Helmet compulsion again

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  • Helmet compulsion again
  • Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I note that Lord Sir Bradley of Wiggins has waded in by saying they should be compulsory.

    Idiot.

    Again? He was widely misquoted about it this time last year after an off-hand comment in a interview.

    http://www.standard.co.uk/olympics/olympic-news/bradley-wiggins-i-did-not-call-for-compulsory-helmets-for-cyclists-8001325.html

    Junkyard
    Member

    but how many people other than the great and long-lost TJ can claim that they are safer not wearing one

    I can

    I would give up MTB [ ok the gnar] if i could not wear a helmet doing it and that is where i have 99% of my accidents

    We’ve had these arguments decades before with motorcycles for helmets and number plate skull splitters. I think we take those arguments against as quite stupid now. Hopefully we look back at this argument in the same way.

    And pedestrians – its just as dangerous to walk
    Oh and car drivers they get head injuries as well.
    We will look back and see not wearing a helmet all the time as stupid then.

    If people don’t want to wear one that is up to them. If they take a tumble crack their head on a kerb and spending the rest of their miserable life drooling down their fronts, it was their choice.

    Yes stupid pedestrians with their unprotected heads
    as for the rest of that emotive tosh. Most folk accept a helmet mitigates risks rather than it ensures you will not end up a dribbling burden on your loved ones.
    Most damage to a brain is caused by the deceleration of the head when the skull stops dead and the brain keeps going and hits the inner skull. As skulls are considerably stronger than brains a helmet is unlikely to make a great deal of difference- Does the lad in this incident have a fractured skull or brain damage ?

    People die from internal injuries caused to the brain which helmets wont generally prevent

    bellefied
    Member

    crazy-legs – Member

    Good article in The Times this morning:
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/article3849991.ece
    thanks for that – I think that sums up most people’s view on this thread – with the exception of the extremists of course 😉

    Dales_rider
    Member

    The significant paragrph from the Times is

    “Motorists who speed, pass too close to cyclists, drive in cycle lanes, fail to look properly while turning and stop in cycle boxes at traffic lights are liable for fines and points on their licence as well as possible jail terms. These offences should be treated seriously by police and enforced more strongly, while cyclists who jump red lights or disobey the rules of the road should also be dealt with according to the same laws. Only a small minority of motorists or cyclists misbehave – most are law-abiding, responsible road users. This must be encouraged.”

    Unfortunately reporting them is at the moment a waste of time, I’ve tried.

    antigee
    Member

    El-bent – Member
    a campaign for compulsory helmet wear moves the blame for accidents on to cyclists and fails to address anything…..
    You’ll have to forgive me for not reading all of the thread, While you are quite correct that this could be construed as placing the responsibility of road safety onto the cyclist and not the driver, I still think it’s a sensible thing for cyclists to wear a helmet on the roads.

    not sure if you read the OP – my comments were about the appropriateness of a campaign for compulsory helmet wearing (by cyclists) and if this really addressed any safety issues for cyclists ….not if wearing helmets is or isn’t sensible

    craigxxl
    Member

    Might be emotional blackmail but you can’t say it won’t happen.

    Last two accidents I had involved no other vehicle to blame. Both resulted in damaged helmets. One just scuffed as my head slid down Cutgate (massive run off just full on natural obstacles). From that accident I had broken ribs grazed arms which a helmet wouldn’t protect but no facial damage other than dirt and sore neck. The one before that hit a brick with the back of my head. Coming down a cycle path that crossed a small bridge over a stream, child ran onto the bridge without looking so it was either it the girl or avoid. It left a fist size hole in the back of the helmet. No brain damage even though it decelerated from 15+mph to nil in less than a second. I think I would have been drooling down my front and needing care if not for the helmet. That’s my proof that helmets work that I’m not in that situation. Please feel free to try these accidents yourself without an helmet. I don’t know you and won’t be looking after you.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    You’ll have to forgive me for not reading all of the thread,

    Well if you think that you’ll have to forgive me for not bothering to read your post as undoubtedly it repeats some of the guff which has already been said and disproved.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Might be emotional blackmail but you can’t say it won’t happen.

    If that is a real concern for you then I suggest you stop cycling immediately.

    Helmets are only going to protect your head (a bit) – what if you break your neck or spine and are left “spending the rest of your miserable life drooling down your fronts”?

    You DO wear a neck brace and spine protector don’t you??

    Most damage to a brain is caused by the deceleration of the head when the skull stops dead and the brain keeps going and hits the inner skull.

    And SNELL helmet certification allows a deceleration of up to 300 G’s before the helmet fails the test!

    Please feel free to try these accidents yourself without an helmet.

    You have no understanding of the issue being discussed. Please read the thread again from the start. Sorry.

    Executive Summary: if you’re going to bash your head then it’s probably best to wear a helmet* – that doesn’t mean that helmets should be compulsory or that making them compulsory would save lives overall.

    * (excluding rare, freak injuries caused by the slightly increased rotational force)

    antigee
    Member

    as undoubtedly it repeats some of the guff which has already been said

    as probably hadn’t even read the OP it was actually “new guff” 😆

    Peyote
    Member

    Might be emotional blackmail but you can’t say it won’t happen.

    Whether it will or won’t happen is irrelevant. You’re trying to prove a point based on tugging on the heartstrings of people without using any kind of logical or rational argument. It’s a poor way to get your point across and ignores so many other factors that may influence the greater picture of accident causation and resultant effect.

    You’re trying to simplify a matter so that it becomes a red-top soundbite and something like this has too big an effect, is too complex and potentially influences too many lives to go around blithely mouthing off without considering the impact* of what you’re saying.

    * For example, if research yet to be conducted demonstrated that risk compensation ended up with far more KSIs than lack of helmet wearing. NB I don’t know if it does or not, but I’m not willing to argue it isn’t important based on personal anecdotes and the mythical army of “dribbling patients” wheeled out to support the point.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Well said Peyote.

    As usual anyone who wheels out the “You are all idiots. It’s just commonsense” argument hasn’t actually given the matter much real thought.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    And when your compulsion saves a handful of lives, possibly, in a good year, how do you defend against the larger increase in inactivity deaths that would result from compulsion?

    If cycling rates drop by just, say, 10%, it’s perfectly credible to believe that could result in far more deaths, given the far higher harm to society that inactivity is causing.

    As I modelled earlier:

    120 deaths from cycling. Most wouldn’t have been prevented by helmet compulsion, fair to say? Let’s say 10, very generous.

    So that’d be overwhelmed by just a 0.01% increase in inactivity deaths, which given a 10% drop in cycling is perfectly credible.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    (and yes, that 10% inactivity *could* be made up with activities other than cycling, but who’s to say they are safer? Injury rates per mile are just as high for walking as for cycling. It’d therefore be important to also mandate helmet use for walking. Oh, and armbands for swimming.)

    Toasty
    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%.

    haha, just got to that fantastic FACT. I love how you can disregard the fact that:

    There are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands and in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague up to 70% of all journeys are made by bike.

    I wear blue shoes and have never been bitten by a poisonous spider, lots of people in the world however have, from this data I have hypothesized that blue shoes make you INVISIBLE TO POISONOUS SPIDERS.

    Toasty
    Member

    On the old note, I wear a helmet all the time anyway. I’d have zero issue with them enforcing it on roads from a personal perspective. Quoting figures of children sat on the sofa really doesn’t concern me, should they be out grinding Strava segments on busy roads?

    It’s a shame that a road accident instantly backfires into a completely irrelevant conversation. Rather than focusing on the massive systemic problems with road/bikes at the moment, the focus lays straight on the fact he didn’t have any polystyrene on his head.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    I’d have zero issue with them enforcing it on roads from a personal perspective. Quoting figures of children sat on the sofa really doesn’t concern me

    I don’t really see the relevance though. Lawmakers need to consider the overall effect of the law. It’s not about any individual’s personal perspective.

    And no, the kids shouldn’t be out grinding out strava segments, that’s a straw man. But if they’re riding bikes rather than sitting on the sofa, there’s a benefit to them, and a wider benefit to society.

    Junkyard
    Member

    That’s my proof that helmets work

    Where is your control? You have no actual proof – thats a mute point no one is denying a helmet absorbs the impact what we are debating is whether it will save your life- or in your case stop someone from drooling. You have yet to prove that point.

    Please feel free to try these accidents yourself without an helmet. I don’t know you and won’t be looking after you.

    Its to simplistic to suggest that every single crash you had with a helmet it saved your life.

    For example my worst accident involved OTB and splitting my helmet. I was still knocked out and still need 4 stitches for a facial wound. I did ride off the mountain though. Without it I would imagine I would have possibly needed mountain rescue/to be walked off but it would not have been life threatening – though of course like your example this also lacks a control so we cannot be certain.

    Just out of interest would you have cycled either of those routes without a helmet?

    craigxxl
    Member

    Where is the control sample any of the other arguments against wearing an helmet. Why don’t you try to recreate your OTB accident and let us know the outcome.
    My point was I would rather take a lesser risk of damaging my head with some kind of impact protection than not.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    My point was I would rather take a lesser risk of damaging my head with some kind of impact protection than not.

    Me too. I think most people would rather be wearing a helmet when they bang their head.

    BUT what if wearing a helmet actually increases the risk of banging your head in the first place?

    Is it still so clear cut?

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    The helmet saved my life argument is answered by looking at the fatalities during the century the TdF has been run. Mostly before helmets. A drowning (rest day), a drug induced heart attack, one crash down a ravine, and one crash at 55mph. Otherwise thousands of crashes at a relatively high speed for cycling has not resulted in a single death.

    It can happen, but you are extremely unlikely to kill yourself without the help of a motor vehicle.

    Or as it is put at cyclehelmets.org

    It’s not a simple matter to draw conclusions about the benefit a broken or deformed helmet might have provided in a crash. However, the fact that serious injury to unhelmeted cyclists is as rare as helmet damage is common, suggests that most of the claims of benefit from damaged helmets are likely to be exaggerated.

    http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1209.html

    uselesshippy
    Member

    The bottom line is, if you make helmets compulsory, less people will cycle. This leaves the rest of us even more of a minority, and treated even worse by certain motorists.
    As people have said already, we need to make the roads safer, not force the innocent parties to wear more protection.

    craigxxl
    Member

    Me too. I think most people would rather be wearing a helmet when they bang their head.

    BUT what if wearing a helmet actually increases the risk of banging your head in the first place?

    Is it still so clear cut?

    Where is the proof that wearing an helmet increases the risk of banging my head?

    mrmo
    Member

    Where is the proof that wearing an helmet increases the risk of banging my head?

    risk compensation,

    Would you ride an mtb without a helmet?

    craigxxl
    Member

    risk compensation,

    Would you ride an mtb without a helmet?

    No. I use an helmet at all times on or off road.

    mrmo
    Member

    so your taking a risk you wouldn’t take without a helmet,

    rather makes a mockery of

    Where is the proof that wearing an helmet increases the risk of banging my head?

    doesn’t it!

    craigxxl
    Member

    What complete bollocks. I ride a bike because I want to. I wear a helmet to lessen the chances of injury in doing so should I have an accident.

    mrmo
    Member

    So your saying despite all the statistics to the contrary that cycling is dangerous?

    craigxxl
    Member

    No more so than most sports that involve speed, balance and the risk of crashing.

    mrmo
    Member

    but cycling isn’t a sport, just a way of getting from a to b, do you wear a helmet walking to the shops?

    Junkyard
    Member

    Like walking or is that not risky enough despite the head injuries ?

    What complete bollocks

    Have you a rational counter to the factually correct and logically coherent argument presented?

    You just confirmed that you only ride with a helmet and yet so still deny it alters the risks you are prepared to take whilst telling us cycling is risky.
    No helmet , no ride, no cycling related injury.
    Helmet , so ride, so potential to get injured
    That is you take greater risks because you wear a helmet
    I wonder how well you backpedal [ with or without a helmet]

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    craigxxl – Member
    What complete bollocks.

    With that astute comment craigxxl wins the thread.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Yes, cycling is potentially dangerous – I have a paralysed cousin to prove it, Potential dangers are external (traffic, other riders, dogs, conditions etc) or internal (lack of skills, bravado etc). Luck also plays a role. Part of the thrill of Mtb is assessing and managing the risks involved. However, they can never be completely limited. Helmets are just one part of the equation, but like solo climbing or OW swimming etc there should be freedom to make your own choices on how you want to manage risks. I love the odd ride without a helmet and hope that I will continue to have the liberty to enjoy riding without one on those occassions.

    craigxxl
    Member

    Very rare that I fall over when walking. When I do I tend to end up on my backside not my head and the speeds involved are much, much lower too.

    craigxxl
    Member

    Junkyard, I don’t take chances thinking that the helmet will save me if it all goes wrong and never said I did. I would still a ride a bike if helmets did not exist knowing the risks but since they do I wear one in case it does go wrong.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    And lo, what I wrote about this morning did verily come to pass.

    http://bristoltrails.tumblr.com/post/59089366552/helmentalists

    Junkyard
    Member

    When I do I tend to end up on my backside not my head and the speeds involved are much, much lower too.

    Statistics are drawn from the general population not your own personal experience. These statistics show than many walkers /pedestrians die from head injuries as do car drivers. Why only cyclists ?

    I would still a ride a bike if helmets did not exist knowing the risks but since they do I wear one in case it does go wrong.

    If you would ride every single trail/descent gap and road exactly the same with a helmet or without a helemt then you will have proved the case for you.

    or

    I know which one i wont do without a helmet therefore it alters my behaviour / risk assesment

    TBH it would be woeful PPE if it did not.
    I imagine this is the case for all [ except the old diehard wont wwear a helmet at all- are there any left*?]

    * not suggesting they are all dead just I dont know any. Perhaps because they even do with their kids

    Would save far more lives to make helmets compulsory for car occupants.

    Just sayin’

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Dear The Government,

    This diagram used to get used a lot in my old workplace (chemical engineering)

    Hierachy of hazard control, the most effective control at the top, the least effective at the bottom. Eliminate the risk, substitute what you’re doing/using with something less hazardous, bring in controls (like automated equipment) to do the job for you, have good admin procedures in place and lastly, you look at the PPE with a view to using the minimum amount necessary.

    In cycling terms, you can’t eliminate although can certainly minmise by having segregated routes. Engineering junctions, roads etc so that they’re safer and admin controls would be things like presumed liability, a proper judicial system that actually treated cyclists as people rather than inconveniences. Once all that’s in place, then you can make us wear helmets if necessary.

    I look forward to your proposed laws to make cycling safer. Hint: helment wearing isn’t one of them.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Where is the proof that wearing an helmet increases the risk of banging my head?

    Since you deny being influenced by risk compensation (yeah right!) have you considered the risk compensation of others.

    Drivers treat a serious looking cyclist in a helmet differently than one without.

    Dr Ian Walker from Bath Uni did a lovely experiment to illustrate this that measured how much room drivers gave him when he was wearing a helmet compared to not. The results are informative!

    http://www.drianwalker.com/overtaking/

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    except the old diehard wont wwear a helmet at all- are there any left*?]

    * not suggesting they are all dead just I dont know any. Perhaps because they even do with their kids

    I’m one. The only time I have worn a helmet in years was a ride with my local MTB club to comply with their rules. Otherwise on road or off road I don’t. My off road is not too technical though. Nothing harder than the Devils Staircase, Corrieyairick, Cairngorm Circuit etc.

    My kids never wore helmets either. One of them once suffered a slight bruise a helmet would have prevented. They have had more non cycling related injuries. I didn’t make them wear PPE for their other activities either.

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