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Poll- head injuries

wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
edited November 2009 in Commuting chat
Hi,
Don't want to re-start the argument here, and I'm well aware that this sort of poll isn't really informative... still I'd be interested to know people's experience. This is prompted by noticing how many posts we have from people who've come off and been hospitalised etc. whilst helmeted. I've picked up my fair share of gravel rash and broken a bone (arm) but have never banged my head hard enough to generate symptoms whilst cycling.

Cheers,
W.

Have you experienced a head injury (KO'd, Concussion, blurred vision etc, not bruises/grazes) while "utility" cycling? 0 votes

Wearing a helmet?
0% 0 votes
Not wearing a helmet?
0% 0 votes
Both?
0% 0 votes
Neither?
0% 0 votes
«1

Posts

  • UndercoverElephantUndercoverElephant Posts: 5,796
    edited November 2009
    Hi,
    Don't want to re-start the argument here, and I'm well aware that this sort of poll isn't really informative... still I'd be interested to know people's experience. This is prompted by noticing how many posts we have from people who've come off and been hospitalised etc. whilst helmeted. I've picked up my fair share of gravel rash and broken a bone (arm) but have never banged my head hard enough to generate symptoms whilst cycling.

    Cheers,
    W.

    This is hardly scientific! Those who weren't wearing their helmet are probably far too dead or brain damaged to click anything in a poll. :twisted:
  • Oh, don't know which to vote! Came off on some roots on my MTB and was KO'd (wearing a helmet) amongst other things. So, it was riding off-road (hence not utility cycling) but I was commuting to work (so utility cycling). Do I vote for the first or the last option?

    _
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    I used to have a few offs (see Riding Whilst Half Cut for example), and my best was a full face plant onto tarmac at 20+mph when a cat ran in front of me on a new bike (me not the cat) with the front / rear brakes reversed from the then norm. And I'd had a couple of pints too I reckon. Upshot? One huge scar across the jaw & cheek, that fell away after a few weeks leaving me even more handsome than before with fresh new skin. The consensus was that a helmet would have made no difference, unless it had a 6" peak to lift the head clear of tarmac, and then it would have broken my neck.

    My point? None. I don't like helmets though. They have a use, but riding across country on empty roads isn't one of them.
  • thegibdogthegibdog Posts: 2,106
    This is hardly scientific! Those who weren't wearing their helmet are probably far to dead or brain damaged to click anything in a poll. :twisted:

    Very tasteful. Idiot.
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    Hi,
    Don't want to re-start the argument here, and I'm well aware that this sort of poll isn't really informative... still I'd be interested to know people's experience. This is prompted by noticing how many posts we have from people who've come off and been hospitalised etc. whilst helmeted. I've picked up my fair share of gravel rash and broken a bone (arm) but have never banged my head hard enough to generate symptoms whilst cycling.

    Cheers,
    W.

    This is hardly scientific! Those who weren't wearing their helmet are probably far to dead or brain damaged to click anything in a poll. :twisted:

    Well in countries where wearing a helmet beacame mandatory, there was no difference in head injury rates from before to afterwards, either serious, fatal or minor.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    Neither for me, not been injured utility cycling,

    knocked myself out cold MTBing without a helmet, no lasting effects (as far as I'm concerned anyway)
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • Well in countries where wearing a helmet beacame mandatory, there was no difference in head injury rates from before to afterwards, either serious, fatal or minor.

    Actually things tend to get worse, as there are fewer cyclists. The main thing that makes cycling safer is having more cyclists.
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Underscore wrote:
    Oh, don't know which to vote! Came off on some roots on my MTB and was KO'd (wearing a helmet) amongst other things. So, it was riding off-road (hence not utility cycling) but I was commuting to work (so utility cycling). Do I vote for the first or the last option?
    _

    If you were off-road for fun (ie you went that way 'cos it was more exciting than the alternative) then it doesn't count. If the route was the best way to get from A to B and you were just concentrating on arriving at B, rather than having fun on the way, then it's number one. It's your call, only you know what was in your mind at the time....

    Cheers,
    W.
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    edited November 2009
    never had ahead injury whilst cycling.

    knocked a tooth out....yip.
    mangled knee.............check
    shoulders...................yessiree
    broken toes................uhuh

    but never a head injury, sometimes these injuries happened whilst wearing a helmet, other times not.

    *edit thats any type of cycling....commuting, mountain biking, farting around on a bmx as a kid...the whole lot.
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • Underscore wrote:
    Oh, don't know which to vote! Came off on some roots on my MTB and was KO'd (wearing a helmet) amongst other things. So, it was riding off-road (hence not utility cycling) but I was commuting to work (so utility cycling). Do I vote for the first or the last option?
    _

    If you were off-road for fun (ie you went that way 'cos it was more exciting than the alternative) then it doesn't count. If the route was the best way to get from A to B and you were just concentrating on arriving at B, rather than having fun on the way, then it's number one. It's your call, only you know what was in you mind at the time....

    Cheers,
    W.

    Actually, I can't remember the few seconds prior to the crash so even I don't know what was on my mind at the time! However, it was definitely not the most direct route (probably 50% of my commuting isn't) so I guess it doesn't count.

    However, if you are ruling out anyone that commutes by bike for fun as well as utility, you are selecting a very specific sub-set of commuters (let alone cyclists) the would probably be small enough to blow any slight statistical significance out of the water...

    _
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,595
    Again, not while utility cycling. Knocked myself out a few times coming off my mountain bikes though.
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Too hard a question for me to answer, unless I go way back.

    Back when I in my early teens I had two accidents one where I blacked out and woke up in the recovery position. The other where I blacked out hit my head and woke up with all my friends around me. Both were on a bike without a helmet.

    I haven't (touch wood) had accident enough at this level of commuting to test the theory.

    But then I put that down to two things:

    i) I was always good on a bike in my youth, know I'm more aware of road situations making me a better cyclist now.

    ii) I'm more cautious on my road bike than any of my previous bikes even the hybrid. I can go above 20mph, through parts of my commute (like Tooting) I simply won't.

    When I did have a cramp-induced off in Wiltshire I instinctively held my head up on impact. As I realised I was fine I let my neck relax and my helmet (the back of it) hit the ground, the sensation was wierd as I realised if lying flat its designed to keep my neck perfectly in-line with my body, didn't know that. But that's as close as an off I've had.

    Don't know if this is beneficial to the thread. I didn't know what to click on the poll.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Underscore wrote:
    ...However, if you are ruling out anyone that commutes by bike for fun as well as utility, you are selecting a very specific sub-set of commuters ...

    The idea isn't to eliminate people who enjoy cycling, more to take out incidents that were really the result of leisure rather than utility cycling. I had a fairly painful "off" on Princes Street, Edinburgh once that was the result of a passing diesel fairy. That one was clearly utility cycling as I was going directly from office to train. Whereas if I took the long way home in order to blast down a big descent and overcooked a bend on the way down, I'd probably say that I was doing it for fun at the time... so it'd be "leisure"....

    Let your consience decide...

    I'm half-expecting a lot of under-reporting from the helmeteers, TBH.

    Cheers,
    W.
  • My Giro atmos saved my life when i landed on my head after going over the bars. Landed on my head and helmet took the full force of the impact. Total destroyed the helmet but walked away.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    My Giro atmos saved my life when i landed on my head after going over the bars. Landed on my head and helmet took the full force of the impact. Total destroyed the helmet but walked away.
    This type of reporting is what steers me away from being told to wear a helmet. Your helmet disintegrated because that's what it's designed to do on impact. Your skull wouldn't have shattered in the same way, if at all. Not saying you'd be unscathed.

    The condition of the helmet post-impact is an irrelevance, in the same way that a car crash victim who points to the mangled wreckage of his car and marvels at how he survived it, completely misses the point that it too is designed to collapse and absorb the energy of the impact.

    Anyway.
  • _Brun__Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    My Giro atmos saved my life when i landed on my head after going over the bars. Landed on my head and helmet took the full force of the impact. Total destroyed the helmet but walked away.
    Round of applause!
  • MonkeyMonsterMonkeyMonster Posts: 4,628
    edited November 2009
    My Giro atmos saved my life when i landed on my head after going over the bars. Landed on my head and helmet took the full force of the impact. Total destroyed the helmet but walked away.
    This type of reporting is what steers me away from being told to wear a helmet. Your helmet disintegrated because that's what it's designed to do on impact. Your skull wouldn't have shattered in the same way, if at all. Not saying you'd be unscathed.

    I wear a helmet because I want to. Not telling anyone else to.

    That stated, Chris - I'm surprised is all that this sort of anecdote makes you not want to wear one. It is meant to disintegrate and seems to have done its job in this case - but how on earth can you therefore assume (i'm going with because you've said steers you away) it wasn't necessary "because your skull wouldn't have shattered the same way". If he came off over the handles bar and as the helmet shattered it implies with a high level of energy it really sounds like it did save his life. I've come off and landed on back/head and helmet looked fine (still replaced it because you should (if you use helmets)) but I had bruises and scrapes a plenty on shoulders. I'd like to know why that turns you off using them - when in this seemingly clear cut case it did - literally - save his life.

    Oh and the car analogy - that IS the point of crumple zones/helmets - so the flesh part of the object - ie you - doesn't take the full force of the energy of the impact...

    Anyway :wink:
    Le Cannon [98 Cannondale M400] [FCN: 8]
    The Mad Monkey [2013 Hoy 003] [FCN: 4]
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    My Giro atmos saved my life when i landed on my head after going over the bars. Landed on my head and helmet took the full force of the impact. Total destroyed the helmet but walked away.
    This type of reporting is what steers me away from being told to wear a helmet. Your helmet disintegrated because that's what it's designed to do on impact. Your skull wouldn't have shattered in the same way, if at all. Not saying you'd be unscathed.

    The condition of the helmet post-impact is an irrelevance, in the same way that a car crash victim who points to the mangled wreckage of his car and marvels at how he survived it, completely misses the point that it too is designed to collapse and absorb the energy of the impact.

    Unless I'm very dumb that is a strong argument FOR helmet use.
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    My Giro atmos saved my life when i landed on my head after going over the bars. Landed on my head and helmet took the full force of the impact. Total destroyed the helmet but walked away.
    This type of reporting is what steers me away from being told to wear a helmet. Your helmet disintegrated because that's what it's designed to do on impact. Your skull wouldn't have shattered in the same way, if at all. Not saying you'd be unscathed.

    I wear a helmet because I want to. Not telling anyone else to.

    That stated, Chris - I'm surprised is all that this sort of anecdote makes you not want to wear one. It is meant to disintegrate and seems to have done its job in this case - but how on earth can you therefore assume (i'm going with because you've said steers you away) it wasn't necessary "because your skull wouldn't have shattered the same way". If he came off over the handles bar and as the helmet shattered it implies with a high level of energy it really sounds like it did save his life. I've come off and landed on back/head and helmet looked fine (still replaced it because you should (if you use helmets)) but I had bruises and scrapes a plenty on shoulders. I'd like to know why that turns you off using them - when in this seemingly clear cut case it did - literally - save his life.
    You can't say this. Was there a controlled experiment where his twin replicated the crash sans helmet? Did he die? Just saying, most 'it saved my life' reports are hyperbole.
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • MonkeyMonsterMonkeyMonster Posts: 4,628
    edited November 2009
    You can't say this. Was there a controlled experiment where his twin replicated the crash sans helmet? Did he die? Just saying, most 'it saved my life' reports are hyperbole.

    I did add the seemingly to try to stop this ;)

    But it was based on experiences I have had in how tough helmets are in collisions and impacts - yes I've done silly experiments when younger plus I was taking the "helmet was totally destroyed" as being accurate and not over embellished. Therefore the amount of energy required to destroy a helmet could be said to be high enough to cause death.

    That said - its my opinion but I've tried to back it up with a level of information that shows its not totally pie in the sky.
    Le Cannon [98 Cannondale M400] [FCN: 8]
    The Mad Monkey [2013 Hoy 003] [FCN: 4]
  • Personally, I've not had any head injuries but a close friend of mine did while not wearing a helmet, his current address is Harehills cemetery, Leeds.

    I always wear a helmet
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,132
    Saved him from a very nasty headache / concussion / literal scalping ( :lol: ) then - still seems more like an argument to wear a helmet than not to wear a helmet, but each to their own.
  • chaleychaley Posts: 100
    edited November 2009
    I've done it both ways.
    The first time (no helmet) I was riding to school and got knocked off by a car, hit my head on the road and ended up with a fractured skull, not nice!
    The second time was last week and I was wearing a helmet, I don't know what happened other than walking up in A&E with concussion, cuts, bruises, smashed teeth and 4 hours of my life missing, oh and one bust helmet, I don't suggest that I would be dead if I wasn't wearing the helmet, but I KNOW that if I wasn't wearing one I would of a least had a load more cuts etc and Elvis only knows what else.

    Chaley
    2009 langster

    Blasphemy is the only victimless crime
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    I have no axe to grind (whether you wear a helmet or not)

    I have seen talk of there is no proof that it would save you yadayadayada....

    However, from the other side, can anyone tell me what the downside is, apart from having a hunk of polystyrene (or whatever they are made of) strapped to you head.

    I mean is there any safety issues about wearing one?
    Would/could it not be good for you.....

    I personally weat one when offroading, and till recently always wore on commute, but recently opted for high viz Sealskin Hat.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    chaley wrote:
    ...If you say that a lid does no good all I'll say is that at the very least hitting your head on to a softish helmet lining is better than hitting the hard road, even if that only means you don't end up with as many stitches.
    Chaley

    Let's not do that argument here, please?

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    W.
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    I mean is there any safety issues about wearing one?
    Would/could it not be good for you......

    Possibly. There generally doesn't seem to be enough evidence to be sure. There are threads which explore this, and websites that cover it, too... I'd prefer it if we could avoid exploring the issues in this thread, though... By all means start another one!

    Cheers,
    W.
  • NGaleNGale Posts: 1,866
    8 years old, not wearing a helmet, fall off my bike going down a hill, concusion, and road rash.

    10 years old, wearing a helmet, knocked off my bike. concusion, one lost tooth, dislocated hip and a broken scafoid.
    Officers don't run, it's undignified and panics the men
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    I mean is there any safety issues about wearing one?
    Would/could it not be good for you......

    Possibly. There generally doesn't seem to be enough evidence to be sure. There are threads which explore this, and websites that cover it, too... I'd prefer it if we could avoid exploring the issues in this thread, though... By all means start another one!

    Cheers,
    W.

    Can't be bothered..... :P

    I am pretty much on the fence. Used to never wear, then got one for a race i did, now use off road on MTB, but now and then on leisure rides, and commute. Just never heard anything compelling that says wearing one could be an issue, therfore no reason not to. OK I do get the "lulls you into false sense of security" stuff, but just wondering if a helmet could injure you.

    Anyway sorry for raising....
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    I took a hell of a clout on the head when I was hit, at least I think I did as I still have no memory of the accident, which says it all really. Evidently I was conscious enough at the scene for the paramedics to try and put me on the phone to my son, even though I made no sense, and was subsequently kept in casualty overnight due to concussion. Strangely enough my helmet shows no battle scars other than a bit of the plastic retention system having snapped, do dents or splits in any way which implies the impact wasn't that severe, although two black eyes, the loss of a tooth, which came out through my lip, and multiple cuts says otherwise.

    Am I glad I was wearing a helmet? You bet your life I was.

    Did it save my life? God only knows.

    Will I continue wearing one? Too bloody right I will
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    3 Crashes in the last 6 years:

    1: Wearing Helmet - Sideswiped by cabbie, split top lip in half, knocket out, gravel rash on chin and nose, knocked out. Required stitches and was v nearly disfigured for life. No damage to head/helmet. Helmet never touched the ground. I was a newbie and swallowed all the helmet guff.
    2: Wearing Helmet, taken down by oil on the road. Substantial gravel rash and bruising, carried on with the ride after some roadside attention. No damage to head/helmet. Helmet never touched the ground. Helmet wearing enforced by Etape organisers.
    3: Not Wearing Helmet: Hit by car, broken collar bone resulting in surgery. No damage to cap or head, neither touched the ground. I don't wear a helmet unless I'm made too.

    I just don't think I'm very likely to land on my head! Also in all 3 of my crashes I was travelling well over 15mph, and in two I was in a collision with a vehicle. Cycle helmets are not designed to offer protection in these incidents anyway, so why bother.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
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