Helmets, mothers and grandfathers

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by D.M. Procida, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    I have: one girlfriend, two children, two cycle helmets and one father.

    The father is old, the cycle helmets are new, and the children are seven
    years old. The girlfriend says she is too old to have any more children.

    It wasn't until that I started reading this group that it even occurred
    to me that wearing a helmet while cycling might not be anything but a
    wholly sensible thing to do. Now I am just not sure what to think, but
    at the moment I feel doubtful enough that I've stopped bothering to wear
    mine.

    I don't really trust any of the information that has been put before me.
    The arguments all seem to be invested with too much interest, and the
    statistics too partial, for me to feel entirely comfortable with hanging
    very much upon them.

    The girlfriend is very far from persuaded that not wearing a helmet is a
    good idea, particularly for children. Whenever I have shown her some
    graph or argument that someone here has pointed out, she starts asking
    difficult questions about demographics, and saying (quite rightly) that
    it's necessary to know more about how well children are represented in
    the statistics and analyses that are offered.

    She herself suffered a fractured skull about 13 years ago after a
    horrific bike accident while going too fast down a hill and losing
    concentration. She wasn't wearing a helmet, but who's to say what
    difference it would have made? Anyway, she is disposed to critical
    analysis and decent evidence would help her make up her mind, though I
    think she will always remain anxious anyway. But she has been pretty
    scornful of the evidence I've been able to offer so far, and she asks
    difficult questions for a living.

    The grandfather can be unfortunately somewhat less amenable to reason,
    and I suspect will simply fail to understand how not wearing a safety
    device could be less safe than wearing it. He's not going to be
    satisfied with "it looks as though there might be little or no advantage
    in wearing a cycle helmet", but if the children's mother seems confident
    that it's OK - or even good - not to wear one, his anxieties will be
    assuaged considerably.

    I'm not even sure what I'd like the truth to be. I'd be glad if cycling
    could be made even safer, but I'd also be glad for there to be no reason
    to have to wear a helmet. I don't know which is the better thing to hold
    out for...

    The best I've got so far is a growing but still fairly unclear sense
    that helmets are probably not a lot of use, but while I'm lazy enough to
    go by a vague sense when it comes to what I do, that's not going to do
    much to persuade anyone else, for whom I'm either going to have to
    marshall a convincing and carefully-presented argument (girlfriend), or
    exude more knowledgable confidence than a vague sense will get me
    (grandfather). It also doesn't seem an adequate basis for deciding how
    to keep my children safe.

    For the children's part they have decided that they prefer riding
    without helmets, which means that if there's no reason to do so it will
    be a relief not to have to argue with them about it, though slightly
    annoying to have spent unnecessary money on them.

    I don't really mind if the children suffer some minor injuries. Well, of
    course I do, but only in a sense that's faded by bedtime. They get minor
    injuries all the time anyway - doing anything - and it seems to be one
    of the best ways of learning how to avoid serious ones. Unlike my
    girlfriend I think it's good if they do reckless and dangerous things
    while riding in the park (standing on the crossbar is the latest thing,
    but we've also had trying to find out what happens if you deliberately
    rub your front tyre against the back tyre of the person riding in front
    of you). But the thought of having made a decision that incurs them
    serious harm fills me with horror.

    Daniele
    --
    Apple Juice Ltd
    Chapter Arts Centre
    Market Road www.apple-juice.co.uk
    Cardiff CF5 1QE 029 2019 0140
     
    Tags:


  2. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message
    <1gjppzu.jssbrn16x0vsxN%[email protected]>,
    D.M. Procida ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > It wasn't until that I started reading this group that it even
    > occurred to me that wearing a helmet while cycling might not be
    > anything but a wholly sensible thing to do. Now I am just not sure
    > what to think, but at the moment I feel doubtful enough that I've
    > stopped bothering to wear mine.


    I don't think anyone is saying that wearing a helmet when cycling is a
    seriously stupid thing to do. At the very worst even if it does
    increase your risk of injury (which is far from certain) the increased
    risk is slight. The probability is that it makes no safety difference
    at all.

    The paper which was prepared for the Scottish Parliament's all party
    cycling group - posted to this group a few days ago - is the nearest
    you'll get to a clear unbiased presentation of what is known and, more
    important, what isn't known.

    > For the children's part they have decided that they prefer riding
    > without helmets, which means that if there's no reason to do so it
    > will be a relief not to have to argue with them about it, though
    > slightly annoying to have spent unnecessary money on them.


    If requiring them to wear helmets mean they ride less or enjoy it less,
    then that probably is, nett, over their lives, worse for their health
    than any increased risk (if there *is* any increased risk, which is
    highly doubtful) involved in not wearing a helmet.

    > I don't really mind if the children suffer some minor injuries. Well,
    > of course I do, but only in a sense that's faded by bedtime. They get
    > minor injuries all the time anyway - doing anything - and it seems to
    > be one of the best ways of learning how to avoid serious ones. Unlike
    > my girlfriend I think it's good if they do reckless and dangerous
    > things while riding in the park (standing on the crossbar is the
    > latest thing, but we've also had trying to find out what happens if
    > you deliberately rub your front tyre against the back tyre of the
    > person riding in front of you). But the thought of having made a
    > decision that incurs them serious harm fills me with horror.


    If one of them has a crash not wearing helmets and suffers a fractured
    skull you're going to feel terrible. If one of them has a crash wearing
    a helmet and suffers major rotational injury you're going to feel
    terrible. The problem is that because the research hasn't been done we
    cannot sensibly evaluate the relative risk, so - you're just fated to
    feel terrible and there isn't much you can do about it.

    Try to persuade them not to stand on the top tube while touching tyres
    on a busy main road.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; single speed mountain bikes: for people who cycle on flat mountains.
     
  3. davek

    davek Guest

    D.M. Procida wrote:
    > The girlfriend is very far from persuaded that not wearing a helmet is a
    > good idea, particularly for children. Whenever I have shown her some
    > graph or argument that someone here has pointed out, she starts asking
    > difficult questions about demographics, and saying (quite rightly) that
    > it's necessary to know more about how well children are represented in
    > the statistics and analyses that are offered.


    It cuts both ways. What evidence has she got that wearing a helmet is a
    good thing? Why should the burden of proof be on you?

    Look at it this way: you are presenting evidence to support your case,
    she is presenting... what? Gut feeling? "Common sense"?

    > Anyway, she is disposed to critical
    > analysis and decent evidence would help her make up her mind


    I beg to differ, since she appears to have already made up her mind
    based on a complete lack of evidence.

    Safety equipment comes in two flavours - the kind that prevents
    accidents and the kind that lessens the impact of accidents when they
    happen. Cycle helmets are, at best, of the latter kind.

    A cycle helmet would not have prevented your girlfriend from having her
    accident. And assuming she was doing more than 12mph at the time then
    you can point out to her that not even the helmet manufacturers would
    claim that a helmet would have helped.

    d.
     
  4. Paul - xxx

    Paul - xxx Guest

    D.M. Procida vaguely muttered something like ...

    > It wasn't until that I started reading this group that it even occurred
    > to me that wearing a helmet while cycling might not be anything but a
    > wholly sensible thing to do. Now I am just not sure what to think, but
    > at the moment I feel doubtful enough that I've stopped bothering to wear
    > mine.


    I'm in a similar camp when it comes to helmet wearing. I mostly used to
    wear a helmet, now I mostly don't. I always wear one 'in the woods', I
    guess because competition requires me to, but also because there are solid
    (ish) things to hit and glance off (tree branches and such-like) that I feel
    a helmet helps deflect better than a totally un-protected head. This is
    different to wearing one as a 'safety feature' and is more to wearing arm
    and shin pads for slalom skiing, I guess .. ;)

    I don't force my children to wear helmets, but I do try to get them to wear
    gloves ..

    Whatever happens, if they have an accident you'll feel bad about it, but I
    reckon if you force them to wear something that actually worsens the injury,
    you'll feel a hell of a lot worse about it. I have heard of rotational
    injuries caused by helmets, but I've never heard of increased injury risk
    from wearing gloves. And I've scuffed more palms/wrists than heads in
    crashes.

    I haven't properly studied the various different arguments for and against
    helmet wearing, and I'm not going to, but it does seems logical to me that
    wearing one ought to help. The actual reality may be somewhat different.

    --
    Paul ...

    (8(|) ... Homer Rocks

    "A tosser is a tosser, no matter what mode of transport they're using."
     
  5. PK

    PK Guest

    davek wrote:
    > A cycle helmet would not have prevented your girlfriend from
    > having her accident. And assuming she was doing more than 12mph
    > at the time then you can point out to her that not even the
    > helmet manufacturers would claim that a helmet would have
    > helped.



    I'm pretty sure my helmet helped when I came off at circa 20mph, shattered
    the helmet and ended up in hospital for 24 hours with partial amnesia. The
    sideways whiplash on my unhelmeted head is something I'm glad I did not
    experience.

    Safety devices do no fail catastrophically at their design limit, a basic
    principle of such design is that failure is gradual above the design limit.
    To imply helmets are useless above 12mph because that is the design limit is
    mendacious.

    If a helmet shatters at 5 mph and the wearer injured, there is a likely
    claim against the manufacturer. If a helmet breaks above 12 mph, there is
    most likely no liability on the manufacture, but I'd rather be wearing one
    than not.

    pk
     
  6. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    D.M. Procida wrote:

    > I have: one girlfriend, two children, two cycle helmets and one father.
    >


    You have to make up your own minds based on the evidence available I'm
    afraid. A good place for your girlfriend to start is with John Franklin
    - the author of Cyclecraft - who has a section of his site on helmets
    including a summary of research on helmets.

    http://www.lesberries.co.uk/cycling/helmets/helmets.html

    At the end of the day its you, your girlfriend and your children that
    have to feel comfortable with your choice or it will deter you from
    cycling to some degree.

    Tony
     
  7. D.M. Procida wrote:

    > The father is old, the cycle helmets are new, and the children are
    > seven years old. The girlfriend says she is too old to have any more
    > children.


    Didn't I read that girlfriends should be replaced every two years? Or was
    that fathers?

    > I don't really trust any of the information that has been put before
    > me. The arguments all seem to be invested with too much interest, and
    > the statistics too partial, for me to feel entirely comfortable with
    > hanging very much upon them.


    I know what you mean. You just have to make up your own mind. It's a
    bugger being a parent, isn't it? :)

    > The girlfriend is very far from persuaded that not wearing a helmet
    > is a good idea, particularly for children. Whenever I have shown her
    > some graph or argument that someone here has pointed out, she starts
    > asking difficult questions about demographics, and saying (quite
    > rightly) that it's necessary to know more about how well children are
    > represented in the statistics and analyses that are offered.


    I have looked at the data for child hospital admissions for England and
    found that cycling is no more likely to produce head injury, as a proportion
    of all injuries suffered, than being a pedestrian. Do we require children
    to wear pedestrian helmets?

    We like our children to wear plastic hats, because children's skulls are
    somewhat softer than adults', and because the roads around here are
    atrocious and likely to lead to a spill (Michael has come off due to a wet
    manhole before now - didn't bang his head, of course). I am sure I am being
    irrational in encouraging them to wear lids, but I am equally sure that
    stunt cycling is a good case for wearing a plastic hat (and many of the BMX
    riders I see do have hard-shell helmets, which seem ideal for the job).

    Are my children at significant risk of head injuriy when riding on the back
    of the triplet? Almost certainly not.

    > She herself suffered a fractured skull about 13 years ago after a
    > horrific bike accident while going too fast down a hill and losing
    > concentration. She wasn't wearing a helmet, but who's to say what
    > difference it would have made?


    Quite. My worst head injury was suffered as a result of an assault in a
    children's playground. I have also been head injured running through a
    doorway which was lower than I expected (quote from nurse in Casualty: Oh,
    it's you again!).

    > the thought of having made a
    > decision that incurs them serious harm fills me with horror.


    Welcome to ParentLand. Just wait until you start choosing secondary
    schools, that really /is/ scary.

    Life is full of risks, and I don't think we do children a great service by
    failing to let them learn from them. Have you read Mayer Hillman's "One
    False Move"?

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington
    University
     
  8. PK wrote:

    > I'm pretty sure my helmet helped when I came off at circa 20mph,
    > shattered the helmet and ended up in hospital for 24 hours with
    > partial amnesia.


    I have come off at >20mph - over the bars - and ended up in hospital with
    concussion (and whiplash). I was wearing a "hairnet" style helmet, widely
    reckoned to be about as useful as a chocolate teapot. But it did mean I
    didn't suffer cuts to the scalp. And it didn't fail like yours did, so
    maybe we should go back to the old-fashioned hairnet style helmets :)

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington
    University
     
  9. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    davek <[email protected]> wrote:

    > D.M. Procida wrote:
    > > The girlfriend is very far from persuaded that not wearing a helmet is a
    > > good idea, particularly for children. Whenever I have shown her some
    > > graph or argument that someone here has pointed out, she starts asking
    > > difficult questions about demographics, and saying (quite rightly) that
    > > it's necessary to know more about how well children are represented in
    > > the statistics and analyses that are offered.

    >
    > It cuts both ways. What evidence has she got that wearing a helmet is a
    > good thing? Why should the burden of proof be on you?
    >
    > Look at it this way: you are presenting evidence to support your case,
    > she is presenting... what? Gut feeling? "Common sense"?


    As I said, I'm the one with the vague feeling, not her. And given that
    just about every intuition says it's safer to wear a safety helmet, that
    nearly every leaflet, website and book about cycling recommends wearing
    a helmet for safety, given that just about every picture illustrating
    safe cycling has people wearing helmets in it, given that people such as
    local council road safety officers recommend it, including her brother,
    who is a very keen cyclist, given that I used to insist categorically
    that she wear a helmet while cycling, and that all the conventional
    wisdom holds that helmets help prevent head injuries, I think the burden
    of proof *does* fall upon the helmet-sceptic camp, not mention some
    burden of explanation about why it is that so many other people and
    offical bodies do recommend helmets so strongly if wearing them isn't
    such a great idea after all.

    > > Anyway, she is disposed to critical
    > > analysis and decent evidence would help her make up her mind

    >
    > I beg to differ, since she appears to have already made up her mind
    > based on a complete lack of evidence.


    Er, no. She hasn't made up her mind. I said she was "very far from
    persuaded" that wearing a cycling helmet won't help make cycling safer,
    when nearly every leaflet, website and book about cycling etc. etc. etc.

    Daniele
    --
    Apple Juice Ltd
    Chapter Arts Centre
    Market Road www.apple-juice.co.uk
    Cardiff CF5 1QE 029 2019 0140
     
  10. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    D.M. Procida wrote:

    > As I said, I'm the one with the vague feeling, not her. And given that
    > just about every intuition says it's safer to wear a safety helmet, that
    > nearly every leaflet, website and book about cycling recommends wearing
    > a helmet for safety, given that just about every picture illustrating
    > safe cycling has people wearing helmets in it, given that people such as
    > local council road safety officers recommend it, including her brother,
    > who is a very keen cyclist, given that I used to insist categorically
    > that she wear a helmet while cycling, and that all the conventional
    > wisdom holds that helmets help prevent head injuries, I think the burden
    > of proof *does* fall upon the helmet-sceptic camp


    Most of the stuff above is effectively self-generating. I wore a helmet
    on every trip for years, recommended them to others. It was "obvious"
    they must do good. And most of the encouragement appears to come from
    people who simply /assume/ they must do good. So I think your point
    about the burden of proof is fair as far as the reality in the UK goes.

    But if you do look into the current research then it's clear there's no
    good evidence that they make you any safer. The Roads Minister in
    charge of this area, /despite/ being pro-helmet, has admitted ina
    written answer there are no known cases of improved safety from
    increased helmet use. The Scottish Parliament's cycling group have
    documents posted on their web site saying there is no good evidence.

    But I think people miss the /really/ important point, and that is that
    cycling isn't actually that dangerous in the majority of cases, despite
    the common perception otherwise. You could make car travel for your
    kids saf*er* by fitting them with motorsport standard harnesses, helmets
    and flameproof suits, but nobody bothers doing this because they're
    actually safe /enough/ in most cases as it is. And I think this
    explains why countries like NL and Denmark that do have an active
    cycling culture do *not* have a helmet culture. People know cycling
    basically isn't really /that/ dangerous, so they don't wear personal
    armour to do it.

    > Er, no. She hasn't made up her mind. I said she was "very far from
    > persuaded" that wearing a cycling helmet won't help make cycling safer,
    > when nearly every leaflet, website and book about cycling etc. etc. etc.


    But coming back to the above, she'd be saf*er* coming downstairs, or
    riding in a car, wearing more safety equipment than common clothing.
    But people don't bother, because though accidents /do/ happen doing
    these things, and people are killed, they are (quite reasonably) seen as
    being reasonably safe. Cycling is reasonably safe too, so why should it
    be treated any differently? There should be no reason to extend a
    culture of fear to cycling. See
    http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/321/7276/1582 for some
    interesting comments on safety of cycling, and note that things like
    training will do /far/ more for safety (by helping folk not be in
    accidents to start with) than wearing a hat.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  11. davek

    davek Guest

    D.M. Procida wrote:
    > conventional
    > wisdom holds that helmets help prevent head injuries


    conventional wisdom - another name for "common sense"

    what about scientific evidence? what about "critical analysis" of the
    statistics published by the pro-helmet lobby?

    > Er, no.


    Er, yes.

    >She hasn't made up her mind. I said she was "very far from
    > persuaded" that wearing a cycling helmet won't help make cycling safer,


    So she's /made up her mind/ that she's pro helmet, right? That's how
    I've understood what you've said. Or are you misrepresenting her?

    But has she applied her legendary skills of critical analysis to the
    pro-helmet advice she reads?

    From what you've said, it seems that her reasons for wearing a helmet
    are: a) common sense, b) she once had a nasty fall and bumped her head,
    and c) she read the words "it's safer to wear a helmet" somewhere.

    Where's the intellectual rigour in that? Or are you misrepresenting her?

    > when nearly every leaflet, website and book about cycling etc. etc. etc.


    You can train a parrot to say it's safer to wear a helmet and as far as
    I am concerned that is all most of the pro-helmet advice I read amounts
    to - parrot-like repetition of "conventional wisdom", propaganda and
    dubious statistics put about by the pro-helmet lobby.

    d.
     
  12. davek

    davek Guest

    PK wrote:
    > To imply helmets are useless above 12mph because that is the design limit is
    > mendacious.


    You're singing the praises of helmets despite having had an accident in
    which a helmet failed to prevent your head injuries.

    And you call /me/ mendacious?

    d.
     
  13. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    davek <[email protected]> wrote:

    > >She hasn't made up her mind. I said she was "very far from
    > > persuaded" that wearing a cycling helmet won't help make cycling safer,

    >
    > So she's /made up her mind/ that she's pro helmet, right? That's how
    > I've understood what you've said. Or are you misrepresenting her?


    No, you are misrepresenting what I said.

    Daniele
    --
    Apple Juice Ltd
    Chapter Arts Centre
    Market Road www.apple-juice.co.uk
    Cardiff CF5 1QE 029 2019 0140
     
  14. davek

    davek Guest

    D.M. Procida wrote:
    > No, you are misrepresenting what I said.


    I'd accept that I'm possibly misunderstanding what you said.

    Could you explain what this means:
    "The girlfriend is very far from persuaded that not wearing a helmet is
    a good idea, particularly for children."

    Behind the vagueness and the double negatives, it seems to mean that she
    thinks wearing a helmet is a good idea. Is that not right?

    d.
     
  15. Paul - xxx

    Paul - xxx Guest

    Peter Clinch vaguely muttered something like ...

    > But people don't bother, because though accidents /do/ happen doing
    > these things, and people are killed, they are (quite reasonably) seen as
    > being reasonably safe. Cycling is reasonably safe too, so why should it
    > be treated any differently? There should be no reason to extend a
    > culture of fear to cycling.


    Very well put.

    Life is inherently dangerous, it's also very safe, especially when using a
    little common sense and training.

    Reasonable. It's a bigger word than it looks .. ;)

    --
    Paul ...

    (8(|) ... Homer Rocks

    "A tosser is a tosser, no matter what mode of transport they're using."
     
  16. On Tue, 7 Sep 2004 07:41:18 +0000 (UTC),
    PK <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I'm pretty sure my helmet helped when I came off at circa 20mph, shattered
    > the helmet and ended up in hospital for 24 hours with partial amnesia. The
    > sideways whiplash on my unhelmeted head is something I'm glad I did not
    > experience.


    How would a helmet have helped with whiplash (sideways or not)? I would
    have though it would have made it worse as it adds mass to the top of the
    head.

    --
    Andy Leighton => [email protected]
    "The Lord is my shepherd, but we still lost the sheep dog trials"
    - Robert Rankin, _They Came And Ate Us_
     
  17. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, PK
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > davek wrote:
    >> A cycle helmet would not have prevented your girlfriend from
    >> having her accident. And assuming she was doing more than 12mph
    >> at the time then you can point out to her that not even the
    >> helmet manufacturers would claim that a helmet would have
    >> helped.

    >
    > I'm pretty sure my helmet helped when I came off at circa 20mph,
    > shattered the helmet and ended up in hospital for 24 hours with
    > partial amnesia. The sideways whiplash on my unhelmeted head is
    > something I'm glad I did not experience.


    If it broke it didn't help. Seriously. Helmets work by crushing. Brittle
    failure absorbs almost no energy.

    > Safety devices do no fail catastrophically at their design limit, a
    > basic principle of such design is that failure is gradual above the
    > design limit.


    In crushing, yes. Not in brittle failure. Helmets are intended not to
    break. Unfortunately as the foam dries out with age it becomes brittle,
    which is why (if you believe in helmets) you should replace them
    regularly. Yours was clearly beyond the end of its safe working life
    before you had your accident.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
    ;; Generally Not Used
    ;; Except by Middle Aged Computer Scientists
     
  18. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    davek wrote:

    > Could you explain what this means:
    > "The girlfriend is very far from persuaded that not wearing a helmet is
    > a good idea, particularly for children."
    >
    > Behind the vagueness and the double negatives, it seems to mean that she
    > thinks wearing a helmet is a good idea. Is that not right?


    I don't see it that way. Comes across as more "it might do you some
    good, it's daft not to". Which I understand as it exactly conforms to
    how I felt about them for a long time.

    Having found out they're very unlikely to do me much real good I've not
    bothered over summer for comfort reasons. I shall continue not to
    bother for utility cycling and touring for comfort reasons, and
    increasingly because I feel the message that has happened by default in
    the UK that if you are a Real Cyclist you have a helmet or you are a
    dangerous loon gambling with your life really needs to be challenged.

    For kids I'd not be too bothered one way or the other, as long as they
    understood what use they are. Many kids appear to have swallowed the
    line that if they're wearing a helmet then they are safe. They are not,
    and more to the point I think that such an attitude is in itself dangerous.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  19. D.M. Procida wrote:
    > I have: one girlfriend, two children, two cycle helmets and one father.
    >
    > The father is old, the cycle helmets are new, and the children are seven
    > years old. The girlfriend says she is too old to have any more children.
    >
    > It wasn't until that I started reading this group that it even occurred
    > to me that wearing a helmet while cycling might not be anything but a
    > wholly sensible thing to do. Now I am just not sure what to think, but
    > at the moment I feel doubtful enough that I've stopped bothering to wear
    > mine.

    <snip>

    I wear a helmet for two reasons:

    1) As an example to the young. Since it's not proven either way on the
    helmet front, the reponsible thing for a parent is to insist that
    children (especially the very young with still-soft skulls) must wear
    them (just in case the evidence does come in one day...)

    2) It's big, red, up in the air, and tells motorists that I'm (a) there,
    and (b) serious.

    So, I don't expect it to save my life, but I still wear it.

    R.
     
  20. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    Simon Brooke <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > I'm pretty sure my helmet helped when I came off at circa 20mph,
    > > shattered the helmet and ended up in hospital for 24 hours with
    > > partial amnesia. The sideways whiplash on my unhelmeted head is
    > > something I'm glad I did not experience.

    >
    > If it broke it didn't help. Seriously. Helmets work by crushing. Brittle
    > failure absorbs almost no energy.


    Isn't it perfectly possible in this case at least that the foam was
    compressed, absorbing energy, before breaking apart? Unless it had
    assumed the consistency of something like glass...

    Daniele
    --
    Apple Juice Ltd
    Chapter Arts Centre
    Market Road www.apple-juice.co.uk
    Cardiff CF5 1QE 029 2019 0140
     
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