Bike helmets are awesome!

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by JoelTGM, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that pavement making contact with your cranium from your upright stance at 10mph won't be so bad - at 20mph it would be much worse...
     


  2. Reid2

    Reid2 Member

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    That's so true, brave heart. How fast,
    folks, do we want to impact the ground when we fall

    ?

    ((we need not fall at all))


    love forever,

    R
     
  3. Reid2

    Reid2 Member

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    Mike Rubbo, keeper of Olive Riley, is an online buddy of mine.
    He is also a champion for bicyclists over cars. Listen to Olive at 105?
     
  4. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, we need not fall - you're so right. Heck, if it were all under my control and up to me I'd NEVER fall, but...heck again, I'll probably just stop wearing my seatbelt and not buckle my daughter in her car seat. Afterall, we need not get involved in car accidents, but...
     
  5. Reid2

    Reid2 Member

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    Babies and fools like me always land on their feet.

    You too. At ten-per, leaning back, we see the world,

    the world sees us. Babies love sunlight and fresh air:








    Ding!

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  6. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    So I guess y'all did get that referendum passed in So. Florida to have all your pavement retrofitted with padding...nice! Good riding to ya'...perhaps I'll get the petition started to have the pavement up here in this neck of the woods padded too..
     
  7. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Happy to hear you are good Joel!

    Having lost a ride buddy a little over a week ago and a fellow adaptive ski instructor/racer a little more than a year ago to head injuries sustained while wearing a helmet, I continue to be somewhat ambivalent about snowsports and cycling helmets.
    No doubt they provide additional protection, but they are far from a prevention device. The design goal for the typical cycling, skating, snowsports helmet is to reduce the speed the brain impacts the skull in a relatively low-speed impact. The design objective is to prevent "brain-smash" from direct 90* impact vectors up to 12-15mph. Not a certification requirement, but non-direct impact vectors have added protection because of the physics involved.
    That was proven by a friend participating in a recreational skier-cross race a year ago. Wearing a helmet, he caught too much air off of a jump and landed with a glancing head/face impact on the hard icy surface. Broken eye socket bones and occipital bone, he was life-flighted out with serious brain trauma, unconscious for 2 days, and endured 3 months of therapy before returning home. I was invited to participate in that skier-x race but declined because I wasn't wearing my helmet. (I usually don't for recreational skiing) Ironically two hours later that same afternoon, I was being given a recognition award in memory of my adaptive instructor friend when word of my other friend's skier-x accident texted across my phone. Surreal.

    I wear my bike helmet almost 100% of the time now (past year). Got one that is very minimal - Atmos - so it isn't hot and uncomfortable like my 20 year old Bell was. The degree of protection is barely CPSC/CE minimum I'm sure. I feel no greater sense of security with it on; however it makes my ride buddies happy when I wear it, so there is something to be said for happy ride partners I guess. It might help and for the most part it can't hurt.

    In some ways my bike and ski helmets are a safety "hazard" to me. The straps on my bike helmet create air turbulence and wind noise at 15-20 mph that interferes with/masks the sound of distant approaching vehicles that I previously relied on to monitor vehicle traffic behind me. Sometimes I confuse the wind noise with approaching vehicles and can no longer gauge how far back a vehicle is and how fast it is approaching until it is already very close. A similar thing happens with my ski helmet - I lose wind sensation on my ears and hearing is diminished so I have more difficulty judging my speed. For competition (racing) I always wear a helmet, but for recreational skiing, rarely.

    My ride buddy was taken out by a car from the rear. He never knew what hit him. Massive head injuries despite having a helmet on. Driver claims to have had a sneezing fit, which forced eyes closed. Maybe, maybe not?? Perfectly straight open roadway. Cyclist was very experienced and a "safety geek". Makes me wonder...

    Just my ramblings to highlight that a helmet doesn't make the real world go away.
     
  8. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    David Letterman's Top One Reason to question wearing a helmet while cycling:
    1. The minimalist straps cause wind rustling that interferes with hearing potentially hazardous rear approaching vehicles.

    Yeah, I'm a cynic and skeptic sometimes, but that reason is hard for me to purchase. I'd proffer that your helmet straps aren't adjusted properly nor tight enough. They shouldn't be "flappin' in the wind" at any speed - mine don't.

    Of course the stories of your passing friends are very sad and I empathize, but of course, cycling/skiing helmets are not designed to save a person from fatality or serious injury in every situation where there's contact between cranium and a solid object. No one in their right mind makes that assumption when they put a cycling/skiing helmet on.

    It's all about the odds, and no doubt they're swung MUCH more in my favor of survival/safety/viability with a helmet versus not...I'll take those odds 100% of the time - recreation or competition. Looking cool and/or hearing those vehicles from behind will just have to suffer...ymmv...
     
  9. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Your checkbook is safe - no need to purchase ... wasn't selling. ;)

    DL ... the world's authority on helmets -
     
  10. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    I bought a helmet primarily because I wanted to go to some organized tours and the helmet was a necessity in order to participate but I actually started using it on fast roads.
    Another interesting use that I discovered about helmets, this might sound a bit odd though /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif, is that when people see you riding with a helmet they seem to think that you are a "serious" cyclist and that you are "serious" about what you are doing. This results in pedestrians actually getting out of the way in cycle lanes and not getting exposed to too much road rage.
    In case you get involved in an accident its not only your head that can be injured. I had various crashes over the years (with some brief visits to the hospital after a few) and what I found out about crashes is that you dont know when you are going to crash. Interestingly enough some of the "more" serious injuries that I had were at very little speed too. I still remember once when I tried to turn the handlebar at exactly the moment where the front wheel was over a loose flat stone or something on the street resulting in having my lower arm injured badly. It just happens sometimes. Helmets do make me feel a little safer whilst on fast roads though and I enjoy my ride more whilst wearing one on these roads. But then again, most the accidents apparently happen inside the cities nowdays and not out of them (thats what a local newspaper says). I am not sure where the more "serious" accidents happen though.
     
  11. theBreadSultan

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    Personally I don't wear a helmet - and I feel safer for it.

    I used to clock up a serious amount of miles ( 300+ per week in the city) on average there would be about 1 "incident" a week resulting in a total wipeout (off the bike) about every 2 months.
    I have not once hit my head - this I put down to the fact that when I go down - my body protects my head at all costs sometimes to the detriment of my other limbs.
    I personally feel that a helmet would give me a false sense of security, and would result in my bashing my head.

    I find it interesting that people talk about being knocked out from the crash and having no memory - I remember every crash i've had.

    And I feel it's because i naturally protect my head, because it is vulnerable - and that thought sits very firmly in my mind.
    (the fact that I could die)

    I remember one wipeout where i took a corner at high speed - in the wet (yes never a good idea at the best of times) - my wheel hit a smooth metal drain and the bike slipped away.
    I did a superman into the road at about 20 / 25 mph. managed to impact graze my shoulder (and ruin my jacket) without getting a scratch on my face.

    all in all I put this down to the fact that when it comes to crashing i have 2 things drilled deep into my head.
    1. protect the CPU!
    2. you heal for free, your bike will cost money.

    also it's worth remembering that if you have the choice - try to crash into the van, vans are soft - and their suspension is cuddly
     
  12. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    If you are riding your bike and get invovled in a crash you have no way of protecting your head other than a helmet.
    Whenever I see a person riding without a helmet I think that individual must enjoy playing Russian Roulette.
     
  13. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Cigarette smoking is a choice too. Intelligent choice? For you to decide...
    Yeah, all you non-helmet wearing cyclists look pretty cool (literally and figuratively) to me...
     
  14. PANDABIKER

    PANDABIKER New Member

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    I was cut off by a truck driver while in a painted bike lane and observing all appropriate rules and parameters. I hit the side of his truck and slid underneath it. His rear tire ROLLED OVER MY HELMET.

    If I had not been wearing my helmet, I would be dead or mostly brain damaged instead of recovering from some broken ribs and few broken facial bones from having my face mashed into the road by a tire.

    Just saying... that helmet save my life.
     
  15. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    I doubt the helmet did a whole lot to protect your head in this instance. The skull by itself is pretty strong, and the total force on your head from one wheel would have been much less than 1/4 the weight of the vehicle (front outside will have the most weight on it, inside rear the least).

    That said, I wear a helmet most of the time by far.
     
  16. Mark George

    Mark George New Member

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    Lots of people wont wear their seatbelts either. Statistics prove they work. As do helmets and any other personal protective safety equipment: Glasses, gloves, clothes, shoes, fall protection harnesses, etc etc etc etc etc. This is not my opinion , its well documented fact. Wearing PPE saves countless lives and injuries every year.
     
  17. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    I wasn't disputing the overall safety benefit of wearing a helmet, just how much it did in this particular instance of getting run over by a vehicle's tire.

    Yes, seatbelts work on average, but there are rare instances where they do more harm than good. A former co-worker is alive today because he wasn't wearing one. He had slumped over to the right (he fell asleep) before his pickup truck hit a tree head-on at highway speed. The steering wheel was pushed into the seat back. A seat belt would have kept him between the steering wheel and the seat, crushing him.
     
  18. Mark George

    Mark George New Member

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    He fell asleep? He fell asleep. Now theres a safe driver for you. Those people account for alot of deaths themselves, and are an absolute hazard on the road to everyone. Just as bad as DUI.
     
  19. Zigpig

    Zigpig New Member

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    My story - 2007, downhill sweeping bend around 20mph, dark evening January, front wheel caught diesel patch - went down so quickly I still have no recollection of even being aware that I was going down - forehead was first thing to hit tarmac - out cold in pool of own blood with nasty laceration to brow and fractured skull. NO helmet - just a beanie - never again. There is on-going argument for/against helmets from the perspective of neck injuries caused - i.e. would I have saved my face but broken my neck? Who the fuck knows. Getting back on the bike was very hard and the first time back on the hill where I screwed up was difficult but am glad I persisted. Yes I now have helmet.,.
     
  20. Locoverde

    Locoverde New Member

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    The helemt doesn't look like it did much of anything. There is a crack and the plastic shell has been deformed. I don't see much compression of the styrofoam. It might have prevented some scratches to your head but that's about it.

    I'm wondering why you crashed. Really, most cyclist would be a lot safer if they learned to ride safely in traffic. Helmets give siuch a false sense of security. That's one of the reasons i don't wear one.


    Loco
     
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