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Please Convince my Work Colleague to Wear a Helmet

DeakoDeako Posts: 8
edited January 2012 in Commuting general
I'm looking for a lot of people out there to point out the sheer stupidity of a work colleague of mine that commutes every day, on busy roads, in every weather.......without wearing a helmet of any kind.

The work commute for him is around 20 minutes in the Solihull/Birmingham area. Some of the worst drivers in the Midlands are on the roads here, and i nearly get hit every time i go out in my car, let alone on a cycle.

My work colleague has a 1 year old baby girl and a loving wife.

I wear a helmet whenever i go out on the bike, be it casual cycling at the park, trail riding, road riding etc. I value my brains.

Other work colleagues and myself are constantly trying to encourage him to wear a helmet (he brought one, just never wears it).

Hopefully, if enough of you post stories of accidents and the danger he puts himself in every day, he will decide to wear his helmet. I will be sending him the link to this thread if it gains enough momentum.

Thanks to everyone in advance.
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  • When I was around 13 years old I saw a woman fall off her bike in Spain. She wasn't going very fast, she just looked behind, wobbled a bit and fell over. Her head hit the floor and she wasn't wearing a helmet. She was out cold and there was blood on the road. My dad trained CPR to bodyguards and was first there putting her in the recovery position etc. I was just watching in shock. She was dead before the ambulance came.

    Just tell him that sh*t happens :(
  • PufftmwPufftmw Posts: 1,941
    My (ex) wife is a PI solicitor and one of her cases was of a bloke, mid 30s, married, kids etc cycling along a well lit road and he was just clipped from behind by a car going too fast. He hit his head on the ground and ended up with severe brain damage and has never made a full recovery. He has no value of life (ie basically a vegetable) and has to be cared for 24/7. Because he wasn't wearing a helmet, the defendant in the case tried to claim that he was contributory negligent and reduce his damages (which is essentially his family's ability to pay for his full-time care). Fortunately (for the family), my wife was able to convince the judge otherwise.

    I'm as reckless as the next person but ever since my wife took on that case, I've worn a helmet. It is just not worth the anguish that you might put your family and loved ones through for the sake of a few quid and "looking macho".

    Don't let your friend put himself in a position where he needs the services of a my wife, however good she is. Grow up, take responsibility and wear a helmet.
  • nadirnadir Posts: 115
    wouldnt dream of trying to convince someone to do something which would confer no benefit and could actually make the situation worse if he were to have an accident
  • pdwpdw Posts: 315
    I don't wear a helmet in the belief that there's any real chance of it making a difference in the event of a big off. I wear it because it's very likely to be the difference between a minor off being a trip to hospital and being perfectly OK - and it has been in the past. I've had one off where I didn't really knock my head, but it rubbed against a stone wall leaving some scratches in my helmet that I'm very glad weren't in my head. As it was, I picked myself up, carried on, and instead worried about the small graze on my knee. A better lesson learned from that particular incident was to drink less before getting on a bike...

    I wouldn't try to convince a colleague to wear helmet, beyond relaying my own experiences. Cycling really isn't that dangerous, and there is some evidence to suggest that you may get given more room by cars if you're not wearing one. More cyclists on the road makes cycling safer for all of us, and I certainly wouldn't want to discourage anyone from taking it up by insisting they wear a helmet.
  • Pufftmw wrote:
    Because he wasn't wearing a helmet, the defendant in the case tried to claim that he was contributory negligent and reduce his damages (which is essentially his family's ability to pay for his full-time care).

    This is an excellent reason to wear a helmet - a helmet cannot be relied upon to help you in the case of the worst happening but do you really want to take the risk that the barsteward that caused it will not cough up for your family? Its a very similar to one of the reasons for wearing hi vis clothing and having good lights - they don't make you invuneralable but it's one less thing that a lawyer can use if a payout is being decided for the family.

    The other good reason is as someone already pointed out .. if you have a minor incident you really don't want to be smacking your head. It's the same reason for wearing gloves .. they cannot be relied upon to stop you getting majorly injured but they will reduce the discomfort in a minor off (the most likely accident your ever likely to have and one that will never get reported so not part of any statistics).

    TBH though the bigger issue is should this person be cycling on bad roads - TBH not cycling on them will have a bigger statistically impact than wearing or not wearing a helmet. I guess that's a different question altogether though.
    Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

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  • DeakoDeako Posts: 8
    nadir wrote:
    wouldnt dream of trying to convince someone to do something which would confer no benefit and could actually make the situation worse if he were to have an accident

    Explain please.

    Thanks everyone else. Keep them coming.
  • DrLexDrLex Posts: 2,142
    nadir wrote:
    [...]which would confer no benefit and could actually make the situation worse if he were to have an accident

    Without a credible citation, this remains an opinion. Sure, it's of no benefit in certain types of accident (lorry effectively bisects you, but thankfully these are rare. It's not impossible to conceive of a helmet exacerbating or causing an injury, (e.g. snags on something) but the chances of such must be incredibly small.

    Whilst I sympathize with the OP, attempting to tell adults what to do contrary to their own decision is almost always a futile exercise, the usual sole benefit being a salved conscience. If you must persist, just ask him what flowers he'd like in the ICU or at the crematorium and leave it at that.
    Location: ciderspace
  • fizzfizz Posts: 483
    At the end of the day if he doesnt want to wear one then he wont, its not compulsory and he has no reason to legally.

    Personally I wear mine and always will, having had experience of a tarmac interface recently. I would not go out on open roads without it. IMHO theres more reasons to wear one than not to. But at the end of the day its down to individual choice.

    Try to educate rather than preach ( I dont know what approach you are taking ) gentle persuasion is better than nagging or keeping on at him.
  • This happend almost 20 years ago when I was commuting home from work.
    I was less than three miles from home on a quiet stretch of road - can't to this day remember exactly what happend (doctor says its normal to loose memory of last few seconds leading upto a major accident)other than the back door of a VW camper suddenyl being inches in front of me and BANG! Next thing I'm on the floor with blood coming out of one ear, no feeling in my legs and a paramedic telling me stay as still as possible.
    To cut a long story short,at first they thought I had broken my neck - I hadn't ,but I had done sufficient damage to my spine to be paralysed for 2 days. I had broken my nose, cut my throat and bit through my tongue. I also had superficial cuts to my arms and legs.
    I'd just found out I was going to be a dad for the second time and to be delivered the news that I may not walk again was pretty devastating.
    The neurosurgeon that I saw made it quite clear that the helmet (an Etto) had saved my life and asked if he could keep it to show to students etc.
    Luckily I did recover from this accident (still have a few problems with my back and on occasion my legs go numb) and I can walk and cycle without any bother - would have been a very different tale without a helmet on.

    It's up to you if you wear one - but if I hadn't worn one I would never have had the pleasure of seeing my two boys grow in to men or have fallen asleep in the chair with my grandson this afternoon.
    FCN = 9 (Tourer) 8 (Mountain Bike)
  • DeakoDeako Posts: 8
    Thanks again. Fully aware that if an articulated HGV takes him out, then its game over, and no helmet is going to stop that.

    But cycling on poorly lit roads at night, even hitting a pot hole bad enough could be enough to throw you off. In this situation, if head makes contact with kerbstone ...... well, doesnt bear thinking about. If you survive the fall, then like another person said earlier, you could suffer severe brain damage.

    I try not to preach too much to him. Just delicately remind him that his daughter will ask her mummy what daddy was like etc.
  • PoacherPoacher Posts: 165
    Just direct him to http://www.cyclehelmets.org/ and let him make up his own mind. Maybe you should consider visiting that site yourself.
    Ceps, morelles, trompettes de mort. Breakfast of champignons.
  • it takes less than 1 minute to put a helmet on but it can take a life time to to walk/speak again

    well worth that 1 minute of his time
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    Interesting variation on the usual 'Do you wear a helmet?' topic title.

    Can we have a sweep for how many pages this will run to? I am going for 12.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • PoacherPoacher Posts: 165
    I'm going for 35, partly because Deako seems so keen to keep it going until he/she builds up a portfolio of "wearing a helmet saved my life" anecdotes, and partly because I'll put in a link to cyclehelmets or http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/wiki/Why-helmets whenever I can be bothered to log in to this nonsense instead of visiting a sensible cycling forum.
    Ceps, morelles, trompettes de mort. Breakfast of champignons.
  • GasmanGasman Posts: 530
    When I was about 14 I was hit from behind by a drunk driver doing over 40mph while I cycled to the local pool. I wasn't wearing a helmet (this was 30 odd years ago after all). The rear forks and wheel absorbed most of the shock. I ended up on the road but stood up and walked away with only a small scratch on my hand. Does this prove that drunk drivers aren't really that dangerous or that helmets are unneccessary? Of course not but I think it illustrates the danger in basing important decisions on anecdotal 'evidence'.
    I'm gonna live for ever. . .or die trying!!
  • He's a big boy, stop nannying with your own subjective opinion. Its a choice thing, (my choice is to wear one but thats me, I have a mirror too! )

    are you convicing him to eat puree tofu as well to minimise the dangers of weight gain & choking. Get him in a low ceilinged bungalow, lots of people die falling downstairs and off ladders. God forbid he uses anything that needs electrical power and of course you'll be guaranteeing he lives 24/7 in a hypo allergenic fireproof suit


    I assume you're only bigging up the perceived danger of cycling & not the hundreds of other ways he's just as unlikely to get himself hurt.
  • He's a big boy, stop nannying with your own subjective opinion. Its a choice thing, (my choice is to wear one but thats me, I have a mirror too! )

    are you convicing him to eat puree tofu as well to minimise the dangers of weight gain & choking. Get him in a low ceilinged bungalow, lots of people die falling downstairs and off ladders. God forbid he uses anything that needs electrical power and of course you'll be guaranteeing he lives 24/7 in a hypo allergenic fireproof suit


    I assume you're only bigging up the perceived danger of cycling & not the hundreds of other ways he's just as unlikely to get himself hurt.

    +1. Well said.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    +1 to shouldbeinbed.

    I live in that area. OP, what's a rough start and end point of your colleagues journey? I'm happy to suggest a more cycle friendly route if I can.

    Seriously though, he's an adult. Leave him alone!
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • TorvidTorvid Posts: 449
    +1 to shouldbeinbed.

    The drivers round solihull are fine and the roads are okay too, unless he's bombing up and down the A45 every day then i can give him a few different routes.
    Commuter: Forme Vision Red/Black FCN 4
    Weekender: White/Black - Cube Agree GTC pro FCN 3
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    If you want him to minimise risk - then shouldn't you persuade him to stop cycling totally ?
    30 years ago there was no helmet usage to speak of. A few guys wearing their leather string of sausage helmets.
    I don't remember the club runs being full of fatalities then ?

    Are you a newish cyclist ?

    I do wear a helmet as I have to race with them anyway - so I need to be used to them. I don't bother for riding to the shops or whatever. I've fallen over far more times running and walking than I have cycling - but I don't see the point of wearing a helmet there either.

    It's up to him, and the more you try and convince him, the less likely he will be to change.
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    He's a grown up. He can do what he likes.

    Just because you think your cycling requires a helmet does not mean that he agrees with you. Most of us go about our daily lives taking part in a host of activities - cycling is just one of them. Some people feel cycling is 'dangerous' enough to require a helmet, others think the idea of wearing a helmet is rediculous.

    I'm in the middle camp. I wear one when I am taking obvious risks cycling (mountain biking) and I do not wear one on my lazy commute to work or when out and about with the family on a trail or canal path etc. Same goes for other sports like say skiing - I wear one for "serious" skiing and boarding with my expert friends but not when cruising round the piste with my wife and her more casual group of skiers. Same goes for gardening - happy to cut the grass in t-shirt and shorts but when the chainsaw comes out it is longsleeves, hardhat, goggles, and heavy gloves.

    It is all about a personal 'intuitive' (forget all the bull about looking cool and macho) risk assessment. It is perfectly legal and acceptable for him not to wear a helmet so just leave him alone.
    baz2003uk wrote:
    it takes less than 1 minute to put a helmet on but it can take a life time to to walk/speak again

    well worth that 1 minute of his time
    Very true. So why limit helmet use to just cycling? For the sake of 50 notes and 1 minute each day we could save many many more lives if we wore helmets in cars - just as "serious" drivers do when they race.

    So why is cycling singled out by the helmet mafia? I really don't understand the logic. Day to day cycling is an astonishingly safe activity.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • Same goes for other sports like say skiing - I wear one for "serious" skiing and boarding with my expert friends but not when cruising round the piste with my wife and her more casual group of skiers.

    I started off doing exactly this until somone pointed out that it's the idiot who crashes into you at 40mph on a blue run rather than the scary off piste stuff that is likely to cause you real damage.

    To the OP. Tell your friend that he is right, statistically the chance of a helmet saving his life is pretty low. Also ask him if he locks his house and car when he leaves them. The chances of someone trying the door on the off chance its unlocked is very low so probably no point worrying about it either :P .
    Black Specialised Sirrus Sport, red Nightvision jacket, orange Hump backpack FCN - 7
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  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    Daz555 wrote:
    He's a grown up. He can do what he likes.

    Just because you think your cycling requires a helmet does not mean that he agrees with you. Most of us go about our daily lives taking part in a host of activities - cycling is just one of them. Some people feel cycling is 'dangerous' enough to require a helmet, others think the idea of wearing a helmet is rediculous.

    I'm in the middle camp. I wear one when I am taking obvious risks cycling (mountain biking) and I do not wear one on my lazy commute to work or when out and about with the family on a trail or canal path etc. Same goes for other sports like say skiing - I wear one for "serious" skiing and boarding with my expert friends but not when cruising round the piste with my wife and her more casual group of skiers. Same goes for gardening - happy to cut the grass in t-shirt and shorts but when the chainsaw comes out it is longsleeves, hardhat, goggles, and heavy gloves.

    It is all about a personal 'intuitive' (forget all the bull about looking cool and macho) risk assessment. It is perfectly legal and acceptable for him not to wear a helmet so just leave him alone.
    baz2003uk wrote:
    it takes less than 1 minute to put a helmet on but it can take a life time to to walk/speak again

    well worth that 1 minute of his time
    Very true. So why limit helmet use to just cycling? For the sake of 50 notes and 1 minute each day we could save many many more lives if we wore helmets in cars - just as "serious" drivers do when they race.

    So why is cycling singled out by the helmet mafia? I really don't understand the logic. Day to day cycling is an astonishingly safe activity.

    +1, Good post Daz.
    To the OP. Tell your friend that he is right, statistically the chance of a helmet saving his life is pretty low. Also ask him if he locks his house and car when he leaves them. The chances of someone trying the door on the off chance its unlocked is very low so probably no point worrying about it either :P .

    This sort of illustrates Daz's point doesn't it? it could equally well read: "Tell your friend that he is right, statistically the chance of a helmet saving his life while he's in his car is pretty low. Also ask him if he locks his house and car when he leaves them. The chances of someone trying the door on the off chance its unlocked is very low so probably no point worrying about it either." But that doesn't make helmetless drivers idiots- does it?
  • Deako wrote:
    I'm looking for a lot of people out there to point out the sheer stupidity of a work colleague of mine that commutes every day, on busy roads, in every weather.......without wearing a helmet of any kind.

    Does he have a good set of lights? And another for backup? How about lights visible from the side?

    Strong reliable wheels and tyres? Hi-viz jacket?

    How about one of those safety lollipops?
  • Ah, The Great Bike Radar Helmet Debate.

    To wear or not to wear.

    Why do we tell our children when teaching them to ride a bike: "It's perfectly safe, you won't hurt yourself". Then cover them in gloves, pads and a helmet. Mixed messages.

    Stop nannying everyone because they don't do as you do.
    It's not the winning or even taking part. It's the arsing about that counts.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    It's not whether you wear one or not. It's whether someone should be bullying his colleague into wearing one by telling him a load of stories about how his wife and kids will struggle to survive when he's (apparently inevitably) injured in a way that would have been prevented by a helmet.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • Out of interest. How many of those posting that they always wear a cycle helmet wear a full face helmet? On all rides? If not why not? The improvement in protection afforded by full face helmets is immeasurable.

    Sure they are a little hot during the summer but better than having months of plastic surgery to rebuild your face after a slide down the tarmac.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    tiny_pens wrote:
    Sure they are a little hot during the summer but better than having months of plastic surgery to rebuild your face after a slide down the tarmac.
    I've had a face plant that ripped half of my face off, from lip to eyelid. There was an impressive scab for a couple of months and that was it - I was soon back to being as gorgeous as I was before my tumble.

    OP sounds a little bit dreadful, insisting that his colleague falls into line with his own views and that outright stupidity can be the only reason for not falling into line re wearing a helmet. I'm impressed at the idea that the worse drivers known to man all live in the W Mids apparently, and that OP is nearly knocked off on every journey. I can't help wondering if he might look at his apparent own shortcomings if he gets into that many near-misses, before badgering someone who's quite capable of realising that cycling isn't actually dangerous and doesn't warrant a helmet for every single journey into wearing one.

    Be visible, confident and alert on the bike and you won't have a problem. As always, wear a helmet if you want to. Don't make it your business to boss the rest of us around though. That's just plain rude.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    CiB: Well put!
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • A good of friend of mine - tall, blond, gorgeous, female!, PhD in Mech Eng, lovely person.

    She doesn't remember what happened before she was airlifted to hospital WI massive head injuries. Was only going down a muddy path. It took her 6 months to get right, get her brain back up to speed and to get our friend back but doctors say the helmet saved her life.
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