Helmets

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Peter Taylor, Feb 4, 2004.

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  1. > >> That would imply they have no effect on the response of the head in an impact. That seems
    > >> unlikely.

    > > They do not do 'bugger all'. Consequently we have to conclude from the overall statistics that
    > > they do at least as much actual harm as good.

    > 4. What kind of protection does a helmet provide?

    <snippity>

    So you've researched a bit and decided that helmets don't do bugger all, or have I missed
    something here?

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  2. "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote: ...
    | The medical profession now believes that even lesser accelerations can produce serious injury and
    | that the 300g level is too high.

    I recently read evidence from the world of fighter jets that 100g is enough to cause non-impact
    brain damage. I suspect that's "you get a bit more zombiefied every time you experience more than
    100g" rather than "too tight a turn and you never come out of it", not that you can turn a jet at
    100g without ripping the wings off it anyway.

    --
    Patrick Herring, Sheffield, UK http://www.anweald.co.uk

    Eala Earendel engla beorhtast ofer middangeard monnum sended.
     
  3. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Thu, 5 Feb 2004 22:26:34 -0000, "Mark Thompson"
    <[email protected] (change warm for hot)> wrote:

    >So you've researched a bit and decided that helmets don't do bugger all, or have I missed
    >something here?

    I dunno, it seems to me that (a) at the trivial end of the injury scale helmets work OK, but then so
    would a woolly hat; (b) at the most serious end of the scale they do bugger all; and (c) somewhere
    at the margins they might make the differnece betweeen death and brain damage, but the sample size
    is probably so small that it would be hard to isolate those cases and in any case risk compensation
    probably makes up for it. So multiple different answers.

    I do credit the idea of risk compensation. But... I have been told many times that your desired
    outcome being offset by some other unknown factor is generally less likely than your desired outcome
    not happening, in such cases.

    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk
     
  4. Pk

    Pk Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:
    >>
    > I agree with you. I just can't buy that. We can clearly see ways in which a helmet must change the
    > physics of the impact. They do not do 'bugger all'.

    >Consequently we have to conclude from the overall statistics that they do at least as much actual
    >harm as good.
    >

    The data do not support that conclusion at all. It is one postulated explanation but there are
    others for tye counter intuitive populatiolevel data.

    pk
     
  5. RogerDodger

    RogerDodger New Member

    Joined:
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    To the Helmet - True Believers who continue to deny or dismiss risk compensation theory - have a look at this...

    http://www.i2i.org/article.aspx?ID=602
    PERMISSION TO REPRINT this paper in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided full credit is given to the Independence Institute.

    excerpts from:
    Risk Homeostasis and the Futility of Protecting People from Themselves Dwight Filley

    Introduction
    There is a growing body of evidence--to be presented in detail in this paper--that points to the surprising conclusion that most coercive measures intended to increase safety either have no effect or an opposite effect. Thus for example, when the government mandates the use of automobile seat belts, fatality rates do not decrease as expected. This counter-intuitive result is consistent across a broad range of governmental attempts to protect people from themselves. Such lack of progress suggests that:
    • government regulators may be wasting their time and ours,
    • that they are wasting tax money, and
    • that other approaches are needed.
    Moreover, there is evidence that more effective alternatives exist.

    II. Risk Homeostasis Defined
    The theory of risk homeostasis predicts that people become accustomed to some acceptable level of risk, and that when they are required to reduce a risk they are exposed to, they will increase other risks until they have re-established the level of risk they have become accustomed to. If they are required to wear seat belts, the evidence suggests they drive faster, pass other cars more dangerously, put on make up, and so on, so as to maintain the level of risk they are comfortable with. In effect, they "consume" the additional safety they are required to have by changing their driving behavior so as to attain other desirable ends.

    C. Risk Compensation
    People routinely behave more cautiously when they consider themselves at risk. Any rational person would walk more slowly into a strange dark room than she would into the same room with the lights on. We drive more slowly in the rain, and so on. In the parlance of safety engineering, this is known as risk compensation and is not seriously questioned. What is questioned is risk homeostasis, that is, do we completely consume any mandated safety efforts by taking more risks in areas that are not as well controlled?

    D. Is it Plausible?
    Risk Homeostasis has plausibility. Unlike safety engineers, who dedicate their lives to reducing accidents, people do not usually want to keep their accident rate at the absolute minimum. Indeed, many people voluntarily engage in risky behavior, such as car racing, mountain climbing, some forms of illegal drug taking, hang gliding, rodeo riding, gambling and so on.
    Thrill rides in amusement parks seem to get more and more scary. Many more people enjoy risk vicariously, as evidenced by the huge popularity of frightening movies and thriller novels in which the hero narrowly escapes death or some other horrible fate again and again. Video games featuring the risk of wrecking your car or crashing your fighter jet or being killed by a dragon are also hugely popular.
    Although some car advertisements promote the safety features of their cars, many car ads feature high speed driving, extreme cornering, flying gravel and other manifestations of obviously risky driving. People enjoy watching sports such as football, boxing and hockey, all of which entail risk.
    So people do accept or desire various levels of risk, some wanting more than others. It seems unlikely that simply by requiring an individual to act more safely, this imposition of outside control will change the amount of risk the individual has become accustomed to.
    Finally, people optimize, rather than minimize. For example, it is a good idea to save for retirement, but if one minimizes current consumption, she is less content than if she finds some optimal balance between current consumption and saving for retirement. Fatty foods are, well, fattening, but the wise dieter optimizes such consumption (consuming a reasonable amount of fat), rather than going to the inconvenience of eliminating fat altogether. We probably do the same with risk.

    E. "But I know I'm Safer with my Seat Belt"
    Most people, when confronted with the possibility that safety devices have little effect on safety, react similarly. They believe that they are in fact safer driving in a car that, because of their seat belt, clearly reduces their chance of injury in a collision. You will be safer wearing a seat belt, but only if your driving behavior does not change. There is evidence that, consciously or unconsciously, behavior does change.
     
  6. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Pete White" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > F1 was a sport back when Alain started. It was the invention of semi-auto gearboxes and traction
    > control (SPIT!) that ruined the racing!

    Whereas golf is, was and always will be terminally boring.

    T
     
  7. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    "PK" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Simon Brooke wrote:
    > >>
    > > I agree with you. I just can't buy that. We can clearly see ways in which a helmet must change
    > > the physics of the impact. They do not do 'bugger all'.
    >
    >
    > >Consequently we have to conclude from the overall statistics that they do at least as much actual
    > >harm as good.
    > >
    >
    > The data do not support that conclusion at all. It is one postulated explanation but there are
    > others for tye counter intuitive populatiolevel data.

    I'm sorry, I don't follow your logic.

    We have a population P which is comprised of two sub-populations, PH and PN, where PH is the sub-
    population which wears helmets and PN is the sub-population which does not. For any population x
    there is a function i( x) representing the probability of serious injury in the population.

    What appears to be the case from the studies is that that probability does not change measurably as
    the proportion of the two sub-populations changes, so that if we have

    P1, a population where PH is much smaller than PN, and P2, a population where PH is much larger
    than PN, then

    i(P1) ~= i(P2)

    If this is the case then either

    (j) Helmet wearing is not the only significant difference between PH and PN (in other words, the
    studies have not sufficiently corrected for noise, which is a method problem and out of my
    domain); or
    (k) Helmets don't have any effect on i(x); or
    (l) The positive effect of helmets on i(x) approximately balances the negative effects of
    helmets on i(x).

    la (a) then the problem has been characterised wrongly and we need to understand more about what
    differentiates PH and PN. As quoted above, I don't believe (b); hence (c).

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

    Morning had broken, and I found when I looked that we had run out of copper roove nails.
     
  8. Dene Wilby

    Dene Wilby Guest

  9. NC <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > This months Audax magazine carried a small amusing piece...
    >
    > According to a Dr Palmer, of the west of England, the most common sporting head injury he treats
    > is from golf. Now whether this is down to the
    numbers
    > playing the game, or the inherent risks....
    >
    > Legislation for compulsory golf helmets can only be around the corner.

    Since Dr Palmer is a neurosurgeon, rather than a GP, one can only assume that the head injuries in
    question are serious ones.
     
  10. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Wed, 04 Feb 2004 20:41:10 +0000 someone who may be Cardinal Fang
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >There is a footpath near us that runs through a golf course. There are (were?) helmets available
    >for use by walkers passing through.

    Fife Council installed a cycle path to St Andrews alongside a golf course (it's pretty hard to avoid
    the things there). When questioned about the danger from golf balls the official concerned stated
    that cyclists should be wearing helmets.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  11. My cat was cycling the other day. It was snowing when they collided with an item of street furniture
    which hit them head on. They were travelling at 186mph at the time and they landed paws first. The
    murderous robotic parrot which hit them was insane.

    There was nothing they could do to avoid the collision and it was entirely my fault.

    They suffered no injuries. Boy, am I glad they were not wearing a helmet.

    I think this experience makes it obvious that it should be a legal requirement for bus drivers to
    always wear a helmet when in bed.

    Furthermore, I have the statistics to prove it. Thus, anyone who disagrees with me is a danger to
    democratic civilisation.

    I hope you all find this a useful contribution to the debate.

    Happy cycling without helmet,

    Norman.

    NP: Within Temptation - Caged.
    --
    - Pyromancer Stormshadow http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk <-- Pagan Gothic Rock!
    http://www.littlematchgirl.co.uk <-- Electronic Metal! http://www.revival.stormshadow.com <--
    The Gothic Revival.
     
  12. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Norman The Murderous Robotic Parrot Builder wrote:

    <snip>

    Clearly we need compulsory helmets for Gothic Rock headbangers

    Tony ;-)
     
  13. On 2004-02-06 02:50 +0000, Norman The Murderous Robotic Parrot Builder wrote:
    >
    > My cat was cycling the other day. It was snowing when they collided with an item of street
    > furniture which hit them head on. They were travelling at 186mph at the time and they landed paws
    > first. The murderous robotic parrot which hit them was insane.
    >

    Five tons of flax to you, good sir.

    --
    Andrew Chadwick You never hear a Cricket crowd chanting "who's the bastard in the hat?"
     
  14. Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    > Maybe we're up against Schrödinger's Helmet here. Or the Helmetberg Uncertainty Principle. Or
    > something.

    Schrödinger's Hat?

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  15. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    "Dave Larrington" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Schrödinger's Hat?

    I think we're onto something here. This could be the biggest breakthrough in transport physics since
    the discovery of the Apathy Radius!

    --
    Guy
    ===

    WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
     
  16. I'd like to see a realistic comparison of the efficacy and dangers, perhaps using car crash dummies
    with instrumented heads to measure all forces, including rotations, of a modern cycling helmet and
    the kind of close fitting buckled down leather skull cap pilots used to wear. Neither will do much
    for concussive brain injury, because neither does any good in that scale of impact. They might be
    equally good at preventing cuts and grazes, and the much smaller cap might have a lesser tendency to
    "false hits" and dangerous rotations.

    Going back to helmets as they are, the technology of crash padding has produced a great variety of
    foam plastics with diverse and controllable properties, and there are some which offer, in the same
    size as helmet foam, at least as good impact protection, and very much better resistance against the
    failure mode of breaking. In other words I'm sure we could make better bicycle crash helmets. But
    they would be a little heavier, so harder to sell, and they'd be a little more expensive to make.

    But why bother, when you can make far more profit by lobbying govts to make purchase of your
    existing fashionable crap compulsory?
    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
  17. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Mon, 9 Feb 2004 11:11:05 -0000, "Dave Larrington"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Schrödinger's Hat?
    >

    Dave

    You are most evil. I cleaned my keyboard but a couple of days ago.

    James
     
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