"Peter Clinch" <[email protected]
k> wrote in message news:[email protected]
> > I know of a dental surgeon that didn't wear one and had a single accident and fractured his jaw
> > and had other serious injuries. Just
> > couple of weeks ago I was climbing up a steep grade slowly and lost
> > balance and fell against a lamppost. Wearing a helmet, no injuries.
> This is anecdotal evidence, which isn't statistically useful. I rode into a lamppost more than
> once when I was a kid, well before helmets were regarded as any sort of "normal" for cycling, and
> I didn't
> any head injuries. That anecdote doesn't prove anything any more than yours: in short, anecdotes,
> whether "for" or "against" aren't really useful data.
And I know a child -- Corinne Low, pictured and with a link to her essay from
-- who had a bike accident wearing a helmet, but landed
on her unprotected face and got cut pretty badly. Which makes me wonder why they don't have face
shields like motorcylce helmets, or are those useless in impact situations too?
> I know of someone who was killed when he slipped and fell and banged
> head getting out the bath, but that doesn't make it a Really Good Idea to wear helmets in the bath
> and shower. I was quite possibly saved a fractured skull by a cycle helmet once, but due to the
> unusual nature
> the accident (hit by a car spinning out from a collision on a road I wasn't even cycling on at the
> time) I could've had the same result had
> been a pedestrian. I don't see people wearing them as pedestrians, so if it isn't a cast-iron
> reason to do that, it isn't a cast-iron reason to wear it on the bike either.
In 1991 went to Calif. to visit my sister, and was amused to see my little niece & nephew put on
helmets to bicycle ride or roller skate -- neither of which caused them to move faster than I walk,
and both of which they did on the sidewalk -- and then took them off to climb on monkey bars & other
structures in a playground! Apparently they were following some arbitrary rules that wheels required
helmets, and absence of wheels required they not be worn, regardless of the actual danger of the
Producing more serious head injuries than either of those situations are falls on stairs, and next
to that accidents in cars. Yet somehow wearing helmets in cars other than during races has not
caught on, nor has wearing them in buildings.
BTW, I'm in the Bronx, NY, and have never worn them. I didn't wear a scrum cap to play rugby,
either. Of course that was some years ago, before they had the headgear that's popular now. I played
a little American tackle football way back too, but never with any of that body armor, although a
cousin bought me a helmet; I'd've been afraid to play in a formal game with others wearing such.
In any situation where head injury might come up, I'm actually more afraid of neck injury. There are
conceivable things that could be worn to prevent neck injury but AFAICT they'd severely limit head
movement. In cars I go for lap & shoulder belts, although one consultant told me they contribute to
as many deaths or injuries as they prevent; I can only imagine that in certain crash situations they
prevent one from ducking an object coming at your head, but I haven't seen enough confirmatory data
to dissuade me from wearing them. (A few years ago, however, a statistic quoted by NY Auto Club
supposedly to boost wearing of belts actually showed they had no effect on frequency of fatalities
among front seat occupants in New York City.)