Helmet compulsion again

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  • Helmet compulsion again
  • Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    It’s a very sad case. But there seems to be a strange blindness to the cause of the injury. Being run over by a van is what put him in a coma. If he’d been wearing a helmet he might or might not be in a coma. If he hadn’t been run over by a van he wouldn’t be.

    soobalias
    Member

    its his son, but he didnt make him wear a helmet, now he regrets that decision.
    not that it would change his current situation
    as pointed out above, its the van that done the damage, not the lads choice of clothing.

    but why try to push that decision/responsibility onto the state?

    bigyinn
    Member

    Regardless of the argument, the father holding his son in hospital just breaks my heart.

    FWIW Im in favour of wearing helmet regardless, whether its a quick spin round the corner to the shop or a full on day in the hills.

    I don’t get the attitude that wearing a helmet isn’t effective at all.

    Surely if you wear ANY protection of any sort when undertaking a potentially hazardous activity, then the risk of injury or death is reduced (or survivability is increased, whichever way you look at it)? Or am I being overly simplistic?

    I’m throwing hypotheticals around with reckless abandon here, but lets say with this young lad that when he set off on his journey without a helmet if he is involved in an accident there’s a 10% chance of him ending up in a coma.

    If he had been wearing a helmet and the risk is reduced to say, 9%, then surely that’s better than the risk not being reduced at all? Isn’t it?

    He might still have ended up in a coma but at least he took the precautions to protect against that situation.

    gonefishin
    Member

    Surely if you wear ANY protection of any sort when undertaking a potentially hazardous activity, then the risk of injury or death is reduced (or survivability is increased, whichever way you look at it)? Or am I being overly simplistic

    You are being over simplistic I’m afraid. The assumption that more safety devices in a system automatically makes that system safer is I’m afraid incorrect.

    LHS
    Member

    I’m not going to get involved with the debate on this again, I am obviously a massive advocate of helmet use, however i don’t think anything should be compulsory. If you choose not to wear one, then fine. Mandatory for kids, maybe?

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    I don’t get the attitude that wearing a helmet isn’t effective at all.

    Not sure that attitude has been expressed on this thread.

    I’m anti compulsion, not anti helmet.
    This:
    quite simply is NOT danegrous. Why should you be forced by law to wear a helmet for that and then not wear one when you go jogging, or play football, or go ice-skating, or walk up a flight of stairs?

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Heartbreaking picture.

    IMO people in that kind of situation (thinking also of that guy last week whose daughter committed suicide and he was lashing out at a website she’d been ‘cyber-bullied’ on) can’t be expected to be rational.

    Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    You’d be better compelling car drivers to wear helmets…..

    antigee
    Member

    first of all my sympathy to the father

    currently living in Melbourne Aus and helmets are mandatory – even for kids on scooters (push sort – not French style) on our way to school this morning a car reversed out of a drive (too fast) and braked just in time to avoid hitting my youngest only probably because of her evasive action- she rides her BMX to school everyday and is very aware of the dangers of vehicles turning/reversing – my feelings on this are that wearing a helmet would have made no difference to potential injuries – I was wearing a fluro jacket and less than a wheel length behind – the problem is bad driving not what cyclists should or shouldn’t wear. that’s a full stop

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    I don’t get the attitude that wearing a helmet isn’t effective at all.

    If I’m to come off my bike and bounce my head along the road, I’d rather be wearing a helmet than not. But the issue is that cycling isn’t a particularly dangerous activity per se, and it’s far from clear that helmets make a significant difference to the overall reduction or prevention of injury.

    If we were to come up with a big list of things that would make cycling safer, helmet-wearing wouldn’t be near the top in my view, which is why it’s disappointing that it’s given so much media attention.

    Toasty
    Member

    You guys must have considerably better hair cuts than mine, I’d be perfectly fine with them enforcing it. Arguing the toss with ancient pseudo-science either way is useless.

    Why not just enforce it on the road? The above picture isn’t on the road.

    They said exactly the same when seatbelts were enforced, it’s equally people thinking their freedom has been taken away. Really doesn’t make a bit of difference. The above argument about “bad driving” fits the case perfectly, why wear a seatbelt? Can’t everyone just not have accidents? Great logic!

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    Here’s another RTA victim who was in a coma and suffered brain injury. A car passenger in this case.

    http://www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk/news/roe-valley/car-crash-coma-victim-recovers-to-claim-academic-awards-1-4888662

    So why is it only head injuries to cyclists that prompt the calls for helmet compulsion?

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    johnellison – Member

    I don’t get the attitude that wearing a helmet isn’t effective at all.

    passing a ‘helmet law’ would reinforce the idea that cycling is dangerous (it’s not really),

    It would be a great way to encourage people into their cars, and into an early grave through lack of exercise.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    They said exactly the same when seatbelts were enforced, it’s equally people thinking their freedom has been taken away. Really doesn’t make a bit of difference.

    Seat belts? You mean the safety measure that when first introduced increased the deaths of rear seat passngers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

    The BIGGEST LIE?

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    You guys must have considerably better hair cuts than mine, I’d be perfectly fine with them enforcing it.

    In which case, you’d surely have no problem with enforcing them for pedestrians and drivers.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-23788492

    Caught an interview with this chap on the radio (5 live, about 12:30 I think if anybody wants to find it on iplayer) – when challenged about the negative effects of helmet use as shown in scientific studies, he said he didn’t know anything about that, but didn’t believe such issues were real <sigh>

    In which case, you’d surely have no problem with enforcing them for pedestrians and drivers.

    and people playing football
    http://news.sky.com/story/1101822/heading-a-football-leaves-the-brain-injured

    theres loads of stuff that causes head injuries, why single out cycling?

    torihada
    Member

    If you’re a libertine, stick to the argument that its your inalienable right to do something stupid without state intervention. But don’t try to argue that in the event of a cycle accident a helmet would make no difference to your physical well being.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    But don’t try to argue that in the event of a cycle accident a helmet would make no difference to your physical well being.

    Why not? Where’s the evidence that it definitely would make a difference?

    soobalias
    Member

    when you say cycle accident, you are being quite narrow in your parameters, for that to be true.

    EDIT – it wasnt good enough to quote twice.

    pedestrian loses leg to cab driver

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    If you’re a libertine, stick to the argument that its your inalienable right to do something stupid without state intervention. But don’t try to argue that in the event of a cycle accident a helmet would make no difference to your physical well being.

    If you’re going to argue in favour of helmet compulsion, it might be a good idea to understand the argument of those who are against it. Have you spotted anybody actually making the (strawman 😉 ) argument you suggest they are?

    ormondroyd
    Member

    Why not just enforce it on the road? The above picture isn’t on the road.

    Because there’s a mountain of evidence that’d need to be climbed to demonstrate any kind of net benefit.

    There are 120 or so deaths of cyclists each year.
    Let’s say (HIGHLY generously) that 5% of those deaths would be prevented by helmet mandation (not just by helmets)

    There are 90,000 deaths from inactivity each year.
    You’d have to show, on this measure, that helmet mandation would not have an impact on activity rates that led to a 0.006% increase in mortality.

    Confident?

    torihada
    Member

    If you’re a libertine, stick to the argument that its your inalienable right to do something stupid without state intervention. But don’t try to argue that in the event of a cycle accident a helmet would make no difference to your physical well being.
    If you’re going to argue in favour of helmet compulsion, it might be a good idea to understand the argument of those who are against it. Have you spotted anybody actually making the (strawman ) argument you suggest they are?

    I’ve never argued in favour of compulsion. I’m stating that it’s inexcusable in a public environment/forum to argue that wearing a helmet in an accident will have no net benefits. By all means it is your right to ride helmet-less but you have a responsibility to not convince others to take greater risks with their lives than they otherwise would.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    I’m stating that it’s inexcusable in a public environment/forum to argue that wearing a helmet in an accident will have no net benefits

    It will only have any net benefits if you hit your head. If run over by a lorry for instance, a helmet would likely make no difference. Even if you do hit your head if the impact is large enough you’re still going to suffer some sort of brain injury. I don’t know of any studies that have shown how helpful a helmet is in reducing brain injuries when crashing at high speeds.

    By all means it is your right to ride helmet-less but you have a responsibility to not convince others to take greater risks with their lives than they otherwise would.

    By going mountain biking at all we’re increasing risk, but in the long run it will make them fitter and probably make them live longer. It’s a net gain. Helmet compulsion will reduce the numbers riding and this will damage public health.

    You cant shut down debate by saying we have a responsibility to not talk about risky behaviour.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    I’m stating that it’s inexcusable in a public environment/forum to argue that wearing a helmet in an accident will have no net benefits.

    I’ve not see anyone saying that in this thread. I do think there is a good argument that wearing a helmet for road cycling has no net benefits. Any benefit from the helmet is outweighed by other factors. Most likely risk compensation by both cyclists and drivers in my opinion.

    Those advocating compulsion need to prove that the alleged benefits are both proved and substantial enough to justify using criminal law to change behaviour.

    Junkyard
    Member

    I’m stating that it’s inexcusable in a public environment/forum to argue that wearing a helmet in an accident will have no net benefits.

    Therefore we extend this rule to other groups who get head injuries in accidents like say car drivers and pedestrians.

    Anything else would be madness and foolhardy libertine tosh from crazy risk takers.

    bellefied
    Member

    I wear a helmet and I’ve no doubt my helmet has saved me from serious injury on at least one occasion, but it hasn’t been on the road, mostly on technical trails and rocks.

    Helmets make sense if you are going fast or your risk of collision is greater than normal, but I don’t agree with a nanny state forcing me or anyone else to wear a lid.

    Riding can be a hazardous sport, even if you are just commuting on the road. It involves risks, if you don’t want to take risks then not riding a bike on the road is safer than doing so whilst wearing a helmet.

    scousebri
    Member

    To even begin to argue that wearing a helmet on the road has little or no benifit is just plain stupidity. That like saying a motor cycle rider will gain nothing by wearing a helmet. Not every RTA involves getting run over, some people need to stop trying to sound intelligent and start using some intelligence.

    mrmo
    Member

    i know this is an extreme case, wouter weylandt wore a helmet, he crashed, he died. Helmets are not a panacea.

    And as most accidents are the fault of driver error not cyclist error, i would rather the true cause of accidents was solved!

    Arguing about helmets only allows people to ignore the elephant in the room, there are far to many crap drivers on the road!

    Arguing about helmets convinces non cyclists that cycling is dangerous and something they shouldn’t do!

    We need people to see cycling as normal, something you do without thinking.

    If you want to wear a helmet feel free, if you don’t, go ahead. Just ride a bike and don’t drive the car to the shop!

    I’m taking up smoking seems its safe despite all the -ve press.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    To even begin to argue that wearing a helmet on the road has little or no benifit is just plain stupidity

    Evidence please?

    That like saying a motor cycle rider will gain nothing by wearing a helmet

    No its not. Its nothing like that. The speed that a motorcycle travels at and the speed a bike (generally) travels at are very different. A bike helmet is also totally different in construction and the speeds they’re designed for.

    Oh and the big fallacy that its safe on a bike in Holland, with 200+ deaths in 2011 it is worse than the UK by almost 100%.
    The stats are quoted as safe against the number of miles/km traveled as most of them are done on traffic free cycle paths wearing a helmet is probably not a necessity as the objective dangers are low. Having cycled on the roads in the Netherlands away from the cyclepaths its pretty scary.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    Oh and the big fallacy that its safe on a bike in Holland, with 200+ deaths in 2011 it is worse than the UK by almost 100%.

    My word.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    What mrmo said ^^.

    I had a discussion with some bloke the other day who said he was campaigning for all cyclists to wear helmets and hi-vis and could he count on my support with this petition for the MP etc.

    Tried explaining to him that it was simply one more stick to beat cyclists with:
    “van collides with cyclist – cyclist not wearing hi-vis therefore it’s perfectly OK, it’s all the cyclist’s fault” kind of thing. I mean, bloody hell, we get enough of that now without such stupid compulsion laws!

    It’s unworkable, unenforceable and just one more insidious way of shifting the blame onto the victim rather than fixing the root of the problem – crap driving, shockingly poor infrastructure and zero education of motorists re things like rights/responsibilities on the roads, the myth of road tax etc.

    Asked him if he’d campaign for all children, all horse riders, all pedestrians to wear helmets and hi-vis? Maybe all people walking up and down stairs – do you know how many head injuries there are per year from falling down stairs?!

    He said he agreed with me but he’d still be pushing on with his petition.

    Cock.

    (oh and for the reocrd, I’m pro-helmet, anti-compulsion).

    Premier Icon Moe
    Subscriber

    I’ve fallen off and banged my head twice, both times I’m a 100% certain that wearing a helmet ensured I was able to get up and carry on. I shall carry on wearing a helmet and you will all carry on arguing the toss with no conclusion …..

    If helmets were compulsory, that kid probably wouldn’t be in a coma.
    Mainly because he probably wouldn’t be riding at all.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    both times I’m a 100% certain that wearing a helmet ensured I was able to get up and carry on

    Why are 100% certain? Have you done any studies banging your head with and without a helmet to get empirical data?

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    Not every RTA involves getting run over,

    But almost all the fatal ones do do. The risk of a cyclist being killed on the road without the help of a motor vehicle is so low it is not worth worrying about.

    How many TdF riders (riding on traffic free roads) have ever been killed? Four. One drowned on a rest day (lifejacket law?). One fell down a ravine. One drug assisted heart failure. One crash at 55mph.

    So 4 deaths in a century. A helmet wouldn’t have helped for 3 and my not have saved the life of the rider who crashed at 55mph.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_de_France#Deaths

    As for deaths in the UK without motor vehicle help. Very few. Look for yourself. Click on the pics here. The vast majority involve MVs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_de_France#Deaths

    torihada
    Member

    I’ve not see anyone saying that in this thread. I do think there is a good argument that wearing a helmet for road cycling has no net benefits. Any benefit from the helmet is outweighed by other factors. Most likely risk compensation by both cyclists and drivers in my opinion..

    You’ve patently never had an OTB moment in heavy traffic, skidded off in the rain or hit a mini that pulled out in front of you, resulting in a full face plant on the tarmac. Last incident was a friend who was 17, not wearing a helmet and incurred brain damage.

    The benefit of wearing a helmet is outweighed by nothing, other than if the helmet you were wearing was 1) dangerously radioactive 2) lined with razor blades 3) made of glass. What are the downsides of wearing a helmet in an accident?

    Moreover, as with many transportation related injuries, cycling injuries are often to the head; such injuries account for approximately 30% of admissions to hospital for cycling related injuries

    source: BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2674 (Published 14 May 2013)
    (This is also the Canadian study that states overall there was no reduction in cycling deaths where mandatory helmet law was introduced, taking into account the improvement of road safety & general uptake of helmet wearing across the cycling community as a whole)

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