Ye old helmet debate

Just in case

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Cake    pirate
09/06/2014 at 18:49

Just on the way home say a nasty crash. Poor bloke was going at speed alone middlewood road if anyone know's it in sheffield. Did what a few cyclist's have done before, never more than once and misjudged the tram track's and court there wheel in them. Bounced down the road for a few metres and came to a stop with there shorts shreaded with fricture burn and both elbow's and upper and lower arm's red roar.This started just after the junction the tram's turn in if you know there area and he stopped just after the turning for the sheffield wednesday training ground.

Entirely human error of the part of the cyclist and lucky there was no car behind them. I was about 5 mentre's from them when they started to go on the otherside of the road and had a painfully good view as they turned into a buncing bomb. If not for there helmet I'm willing to bet I would have been phoning a amulance instead of just checking them out for bruses and making sure they where safe to get home. They do work girls and germ's.

Oh and also anyone cycling around these part's don't ever put your wheel's near the tram track's. It hurts a lot.

09/06/2014 at 19:14

Never wore a helmet when i was a kid landed on me head a few times never did me sny harmNever wore a helmet when i was a kid landed on me head a few times never did me sny harmNever wore a helmet when i was a kid landed on me head a few times never did me sny harm

Did i tell youNever wore a helmet when i was a kid landed on me head a few times never did me sny harm

09/06/2014 at 19:55

Humans tend to judge risk based on experience rather than statistics. This tends to result in risky behaviour, ie I've never had food poisoning from rice so I'll store this leftover rice until tomorrow despite advice saying that's a risk of food poisoning. Bike helmets are an interesting one because the stats say they don't particarly help, but many/most people think they're useful. I'm a scientist and I wear my cycle helmet because 1) superstition. First time I fell of my bike was when I wasn't wearing it, and 2) anecdotal evidence. Two people I know who had life-changing head injuries from cycle accidents.

IronBlue    pirate
09/06/2014 at 20:22
I live in Manchester and see people cycling like absolute idiots all the time with no helmet. Taking their lives in their own hands in my opinion. Sounds like the guy Cake saw was unlucky with a tram track but when people cycle badly with no helmet it makes car drivers less patient with all of us. I've been hit twice by cars, once quite badly. I stay out of town now
09/06/2014 at 20:34

I've evidence by those there science people that say a helmet can both save life AND cause injuries, both made a good case for wearing and not wearing one.

Having worked the streets of east London now for over 10 years and been to probably over 100 collisions involving bikes and several of these have been fatal, i personally think they do help...yes i get the argument that if hit by a truck at 40mph then a bit of polystyrene on your head is going to do nothing.but hey if it increases my chance i'll keep wearing one.

But no i wouldn't want then complusary

Crooky-IronKnee    pirate
09/06/2014 at 20:45

I would never ever cycle anywhere without my helmet

a couple of years ago I was out on a ride, it was raining and I was going too fast downhill put on brakes and completely lost it

ended up with cracked ribs and a smashed helmet at the back, which would have been my head on the road and I think a really serious injury

09/06/2014 at 20:56

James Cracknell, example of why you wear a helmet! 

09/06/2014 at 21:06

Hang on a minute - if you bang your head without a helmet and get hurt that's evidence you should have worn one, if Cracknell bangs his head with one and gets hurt, that's evidence you should wear one too because it would have been so much worse, if you bang your head with one and you don't get hurt, that's evidence they work and you should wear one, I suppose if you bang your head without one and don't get hurt you were just lucky.   

09/06/2014 at 21:08

Ok, now my head hurts and I haven't banged it - helmet or not 

09/06/2014 at 22:09

I know for a fact that when getting run over by an articulated, caught under the wheels and dragged along with your head bouncing of the kerb, a helmet would definitely and did help my friend.

I can not understand why it isn't the law.

Magna Carter    pirate
09/06/2014 at 22:41

I'm a keen sailor, and have watched this debate over the years with interest, as it carries many parallels with the debate in the sailing community over wearing of lifejackets.

About 3 years ago, Ireland took a stance on lifejackets and made them compulsory for all vessels under a certain length, and for all children below 16. It was a sledge hammer to crack a walnut, and has measureably put many people off participation. It has also had no, zero, nada, nowt, in the way of measurable impact on accident outcomes or on the number of people actually ending up in the water to start with . The figures have not moved one iota. Research has suggested that previously, lifejackets were being worn when needed, rather than at all time.

I'm all for the wearing of cycle helmets, but the evidence from Irish lifejackets 'experiment' has been that compulsion discourages participation, and is absolutely no more effective than voluntary encouragement. Substantially better outcomes would clearly have been achieved by investing the money that has been spent informing the sailing community of the new law, and then enforcing it, instead on education, advice and support. The parallel with cycling again, would be to invest in driver and cyclist education and better separation and sharing schemes, rather than criminalising cyclists. ie make it safer to start with, and then encourage people to 'want' to wear helmets, rather than ' have' to.

But, most of all, I don't trust any legislative body, especially from our current generation of political bafoons (of all political persuasions) to create any kind of sensible cycling safety legislation, rather would expect them to deliver a heavy handed set of ludicrous laws that miss the point completely. I can't help but think that we  should be very careful what we wish for.

09/06/2014 at 22:57

I am pleased to say that I wear a helmet, nearly 3 weeks ago I fell off having hit a patch of mud on tarmac, result was mild concussion. Without a helmet it would have been far, far worse. The helmet cracked and not my skull.

cougie    pirate
09/06/2014 at 23:16
I'm old. I remember the days before these foam helmets were invented. In my club nobody died from crashing.

Sure they will help a bit - but people really overestimate their benefit. Just because the helmet cracked - it doesn't necessarily follow that you would have died.

There's also the perspective that cycling is a dangerous sport. It's really not.
And motorists pass closer to cyclists with helmets on. That's bad.

I'm against compulsory wearing. Look at holland - millions of them cycling with no crash hats. They're surviving ok.
09/06/2014 at 23:39
SteadyCJ wrote (see)

I am pleased to say that I wear a helmet, nearly 3 weeks ago I fell off having hit a patch of mud on tarmac, result was mild concussion. Without a helmet it would have been far, far worse. The helmet cracked and not my skull.

Like I said above though - whatever the outcome of an impact to the head people use it as evidence to support the effectiveness of helmets.  

The truth is you hit your head and your helmet failed to prevent concussion - you could just as well say it's evidence they don't work.   I'm not saying helmets don't work or don't wear one but it can't be right that every single incident is evidence for helmets whatever the outcome - that just doesn't make sense.   

Cake    pirate
10/06/2014 at 00:15

Surely it's about the %'s if you wear a helmet and if it's fitted right the % is that depending on the crash your more likely to be less damaged if your wearing one?

Not saying it's a magic bullet and if the run away truck hit's you it's going to save your life clearly it's not, but a seatbelt isn't going to save your life in that situation in a car. But everyone now agree's seltbelts are a good idea. Even through for a spell after they where made the law the number of car accidents actually went up because people felt safer, causing more people to drive like conpleate tools.

I think most of us will have got something for our bike that inproved speed/eficansy by 5/10% be it cleat's, tri bar's of for those with the cash some little gadget that cost's a lot and only weight's 2 gram's less than what you already had. To me and not got anything other that anidotal evidence to back this up a helmet will increase your safety by the same sort of margin surely?

All jokes aside I've had concussion a few times more than I can count (there is a joke there somewhere) and it can ever be slightly bad and feeling ill for a few days or in one case for myself needed hospital. There is also conpresion which is basically lethal unless your ever very very lucky or got someone near you when it happen's who know what they are doing. How much worse would the injury Steady had if she hadn't been wearing a helmet? Concussion can and does in some cases kill. Saying someone had concussion therefore the helmet didn't protect then doesn't hold up to me becuase it's not like other types of injury and effect's you in degree's depending on how bad the inpact and other factor's like helmet's are.

Edited: 10/06/2014 at 00:17
10/06/2014 at 05:17

TBH 90 % of the time i put a helmet on sometimes when its hot i have a lot of climbing to do snd am on a quiet route i don't bother and I ACCEPT the risk, i like having the freedom of choice

10/06/2014 at 07:07
Cake and RBM make good points, it's about reducing the likelihood and severity of injury in an accident and if you don't wear one, you accept the changed odds. Wearing one, or not, should be an individual's choice. I would like to see (say) under 8's being made to wear them, but then is it always needed and would it put them off cycling? It doesn't seem to put them off horses though which IMO are far more dangerous than a bike.

Whatever, when people do wear them, it really irritates me to see them worn incorrectly, either angled back showing all of the forehead or like a woman I see every day, way too small and perched on top of her hairdo. I always think 'why bother'?
10/06/2014 at 07:08

I had a cycling accident a few years ago that left me with a "severe" brain injury.  Among a lot of other things this has left me partially sighted.  I was in hospital for months (and in a coma for some time).  I still undergo regular therapy; can no longer go to work.  I have been told that I will not do so again.  My brain injury related change of personality is very difficult for my family and I am in real danger of loosing them.  Thank God I was wearing a helmet.  I have no idea of the outcome if I hadn't been but am glad that I didn't take the risk.  By the way I have no memory of how the accident happened (nor of rather a lot such as my children being born/growing up).  If there is the slightest chance that they can save lives/reduce injury, we must wear one.  Please.

TheEngineer    pirate
10/06/2014 at 07:55

The plural of anecdote is not data.

IGIT    pirate
10/06/2014 at 08:37
cougie wrote (see)
I'm against compulsory wearing. Look at holland - millions of them cycling with no crash hats. They're surviving ok.

I'm also against compulsory wearing but this isn't a good argument - drivers in Holland have a much better attitude towards cyclists (because in an accident, the cyclist always has the law on their side!) and on most busy roads there separate cycle lanes and in general a much better cycling infrastructure (separate crossing points etc.). I lived there for 4 months and never once came even close to an incident and I cycled every day. Over here I would say nearly every time I go out on my bike, someone in a car passes too close or does something else dangerous!

I would never go out on my bike without a helmet but if others choose to do so, good luck to them! Don't get me started on people who cycle with no helmets and massive noise cancelling headphones on....

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