Helmet Saved Another Life- Post Your Story Here

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by teamgomez, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    And here's the nub of it. Bicycle helmets do their thing by fracturing at fairly low levels of impact energy, so the fact that the helmet is in shards is a poor indicator as to whether "the same" accident would have been survivable or not w/o the helmet.

    We'd get a much more sensible and scientifically less shaky debate if we'd speak about "a helmet saved my day/scalp/brow/glasses" instead of making unsupported claims about its life saving ability.

    Heck, I don't need a promise that it'll save my life to wear a helmet. If it does - fine, but I'd happily wear one even if all it'd ever be capable of saving me from is getting a few stitches.
     


  2. AndiG

    AndiG New Member

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    The head is fragile as it is, doesn't take much of an impact to fracture your skull. Quite frankly I would rather wear a helmet than take a chance without one.
     
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if sometimes the difference between a concussion and a lifetime of incontinence is a "fairly low level of impact energy." Please provide some data. Vague statements like that are no better than conjecture.
     
  4. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Look, I'm not arguing against helmets. Life savers or "merely" scalp savers - I think they're a good idea.

    But "a good cause" is a poor excuse for poor logic. I don't want to accept poorly supported statements like "a helmet saved my life", simply because we don't know if it did or not. A claim that a fractured helmet prevented a split eyebrow - well, I'd buy that w/o any further arguments though.
    Falling on the head is often quite survivable even w/o a helmet.

    If you want to read up on testing procedures, here's a link:http://www.cpsc.gov/BUSINFO/frnotices/fr98/10mr98r.pdf

    But helmets post impact integrity isn' an issue there. Basically as long as the Gs stays within recommended levels the helmet is good, regardless of condition.
     
  5. teetopkram

    teetopkram New Member

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    Well, I don't know if it saved my life, but here's what happened..

    1991, doing a crit in Durham, NC...I "think" I was 3rd in line on last lap and my front wheel overlapped wheel in front of me (I say I "think" because honestly I can't fully remember). Down I went on my right side doing 27 MPH. Woke up 10+ minutes later as I am being lifted into an ambulance, people standing over me with horrific looks on their faces. Get to hospital and realized I am missing hair and skin along right side of head, with pebbles embedded in the flesh throughout. Bloody mess. Helmet was pulverized.

    Despite having to pick pebbles out of my head and face with a set of tweezers, and numerous abrasions all along right side of body (with scars still there 18 years later), I had no headache, CT scan revealed no problems, I was lucid and had good balance, remembered everything except last five minutes up until crash, etc. Doctors said I was lucky with helmet, they released me that night, and the LBS mailed my helmet into Giro for advertisements on "this is why you need a helmet."

    I, and my family, NEVER ride without a helmet, even when it is just around the block. You wouldn't believe the number of people here who do so in very heavy traffic going 45 MPH+.
     
  6. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    You're logic is just as flawed. Amanda Richardson, an otherwise healthy human, died after a "low impact" to the head. Perhaps you need to study the various kinds of head injuries before making equally unsupportable statements.

    Swallow what you want, but your knowledge of what blows to the head can be fatal is extremely limited.
     
  7. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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  8. bigbadwoulfe

    bigbadwoulfe New Member

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    Well, I don't know if I did save my life, what I do know is it saved the side of my faced being scarred for life. Thank you helmet for taking the blow for me.
     
  9. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    I'm not the one claiming to know what would have happened in an alternate reality, the ones stating "a helmet saved my life" are. They are the ones that are talking about probabilities as if they were certainties.


    But if you're fine with that, then I'll leave you to it.
     
  10. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    A statement that's easier to support, and beneficial enough by itself!
     
  11. teamgomez

    teamgomez New Member

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    Alright now...them's fightin' words...this **** has been haze gray and underway (and went to the eyesight vision reduction clinic in VA beach some time ago so I could learn to coax a little DLC out of the Tomcat so we didn't have to stand on the platform all damn night waiting for them to get aboard). So no, nice try, no squattin' to pee here...my platform only needed 1 pilot and did it all. Was that adversary time desert bogeys or 'rico?

    OK...a bit off track here. Back to the point- what friggin' difference does it make if it saved or life or kept you from dumping out a bag for the rest of your life instead of 'sending a Tomcat pilot to sea' the natural way? You never read about the saves, only the injury reports. Data to support the number of lives/stitches/foster grants saved would be difficult at best to generate and *subjective* discussion is likely the best you'll find.

    I've yet to read a story about, "Damn, I was hauling the mail, blew out my front tire and WHAMMO, my unprotected head schwacked the pavement and boy oh boy was I glad I had the wind running thru my hair on the way down and it didn't hurt a bit! And I get to ride around on two wheels for the rest of my life- isn't this great!!!"

    Appreciate the stories shared- keep 'em coming.
     
  12. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    VF-126.....in beautiful InSaneDiego, Miramar before it went to hell in the hands of the USMC.

    In my early years, before I knew better, I also was a 'Paddles'. A way to not stand SDO. Spent more than a few nights watching Phantoms, Vigilantes(exciting!) and even a few USMC Photo Phantoms(VERY exciting) get aboard the small decks of Forrestal and Indy. When I finally got into the Turkey, Dept head tour(never really liked that big thing), I was done waving.

    Single seat, easy meat....A-7? Hornet?

    Gotta say, even tho most of my flyin time was with somebody behind me, I really liked flying single seat. A-4 was a great little bird and the F-16N was just spectacular.
     
  13. rschleicher

    rschleicher New Member

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    Independent of the issue on whether mandatory helmet laws are valid or not, I will say that wearing a helmet may well have saved my son's life, or at least prevented more serious injury.

    He was 9 at the time. We had just moved to CA from Illinois. I don't know if his being unused to steep hills had anything to do with it, but he was riding down a fairly steep hill near our new home, and hit a rock in the road that caused him to crash. He must have hit his head on the pavement pretty hard, as the impact cracked open his helmet. He also got a pretty severe case of road rash, basically completely down one side - all the way from his cheek, to his arm, to his whole leg.

    He was unconscious for a while, and then pretty incoherent for a while after that. At the hospital they did a CAT scan. While we were watching the "slices" of the scan come up on the screen, the technician explained that they were basically looking for non-symmetrical areas, as an indication of an injury or other abnormality. Of course he didn't tell us that if the head isn't positioned perfectly perpendicular to the scanner, that you are going to see asymmetrical images anyway... So it added to the level of parental tension.

    It was also hard to watch the cleaning out of sand and road grit from his road rash - done without anesthetic.

    But all's well that ends well - he ended up healing without scarring, except for a couple of places where he actually has a bit or two of remaining cinders underneath his skin.

    His helmet wasn't a very fancy one, but it did its job.
     
  14. stevebaby

    stevebaby New Member

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    I accept the opinion of the neurosurgeon who examined me and the helmet, and I never ride without one now. I had just taken off from a traffic light...was halfway through the first pedal stroke and did a sudden 180 over the bars into the roadway at minimal speed.
     
  15. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they're right. It takes surprisingly little energy to cause critical brain injuries. The fall from seat height provides enough energy to cause death (this of course depends on the point(s) of impact and other factors.). In any case, it doesn't matter whether they're right or wrong. What matters is that they got up and walked away after their crashes.
     
  16. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Good point. I've twice waited with fallen riders with head injuries for the ambulance to arrive, and never wondered if the helmets saved their lives. The damaged helmets made it plain that the severity of the impacts to the head were reduced. In both cases, the paramedics took the broken helmets so the ER docs could see where the impact occurred.

    This helmet discussion is a bit strange from my perspective because it implies there is some burden to wearing a helmet which must be traded-off for risk reduction. Like wearing seatbelts in a car, I see helmet usage as a trivial inconvenience vs the protection it provides in the rare event that I crash and hit my head.

    While the rate of head-injury accidents in road cycling may appear low statistically, the potential severity of that rare event is very high. The worst-case scenario to me would be to suffer severe brain injury and become a burden to my wife and children.....never knowing if the helmet could have reduced or negated the injury.
     
  17. AndiG

    AndiG New Member

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    Totally agree with what you said, I always wear mine. In fact it is aerodynamic if you want to be pedantic, I'd rather wear it and not need it than not wear it and need it.
     
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