,19]. It is associated with a 51% reduction in odds for head injury, according to the most recent and comprehensive systematic review on the subject [18]."

The results of the study show that the rates of death and debilitating injury resulting from bike crashes in the Netherlands are not quite high enough (yet; they've been increasing substantially of late, according to the article) to justify mandating helmet use in the country. Reasonable, if, as I noted above, a bit cold-blooded. But the average cost of a helmet in the Netherlands is only about 90 euros or so.

No need to mandate helmet use. Buying a new helmet every 5 years for about 90 euros per helmet works out to about 18 euros a year. Since that's a trivial amount for almost anyone, funding nationwide advertising campaigns that alert the country's residents to the increasing rates of serious injury (including brain injury) and death resulting from bike accidents would seem to be the obvious way to approach the problem.

Incidentally, data presented in the article show clearly that the surprising increase in the rate of single-bike accidents in the country and the attendant increases in morbidity and mortality are largely consequences of the increase in the number of electric bikes being ridden there.
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Old 05-22-23, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rc5781
According to this study in the Netherlands:
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentra...89-020-08544-5

For the general population helmet use is not cost-effective. They are cost-effective for the elderly since they are more susceptible to TBI. If prices of helmets were lower by 20%, they would be cost effective for the general population.

So it's close, according to this one study in 2020. Another point is that the Netherlands is considered the 2nd safest country in Europe for cyclists behind Denmark.

I'm America, we have Fahrenheit 451 style aggressive drivers so if I rode mostly on the road I would probably wear a helmet. I mostly ride on sidewalks and bike trails to avoid cars, so I feel less of a need to wear a helmet.
OK - now you're arguing cost effectiveness. The Netherlands is a whole different situation. I don't want to opine on that. It's flat, they have a pervasive bike-friendly culture, and people use their bikes differently than in the U.S., often as primary transportation. In the U.S., most people are not relying on their bike as primary transportation because it is all they can afford (although that is the case for some people). I would think most people in the U.S. -- at least the ones on this forum -- who are largely cycling by choice not out of necessity, can afford a $50 helmet.

Don't even get me started with people biking on sidewalks. It's one of my biggest pet peeves.
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Old 05-22-23, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia
Don't even get me started with people biking on sidewalks. It's one of my biggest pet peeves.
Stupid, not to mention illegal in many if not most places.
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Old 05-22-23, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Stupid, not to mention illegal in many if not most places.
Please don't call someone stupid and then state something that's inaccurate.

According to:
https://www.bikelaw.com/2022/08/is-i...e-on-sidewalk/

Local laws govern whether it's legal or illegal to ride on sidewalks. Most states allow it or have no law regarding it and you must follow local laws.

Admittedly MOST cyclists on sidewalks are horrible. I'm not one of those cyclists. I don't scare pedestrians.
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Old 05-22-23, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Stupid, not to mention illegal in many if not most places.
Cycling on the sidewalk is legal in Washington State. People riding on the sidewalk must keep your speed prudent and yield the right of way to people on foot.

I believe the major reason it's allowed here is that we don't have enough safe bike infrastructure to be able to get around safely without using the sidewalk. I, and I suspect many others, ride on the sidewalk as the last resort.

https://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default....or%20crosswalk.
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Old 05-22-23, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rc5781
Please don't call someone stupid and then state something that's inaccurate.

According to:
https://www.bikelaw.com/2022/08/is-i...e-on-sidewalk/

Local laws govern whether it's legal or illegal to ride on sidewalks. Most states allow it or have no law regarding it and you must follow local laws.

Admittedly MOST cyclists on sidewalks are horrible. I'm not one of those cyclists. I don't scare pedestrians.
Riding on the sidewalk is stupid. People don't have to be stupid to do stupid things. Nothing in your link counters illegal in many if not most places.
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Old 05-22-23, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Nothing in your link counters illegal in many if not most places.
Only these states and NYC prohibit or generally prohibit bikes on sidewalks:
Alabama
Georgia
Maryland
Nevada
North Dakota
New York City

For the other states they either ALLOW it or have no law for or against it. In these states a minority of local municipalities have disallowed it, mostly in business districts.

So you're wrong. It's LEGAL to ride on sidewalks in most places in the US.
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Old 05-22-23, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rc5781
Only these states and NYC prohibit or generally prohibit bikes on sidewalks:
Alabama
Georgia
Maryland
Nevada
North Dakota
New York City

For the other states they either ALLOW it or have no law for or against it. In these states a minority of local municipalities have disallowed it, mostly in business districts.

So you're wrong. It's LEGAL to ride on sidewalks in most places in the US.
You've checked all the local ordinances to come up with a minority? Didn't think so. Nevertheless, my statement was "many if not most." You go ahead, though. Sidewalk and no helmet, Darwin approves.
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Old 05-22-23, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rc5781
According to this study in the Netherlands:
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentra...89-020-08544-5

For the general population helmet use is not cost-effective. They are cost-effective for the elderly since they are more susceptible to TBI. If prices of helmets were lower by 20%, they would be cost effective for the general population.

So it's close, according to this one study in 2020. Another point is that the Netherlands is considered the 2nd safest country in Europe for cyclists behind Denmark.

I'm America, we have Fahrenheit 451 style aggressive drivers so if I rode mostly on the road I would probably wear a helmet. I mostly ride on sidewalks and bike trails to avoid cars, so I feel less of a need to wear a helmet.
Not cost-effective, in what way? How are you calculating cost-effectiveness? 20% lower than what price point? The high end of road bike helmets is sub-$400. On the other end of the spectrum, you can get a MIPS-equipped helmet for sub-$50. I value the function of my brain a lot more than $400, and being unable to work due to a head injury would probably cost me a lot more than $400. A helmet seems to me like a pretty cost-effective way of reducing the chance of a TBI.

On three different occasions, a helmet has sacrificed itself to protect my head. When I was young, my father was struck from behind by a car while commuting home from work. He was one of the early adopters of the original hard-shell Bell helmet, and it saved his life. Today's helmets are significantly lighter, safer, better-fitting, and better-ventilated than ever. If I'm riding any further than the end of my block, I'm wearing a helmet. Then again, I don't ride slowly on sidewalks and bike trails. Most of my road riding is on streets with cars. My small amount of time on bike paths is usually in excess of 20mph - fast enough for an accident to be potentially catastrophic.
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Old 05-22-23, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
You've checked all the local ordinances to come up with a minority? Didn't think so.
Stop trying to gaslight me...

I listed the minority of states that disallow it or mostly disallow it.

Regarding the other states. About HALF if not more of them ALLOW it, statewide.

Local laws govern the legality in the states that have no statewide laws. For example in California, only 5 cities have banned it out of a gazillion. Your assumption that most municipalities have banned it in states that have no statewide law is wrong.
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Old 05-22-23, 02:15 PM
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Pal, your reading comprehension is on par with your cycling knowledge. Past time for you to be added to the iggy list.
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Old 05-22-23, 02:17 PM
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Okey dokey smokey
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Old 05-22-23, 03:04 PM
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Here’s an example of why Netherlands is much safer for riding bikes…


This is not a condition I have ever encountered in the US. Additionally, traveling by bicycle is a much larger part of common Dutch culture, and people are more aware and in tune with bikes around them.
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Old 05-22-23, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Here’s an example of why Netherlands is much safer for riding bikes…

[Image omitted]

This is not a condition I have ever encountered in the US. Additionally, traveling by bicycle is a much larger part of common Dutch culture, and people are more aware and in tune with bikes around them.
That's the big part, in addition to the network of safe bike infrastructure (including Dutch intersections).

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Old 05-23-23, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rc5781
According to this study in the Netherlands:
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentra...89-020-08544-5

For the general population helmet use is not cost-effective. They are cost-effective for the elderly since they are more susceptible to TBI. If prices of helmets were lower by 20%, they would be cost effective for the general population.

So it's close, according to this one study in 2020. Another point is that the Netherlands is considered the 2nd safest country in Europe for cyclists behind Denmark.

I'm America, we have Fahrenheit 451 style aggressive drivers so if I rode mostly on the road I would probably wear a helmet. I mostly ride on sidewalks and bike trails to avoid cars, so I feel less of a need to wear a helmet.
The Netherlands study established only that reducing the price of helmets would be more cost effective at reducing TBI than mandating helmet use. It was not a finding that buying a cheap helmet wouldn't be cost effective for you.
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Old 05-23-23, 06:28 PM
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I'm not sure where I would mount my mirror, headlight and camera without a helmet. It's a very useful platform for more than simply head protection. My handle bar is already crowded with a daytime light, smart phone, and gps when caching. Maybe I just like my gadgets too much.
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Old 05-24-23, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by rc5781

Admittedly MOST cyclists on sidewalks are horrible. I'm not one of those cyclists. I don't scare pedestrians.

The vast majority of drivers rate themselves as far above average drivers.
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Old 05-30-23, 04:01 PM
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lets gooo
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Old 05-30-23, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Wasted Tuition
lets gooo
Where are we going?
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Old 06-04-23, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia
OK - now you're arguing cost effectiveness. The Netherlands is a whole different situation. I don't want to opine on that. It's flat, they have a pervasive bike-friendly culture, and people use their bikes differently than in the U.S., often as primary transportation. In the U.S., most people are not relying on their bike as primary transportation because it is all they can afford (although that is the case for some people). I would think most people in the U.S. -- at least the ones on this forum -- who are largely cycling by choice not out of necessity, can afford a $50 helmet.
The Dutch can afford a E50 helmet too. They just often prefer the bike over the Mercedes or Tesla. Both without having to wear a helmet that is. The price point is irrelevant, unless it would be as cheap as for example an umbrella and you can leave them, lend them, buy one of if you forgot one. That would allow for a different kind of use and that would potentially make a difference. But it won't happen, it isn't a debate. Every now and then some EU pencilpusher from a non cycling country believes he has brilliantly found the solution to a non existing problem and starts pushing it, but there is no helmet debate here. We just have arrogant doctors, brain surgeons in particular, who believe the world should be shaped with what happens to be their feild of expertise at the centre.

But my compatriots and me don't care about reducing TBI, I won't notice the difference, there is not a big TBI problem going on right now. People do stupid things or do things they lack the competence for, and get hurt. It's not for government to prevent all bad things, which a helmet won't btw. It's also reasoned from the ER entirely, not from all the incidents that didn't make it to the ER, it's a kind of survivor bias the other way around. It's not like you can you change just one variable without any other effect. I'm not suggesting that ordinary cyclists will get into the same higher TBI statistics as the helmet wearing cyclists, road cyclists and mountain bikers for example, but should we really allow people that can't even keep themselves safe on a bike on the bike paths where also little children have to ride a learn to deal with traffic? If you need a helmet it's not safe enough or you are not safe enough. I don't do transportation modalities that are so unsafe they require a helmet and I won't in the future either. A mandate would change the crowd on the streets and change the style of riding, defenitely in an unsafer way. But it's all hypothetical, there has never been Dutch cycling with helmets and when it's only with helmets it's not Dutch cycling anymore. Dutch cycling has been doing fine without neurologists for ages.and people like that should stop acting like Dutch cycling is theirs or the government's by moaning for helmets, it's not and it's not even their field of expertise.
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Old 06-04-23, 07:23 AM
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A GOOD helmet certainly helps. And you can look up the certifications to see which ones should be noted on the inside of a helmet. A cheap helmet can actually cause damage. Example--I worked in a motorcycle shop after graduating from high school (yes-motorcycle helmet, but still a valid comparison). A competitive shop was giving away a helmet with a motorcycle purchase. We kept one of those helmets handy. A customer buying a motorcycle would ask if we were giving away a helmet. We would bring the helmet out and ask if this was the one being given away. They would answer it was. At which point we would slam it to the floor. It didn't crack, or absorb the shock, but bounced right back up. We'd then ask if this is what they wanted on their head if in an accident. We never had anyone want it! If you don't ever fall, or hit your head if you do, then maybe a helmet might not be necessary. But I have fallen--hard--on both a motorcycle and a bicycle and am glad I was wearing a good helmet. Otherwise, I might not be posting this!!
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Old 06-04-23, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Stadjer
Every now and then some EU pencilpusher from a non cycling country believes he has brilliantly found the solution to a non existing problem and starts pushing it, but there is no helmet debate here. We just have arrogant doctors, brain surgeons in particular, who believe the world should be shaped with what happens to be their feild of expertise at the centre.
But my compatriots and me don't care about reducing TBI, I won't notice the difference, there is not a big TBI problem going on right now.
It should be noted that few, if any doctors or brain surgeons have any special knowledge or expertise on the actual real world effectiveness of bicycle helmets in reducing TBI or other serious head injuries for the population of bicyclists involved in accidents or collisions.
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