POLL: Do you wear a helmet?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Revolutionary, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Member

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    If you hit a bump (like I did) and went head-first over the handlebars, would you prefer to be wearing a helmet or not wearing one at that moment?
     


  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I always wear a helmet, and I think as long as safety belts are required by law in cars than there should be a law that motorcyclists and cyclists should wear helmets too. If you want to scream about freedom fine, I have no problem with that as long as the law for mandatory seat belts is repealed and left to the individual to decide to wear a seat belt.

    Someone mentioned that there were no sites showing that helmets protect, gee this isn't difficult so here's a few:

    This one (as well at some of the others) contains other sites worth reading too: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/do-helmets-prevent-head-injuries/

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeand...-serious-head-injury-by-nearly-70-study-finds

    https://bigthink.com/neurobonkers/the-bike-helmet-paradox

    https://www.annemergmed.com/article/S0196-0644(03)00092-1/fulltext?code=ymem-site

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598379/

    https://helmets.org/stats.htm

    This site starts out explaining motorcycle helmets but then at the end of page 15 they go into bicycle helmets.
    http://www.who.int/roadsafety/projects/manuals/helmet_manual/1-Why.pdf

    http://www.smf.org/docs/articles/report

    If those sites you refute, then I suggest you go down to your local hospitals and talk to the emergency room doctors and ask them if they think helmets save lives. Even if a helmet only reduces head injury say only 15% for example, I don't know about you but I would rather have 15% vs 0%.

    Most of the reasons for helmet failure in protecting someone is due to improper fitting helmet or a helmet that wasn't adjusted right, besides of course exceeding the design limit of the helmet. Also what's not spoken about is that deaths have gone UP over the last 15 years, they do talk about it as if helmets are not working, but the reality is that older people over 55 have taken to cycling and out number the younger cyclists, and when an older person crashes the chances for severe or fatal head injury increases with age. In 2015, the average age of pedal cyclists killed in traffic crashes was 45. Over the past 10 years, the average age of pedal cyclists both killed and injured in motor vehicle crashes has steadily increased. The average age of pedal cyclists killed has increased from 41 in 2006 to 45 in 2015. The average age of pedal cyclists injured has increased from 30 in 2006 to 35 in 2015. Also fatalities are up due to distracted driving which is why I believe that cell phones should automatically shut down once a vehicle exceeds 20 mph, with no way of overriding it.

    https://www.bicycling.com/news/a20016671/cycling-deaths-are-on-the-rise/
     
  3. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Member

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    I sometimes wore a motorcycle helmet until I decided to wear one every time I rode. I was also a member of ABATE which is a national motorcyclist rights group. They fought hard against mandatory helmet use, lobbying politicians. Sitting in on the monthly meetings I began to realize a lot of BS was spoken, mostly about "a friend of mine who knew a man whose uncle's brother was killed while wearing a helmet."

    I wore a motorcycle helmet as a teen because my father insisted, and I knew he would have taken my motorcycle away and sold it if he caught me without a helmet. That turned out to be fortuitous because when I was in a head-on crash with a scooter rider, I was flipped upside-down and landed on my head at 30 mph, according to a friend who was on a motorcycle behind me. The top of the helmet was crushed. I remember jumping up and finding I had lost my sight. That was for about ten minutes. Had it not been for the helmet, I believe I would have lost more than my sight. Helmets make good sense.

    A lot of motorcyclists, where their state mandates helmet use, wear 'beanies.' These are illegal helmets that fit close to the skull with about a 1/4" of foam rubber inside them. The law required DOT approved helmets, so somebody began to produce DOT labels to stick on the beanies. For a while, cops had to accept them.

    Delaware compromised by saying bikers had to carry a helmet on the bike, one for each person on the bike. I got stopped by a trooper on a Christmas eve afternoon. Riding along a coastal highway, 40 mph in a 50 zone, and not a car in sight. The cop asked me to show him my helmet, so I opened the trunk of my Gold Wing, and showed him. He said, "Okay, I was just concerned for your safety." Sure he was! He wanted to write me a ticket!

    With car seat belts, my wife and I started to wear them fifty years ago, long before they became mandatory. I spent a week's wages on a pair of seat belts and fitted them to the anchor points in the car. We have never driven without seat belts, since we saw a terrible accident where people were thrown through their windshields, covering the intersection with so much blood, that I don't believe they lived.

    I know that people question their freedom when it comes to seat belts and helmets, but it's not a wise person who is opposed to them. Same with bicycle helmets.
    Agreed!
    I bought a Specialized brand bicycle helmet from my LBS, and it fits well. Later I bought a spare one from Walmart. I would advise anyone not to buy one of those. I found that, although they are adjustable, they don't fit as they ought. I adjusted mine so it was firm and comfortable, but I could get my fingers in the side between my head and the helmet.
    I would go even further, so that the phone won't work while the car is in motion. Even being hit by a car at 20 mph could result in serious injury or death.

    When analog cell phones first came out, I was just leaving work when my phone rang. My journey was about ten miles and the call ended when I pulled in my driveway. As I got out of my truck, I realized that I didn't remember any of the drive home. The problem with cell phones, even when just talking, is that the driver's mind is with the person they are talking to. Their eyes may be on the road, but their minds are elsewhere. You can't successfully divide your time between driving and talking (unless the talk is with a passenger in the car); I don't care what anyone claims to the contrary. Sooner or later you're going to crash while distracted. By nature most people are law-breakers, so something must be done to disable their phones while driving. It may be inconvenient to some, but it's also inconvenient when a loved one is killed by a distracted driver.
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the phone should shut off when the car is in motion, problem with that is walking and running speed, though I disagree with someone using a phone while riding a bike it's not as dangerous as doing so in a car, so that was my reason for the 20 mph speed limit on phones. Not sure if that 20 mph speed is valid but it would at least serve as a starting point then after 10 years of study see if it's effective or would say 5 mph speed be even better.
     
  5. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    For years I've been explaining helmets to people Since Bell first designed helmets I tried and tried and tried to explain how they were designed and what they are capable of. I was the Safety Director for the American Federation of Motorcyclists and road raced motorcycles semi-pro. I have even published papers on it. So PLEASE let me explain this yet again:

    Bell had an entirely incorrect idea of what was necessary when they initially designed a helmet. They believed the danger to a motorcyclist was a skull fracture and they designed a helmet to keep the skull from fracturing in a 5' fall (later increased to 6' if memory serves).

    These worked well enough for racing because you do not FALL on your head racing motorcycles. You fall on your side and drag your head. And the solid fiberglass helmet exterior allowed this to occur with minimal injuries, usually. The helmet still could catch on something and break a neck and these accidents did occur though they were thankfully not common.

    Then they decided to build bicycle helmets because it appeared an easier task. This gave them room to expand the padding a bit - the depth of the removed hard shell.

    But all of this was based on the false premise that it was fractured skulls that killed people. It is not. It is concussion. When you fall with much force the hard padding of helmets stops your head so suddenly that the membrane inside of your skull that maintains the position of your brain is torn and your brain is slapped forcibly against the inside of the skull. The effects of this are varied but death is often the result.

    This means that the total fall absorption is drastically reduced to a great deal less than advertised. Oh sure, they work if you fall off of your bike and use some part of your body to cushion the majority of the fall, but because they cannot be large enough to soften the actual cause of brain injuries, helmet DO NOT WORK AND THEY DO NOT SAVE LIVES.

    They do work for the vast majority of bicycle accidents which are simple single bike fall-offs. And this is certainly a very good reason to wear them.

    Though many countries with a great deal of ridership think of them as unnecessary expenses. These countries usually have fewer bicycle injuries and deaths for a very simple reason - the average speed of the cyclist is usually very low in dense city traffic and they use flat pedals. The pedals alone are the reason there are so few injuries there - it takes zero time to put a foot down to balance yourself and prevent a fall. Here, a large segment of the cycling population use clip-in pedals and cannot remove their feet fast enough. So fall-overs are pretty common.

    In the USA the entire statistics are corrupted by safety freaks who have dirtied the water and made large numbers of people think that they need a helmet to be safe.

    So they tell you semi-honest facts such as "80% of all bicycle deaths are due to head injuries". That is so to a certain extent: The immediate cause of death as delivered by a postmortem examination is head injuries. But in fact these deaths would have occurred because the real cause of death was from massive blunt force trauma.

    If you are struck by an automobile at 15 mph you stand about a 10% chance of being killed. But if you are struck by a automobile at 40 mph you stand an 80% chance of being killed. The human body in general cannot be accelerated to the speed of such a collision and not break up everywhere. Sure occasionally you have a glancing blow and you land perfectly but it is only once out of every 5 tries. I suggest you don't try.

    I wear a helmet and I highly recommend them because although bicycling is the safest form of transportation in the world, they are also one of the largest sources of minor injuries. Just try never to fall on your head.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Cycletom, without going into detail that we already went into over and over and have proven you wrong I'll just say this again...BS!!!

    And by the way, cycling is not the safest transportation in the world by miles, the safest is commercial airplanes, followed by trains and buses. Of course there is the argument that elevators are even safer then airplanes, but bicycles are not even in the top 5, but without the elevator being on the list here is how bicycle rank for safety compared to a few other modes of transportation: http://961theeagle.com/what-is-the-safest-way-to-travel-by-plane-car-train-space-shuttle/
     
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  7. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Member

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    Regardless of what anyone says about helmets, in the end we are going to go with what we believe.

    Road rash is no joke, and nobody really wants to lose their scalp, so a helmet is advisable even if only for that purpose. I find that a helmet helps - particularly here in Florida - to keep the sun off one's head. I've ridden a motorcycle - sans helmet - and didn't realize the sun could be such a problem until I saw yellow lines as lime green, and that was in Delaware where it doesn't get so hot.

    I suffered a concussion, many years ago, after a head-on motorcycle crash. According to a friend on another motorcycle behind me, I came down head-first in the road. Despite numerous broken bones, I automatically jumped up and found I was blind, but only for about ten minutes. The top of my helmet was badly damaged.

    You mentioned being hit by a car. A helmet may or may not do some good, depending on how your head hits, if it hits anything at all. I'd prefer to be wearing a helmet if I'm ever hit by a car. I think any protection is better than no protection.

    I read an article a couple of days ago, that Pinellas county (where I live) is the most dangerous county in the whole state of Florida, for cyclist deaths. I think the fault lies mostly with the cyclists. I've seen so many of them riding at night, wearing dark clothing, and having no lights. And they ride along our six-lane boulevard like that! That's just one of their faults, and I don't see them wearing helmets. They take risks in traffic just to avoid having to stop. That is evident by the fact that drivers are conditioned to expect them to do something stupid. Cyclists in our county must be more dense than other counties, hence the fatality rate.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Actually Japan has the highest cycling death rate of any nation in the world, followed by the USA. What's weird is that the higher the density of bicycles the lower the death rate, which if you think about makes sense. You can read about the explanation as to why Japan is ranked number one here, but make sure you have your translator working...unless you can read Japanese: http://www.asahi.com/special/09016/TKY200908170213.html

    Florida is the most dangerous state for cyclists, this is surely due to all those retirees that live there, of course it doesn't help and elderly person to see a blacked out cyclist riding at night with their poorer night vision working against them. Where I live MOST cyclists do not use any lights or reflective stuff at night! When I asked a cop why they don't ticket cyclists for either riding with no lights and he said (I hope your sitting down for this), it's less work for the cop when they respond to a bicycle accident if all they have to do is put down on the report it was the cyclist fault for not having lights or reflectors even though the car may have turned in front of them, or ran into the rear of them or whatever; no lights or reflectors equals 100% of the cyclists fault no matter what the motorist was doing.
     
  9. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Member

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    I believe it's like that with the police around here, too. I don't see them ticketing cyclists who are breaking the law by having no lights at night. In the city of Tampa, police have been stopping bikes without lights at night because they know most of them are dealing drugs. They've had to ease up on that after complaints were made that the police were picking on people of color. So the dealers keep riding without lights and plying their trade.
     
  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    We have some dealers, mostly teenagers, selling drugs while on bikes here in Fort Wayne too, I have a feeling any decent size city has that going on to some degree.

    The weird thing about lights and reflectors on bikes is the same thing is true with bells in Indiana. It's possible that if you don't have a bell and have a crash with someone it could be deemed your fault, but I think that one would be easier to get reversed in court because the way I would fight it would be that a bell cannot be heard in a noisy city environment, plus most people drive with their windows up and the radio on or the phone on so the bell would never even remotely be heard; also to activate a bell the law is requiring us to have means I would have to take one hand to ring the bell instead of using that hand to operate the brake that could have allowed me to stop faster and miss the person. So I think it's safer not to have a bell, unless all you want it for is decoration!
     
  11. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Member

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    I agree but it depends on what the law says. If the law mandates a bell, then to not have one would be a violation of the law. They could still use that against a cyclist despite the fact nobody but the rider could hear it. If it went to court, and the prosecuting attorney was sharp, he'd look into whether or not the bike was property equipped to suit the law. It's a risk you take by going to court with it because you could end up paying court costs, too.

    Some laws do need to be changed. For instance, federal law requires wheel reflectors on new bikes, but that only applies to the bike shop. It's not illegal for the bike owner to take them off. I did dig into this some time ago because nobody believed me that federal law requires them at the time of sale. The law even mandates where they have to be placed on the spokes. It's a useless law because when I bought my Specialized Fatboy, it came without wheel reflectors, and there is no way to properly attach them because of the spokes spacing. They can be attached but they would flop all over the place. My previous Sun Spyder fat bike had the required reflectors because the spokes spacing was right. I like wheel reflectors because I've seen how they look in the dark when car headlights hits them. But they do need to be clean.
     
  12. sayto2018

    sayto2018 New Member

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    The helmet for me is a must !!!
     
  13. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Tell you what -- try riding 20 miles in an elevator and getting any exercise.
    There are NO states that require helmets for anyone over 16 years of age. What's more, any attempt to pass such laws would be overturned in an instant.
     
  14. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I believe I showed you that there are three government agencies that report the number of miles ridden on bicycles in this country. Using two of them bicycling is about 50% more dangerous than a car. If you use the other, bicycling it twice as safe as driving. Splitting the difference you can still see that bicycling STILL is the safest form of travel with barely 900 deaths per year. Compare that to 5,600 pedestrians or more truck occupants dying than all bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists combines.

    As for buses being safe? They are not. There are no safety devices on a bus such as safety belts and in case of a crash the numbers of serious injuries and deaths are high.

    When was the last time you went to work on a commercial airline? Sure they are safe, but they have an entire government agency watching them over every inch of their route managing their flight path. If that were the case with automobiles with their safety features injuries would be rare and deaths almost never.

    This was about bicycle helmets and the statistics still stand - they do not save lives. They save you from minor injuries in a simple low speed fall-off accident. And that makes them worthwhile.
     
  15. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    You could run in place, or do calisthenics while in the elevator for 20 miles; or you could go out of the elevator through the roof of the elevator and try catching other elevators as they go pass you by swinging from one set of cables to another landing on top of the passing elevator in what's called elevator surfing...I'm sure that would be great exercise, why don't you try that and let us know what you think of the workout?
     
  16. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    And exactly why are you attempting to make bicycling seem dangerous? Virtually ALL of the very large number of accidents on bicycles are single or two bicycle fall-offs. These do not endanger anything but the skin of those involved.
     
  17. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, did you miss comprehension in reading while you were in school? My statement that you quoted was in response to your statement where you said this: "Tell you what -- try riding 20 miles in an elevator and getting any exercise." I see no mention, not one word, from either you in that statement, or I in response to that statement about making bicycling seem dangerous; all I was trying to do was have some humor injected into your statement. Now had you said "And exactly why are you attempting to make elevator surfing seem dangerous", well then I would have been rolling on the floor laughing my ass off, but you failed to capture the comedic moment.
     
  18. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    The subject here was not injecting humor. It was about safety helmets and if they had any effect on fatalities. The statistics are clear and they do not.
     
  19. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry you caught me snoring reading your nonsensical bias dribble that doesn't hold water as I and others here have proven to you before over and over and over, can we move on?
     
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  20. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Froze...I think anyone with two functioning brain cells has caught on by now!

    Helmets and safety...Chicago was moved to China...600 Watts of power for an hour...tubeless tires and a huge spare tire around his waist...can't get Campagnolo Record level equipment to work...it never ends with this one.

    He and Alf make a great couple. Couple of 'what'...I won't say. Maybe they can get married and between the two of them they can 'invent' a way to actually alter the Q-factor of an UltraTorque crankset and ride off into the sunset on their tandem with matching twin 1 MM 'air gaps'!
     
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