Forum home Road cycling forum Campaign

Helmets don't make you safer !

13»

Posts

  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    The title of this thread is misleading. There's 2 aspects to risk - probability and impact. Helmets don't make you safer in terms of preventing accidents in the first place or reducing probability. In fact they may make an accident more likely as drivers may pass closer to a rider wearing a helmet than without. This is where Chris Boardman's views come from as he's not totally in favour of people wearing helmets.

    However as sebbyp points out, in the event of an accident helmets will nearly always make the outcome better i.e. reduce the impact. Which is why I always wear a helmet.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • giropaulgiropaul Posts: 414
    weadmire wrote:
    rickeverett,

    ".... forgetting the fact you (and many others) based that on number of deaths. How many cycling accidents happened where the cyclist didn't die because his/her head was protected by a helmet ?"

    You strike me as a true believer - like the Armstrong fanboys who looked for every means of denying the obvious. Some even after he had admitted it. You are not dealing in "facts", you are dealing in anecdotes about other people's experiences. Do you have any of your own? Have you for example ever cycled 1000 miles in a month let alone 12,000 miles in a year in the way oblongomaculatus says he does?

    Otherwise no one is forgetting the "facts" might be distorted because those who are saved were not counted. Why? Probably because there haven't been any where the wearing of a helmet saved the life of the wearer. For the avoidance of doubt I think oblongomaculatus is being too balanced and reticent in apparently conceding that someone might have been saved by their helmet. You clearly think it is a given that helmets save lives. If so read the relevant threads on this board and refute the evidence of population level stats in Australia and New Zealand for a start. Until then best to shut up about "facts".

    "Same goes for car accidents where driver life was saved by seat belt, airbag and other safety measures."

    You are the nth person and his dog to try and develop an equivalence between seat belts in motor vehicles and helmets. There isn't one.

    "Only just last week I spoke to a neighbour who was knocked off his bike by a car turning left off the main road he was travelling on. His helmet split apart as he hit the floor - Life most probably saved. If he wasn't wearing a helmet that would have been his skull."

    No it wouldn't have, the closest you can get is that it may have been his skull and his skull not being made of polystyrene is unlikely to have cracked in the same way. Even in the less likely event he had hit his head had he not been wearing the helmet.

    "I cannot believe how stupid some people are on here. Probably the same cyclists who jump red lights "becuase its safe" and ride 2 abreast on country roads."

    That's probably because understanding is not a bedfellow of stupidity...and you are demonstrably stupid. And with regard to being stupid I notice you throw accusations of stupidity round like confetti. I think you are over compensating.

    And since you raise the issue of traffic lights: Unlike oblongomaculatus I look for traffic not lights and act accordingly. I have been badly smashed up, broken bones smashed up, many times at traffic light controlled junctions. In every case the lights were green in my favour. I have never come close to being hit jumping red lights. My experience precisely matches that of the reported experience of cyclists killed at traffic light controlled junctions in London between January 1999 and October 2006. The numbers between Jan 99 and Oct 06 run something like 100 killed at light controlled junctions out of a grand total of 135. All of the 100 were obeying the lights, none of the cyclists killed were jumping the lights. There is a Road Transport Laboratory report, commissioned by Transport for London, that looked into the phenomenon of traffic light compliant cyclists being killed. The conclusion was it is safer to jump lights as a cyclist than to obey them. You can obtain a copy with a freedom of information request to Transport for London.

    Ŵell looks like your the ultimate censored cyclist then. Red light is a law for all road users. Just ******* obey it. They are killed by vehicles, not by waiting at a light... In many cases turning into the path. One can argue the cyclist shouldn't be going up the inside of a lorry etc in the first place.

    London is different to other parts of the country. Drivers and cyclists are more dickish down there to begin with. Promoting a London culture of disobeying laws of the road just to suit you is wrong.
    Your attitude is the classic arrogant cyclist people are beginning to despise. Which in turn is leading to more anti cyclist behaviour and media.


    And yes. Helmets do make you safer. I guess by your logic, motorcyclists, all professional cyclists in tdf etc, people in winter sports, racing drivers and everyone else who wares a helmet will do just fine without one.

    Interestingly, for many years almost all pro riders in the Tour and other races didn't wear helmets. It's an interesting comparison because we can compare similar circumstances, similar routes, similar numbers of crashes even ( actually probably more crashes years ago). Given many people's views on here we might expect to see significantly less head injuries since helmets became compulsory - but even discounting motorbike related incidents, this isn't the case.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I looked on line for that data, Giropaul, but couldn't find anything - could you help me by linking to it?
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • giropaulgiropaul Posts: 414
    I looked on line for that data, Giropaul, but couldn't find anything - could you help me by linking to it?

    Just 50 years of being in and around racing. Head injuries are rare, so they get remembered.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    giropaul wrote:
    I looked on line for that data, Giropaul, but couldn't find anything - could you help me by linking to it?

    Just 50 years of being in and around racing. Head injuries are rare, so they get remembered.

    Ah...
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    A few years ago, Dr. Mayer Hilman did some research on this and looked at, IIRC, the medical reports on a series of cyclists with fatal head injuries (can't find a reference, but the article was in the CTC Cyclist magazine). He found that about 92% of riders with such injuries would have died anyway, from other fatal injuries.

    Bear in mind that a 30mph to dead stop collision is equivalent to diving headfirst of the roof of the average house. Wearing a helmet under such forces might save your brain, but could easily break your neck or cause other catastrophic internal damage
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 12,148
    A few years ago, Dr. Mayer Hilman did some research on this and looked at, IIRC, the medical reports on a series of cyclists with fatal head injuries (can't find a reference, but the article was in the CTC Cyclist magazine). He found that about 92% of riders with such injuries would have died anyway, from other fatal injuries.

    Bear in mind that a 30mph to dead stop collision is equivalent to diving headfirst of the roof of the average house. Wearing a helmet under such forces might save your brain, but could easily break your neck or cause other catastrophic internal damage

    And of course we all know that the only head injury it's worth protecting against is a fatal one.
  • MikeBrewMikeBrew Posts: 814
    "Helmets don't make you safer"
    This is a bit like saying that having your eyes open when you cross the road doesn't make you safer. Neither make you totally invulnerable, but both help you avoid avoidable injury.
    It strikes me as a nonsensical thread title conceived as a result of a common sense bypass and extreme boredom.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,369
    And of course we all know that the only head injury it's worth protecting against is a fatal one.
    ^^This
  • EittchEittch Posts: 15
    To give this another turn here the link to a study from a German university coming to the conclusion that there is no economic benefit in establishing a "helmet law". Nevertheless the study admits that a helmets helps to protect your head...

    https://www.wiwi.uni-muenster.de/ivm/si ... 1final.pdf
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Anecdotal N=1, but when I went over the bars of a rental MTB in Tenerife I landed on my head then my elbow. I have no doubt that the helmet saved my head from injuries similar to the deep cut and serious abrasions my elbow suffered a millisecond later. Abrasive stuff, volcanic rock! Cool scar tissue though :D

    If I ever come off my road bike at speed clad only in a thin film of lycra, I know it's going to hurt, but I think I'd rather be wearing a helmet. Nothing to do with statistics from A&E or from the peloton, more a feeling that even a flimsy plastic and polystyrene shell will still offer a bit of protection from abrasion as I slide along the road. And the offending driver's insurers won't be able to argue contributory negligence...
  • SecteurSecteur Posts: 1,971
    It never ceases to surprise me how the folk who don't want to wear helmets because they think it looks cooler not to (just admit it) go to such lengths to try and prove how dangerous helmets are.

    The helmet-less folk do tend to be the slightly affected poserish type, don't they? Very often matching kit, somewhat rapha-esque. You never see the typical jumbled kit weekend cyclist without one.

    Why can't the ones who feel too self conscious and cool to wear helmets just admit as much, and the rest of us who are happy to wear them continue to wear them, and we all just get on with it?

    Why does everyone feel they must prove their point so much?

    (I always wear a helmet but barely notice those who don't, it's a non-issue since it's their life not mine)

    It's an argument that will never be won!
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    And my wife worries slightly less if I wear a helmet, which is another plus.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 3,992
    Last summer, due to the heat I was considering riding without a helmet until a mate came off his bike and took a good sized chunk out of the front part of his helmet.

    Other than mild concussion he was fine.

    I'll leave it to to Darwin's Law of Evolution by natural selection to determine the correct outcome
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • I don't think you will get very far looking at the damage to a helmet and trying to predict what would have happened to the head beneath it. For instance a car ran into the back of me a few years ago at some speed. I smashed my helmet on the windscreen and was knocked unconscious. This is due to the sudden acceleration of the head causing the inside of the skull to crash into the brain. Although the destruction of the helmet may have slowed the acceleration somewhat, so did the breaking of the windscreen, and it is difficult to be sure whether the outcome would have been any different.

    However I know of a woman without a helmet who was riding home from the shops with a carrier bag on her handlebars, it got caught in the wheel and she went straight over the handlebars. Without knowing for sure I would guess her speed was less than 10 mph, but she ended up with permanent brain damage. I was riding with the club recently and a mix-up on a downhill meant another rider went into the back of my bike. He went straight over the top, except the speed was more like 20 mph, and smashed the front of his helmet. Although he got carted off to hospital there wasn't any brain injury.

    I still ride to the shops without a helmet on though, but the route is mostly cycle paths.
  • MikeBrewMikeBrew Posts: 814
    So many "helmets" keen to tell you that helmets aren't a safety advantage, but who the fu"k takes any notice of a "helmet" eh ? FFS get a life "boys". :lol:
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    You resurrected an old thread to make a helmet joke?

    Seriously, you need to get a life.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    not sure I even understood the joke
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    A helmet is what some people call the end of your knob.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    why are some people talking about the end of my knob ?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    That's a question only a censored would ask.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • DefactioDefactio Posts: 2
    A helmet could save your life. FACT!
    G-Tech wrote:
    Drivers tend to take less care when faced with a cyclist wearing a helmet. They give more room to those who do without.

    On what do you base that? What evidence do you have to back that up? I cycle in London everyday, and I can tell you I'll be keeping my helmet firmly on. Furthermore, I don't think bus or taxi drivers here (or anywhere for that matter) discriminate against cyclists wearing helmets to those that don't.
    G-Tech wrote:
    Plus if you're unlucky enough to be involved in a high spleen collision a helmet won't prevent a significant brain injury.

    If I were involved in a high "spleen" collision, I'd still prefer my odds of survival, however small, wearing a helmet.

    What a pointless post :roll:

    I'm more of a motorcyclist, and can't imagine why the cycling community generally venerate the usage of the 'cool' polystyrene, cycling helmets.
    My manager is a very keen, experienced cyclist and recently had an 'off' (skidded on a bend - slamming him to the ground). He was actually in a coma for 3 hours, but recovered without issue (so far).

    Why are full head helmets a legal requirement for motorcyclists (that ride at 30mph for 90% of the time) and yet no requirement for cyclists that ride at 30mph for say 30% of the time?
    I used to envy the 'Yanks' with their respect for personal right NOT to wear an helmet, but I can honestly say that I couldn't ride a bike without one now (mental conditioning perhaps?).
    Are cyclists lives not as important as motorcyclists lives? Is a 30% risk of death / paralysis so much better than a 90% risk that it deserves to be regarded as virtually zero possibility?

    My managers helmet did nothing for him - he fractured his temple - (his temple hit the road, this was not shock through the helmet) .
    They sit too high and protect only a portion of the brain. (Your brain actually does exist below your forehead 'crown' / ears).

    There is also the issue of protective body armour. Although there is no legal requirement, motorcyclists have generally been conditioned to feel unsafe without it (much like when you get in a car and forget to put a seat-belt on, and automatically 'know' when you can't feel it's 'safe' embrace).
    A 30 mph 'off' on tarmac strips skin and muscle quite effectively. (See Youtube for effect).

    Also, if my bike goes down, it's heavy enough so that I can possibly adjust and use it as a 'ski' (and yep - I have actually done that). On a bicycle, you ARE the 'ski'.

    Cycling 'safety' helmets are but a comfort toy, a misleading one that creates profit for dishonest companies - IMHO.

    Def ;-)
  • DefactioDefactio Posts: 2
    giropaul wrote:
    weadmire wrote:
    rickeverett,

    ".... forgetting the fact you (and many others) based that on number of deaths. How many cycling accidents happened where the cyclist didn't die because his/her head was protected by a helmet ?"

    You strike me as a true believer - like the Armstrong fanboys who looked for every means of denying the obvious. Some even after he had admitted it. You are not dealing in "facts", you are dealing in anecdotes about other people's experiences. Do you have any of your own? Have you for example ever cycled 1000 miles in a month let alone 12,000 miles in a year in the way oblongomaculatus says he does?

    Otherwise no one is forgetting the "facts" might be distorted because those who are saved were not counted. Why? Probably because there haven't been any where the wearing of a helmet saved the life of the wearer. For the avoidance of doubt I think oblongomaculatus is being too balanced and reticent in apparently conceding that someone might have been saved by their helmet. You clearly think it is a given that helmets save lives. If so read the relevant threads on this board and refute the evidence of population level stats in Australia and New Zealand for a start. Until then best to shut up about "facts".

    "Same goes for car accidents where driver life was saved by seat belt, airbag and other safety measures."

    You are the nth person and his dog to try and develop an equivalence between seat belts in motor vehicles and helmets. There isn't one.

    "Only just last week I spoke to a neighbour who was knocked off his bike by a car turning left off the main road he was travelling on. His helmet split apart as he hit the floor - Life most probably saved. If he wasn't wearing a helmet that would have been his skull."

    No it wouldn't have, the closest you can get is that it may have been his skull and his skull not being made of polystyrene is unlikely to have cracked in the same way. Even in the less likely event he had hit his head had he not been wearing the helmet.

    "I cannot believe how stupid some people are on here. Probably the same cyclists who jump red lights "becuase its safe" and ride 2 abreast on country roads."

    That's probably because understanding is not a bedfellow of stupidity...and you are demonstrably stupid. And with regard to being stupid I notice you throw accusations of stupidity round like confetti. I think you are over compensating.

    And since you raise the issue of traffic lights: Unlike oblongomaculatus I look for traffic not lights and act accordingly. I have been badly smashed up, broken bones smashed up, many times at traffic light controlled junctions. In every case the lights were green in my favour. I have never come close to being hit jumping red lights. My experience precisely matches that of the reported experience of cyclists killed at traffic light controlled junctions in London between January 1999 and October 2006. The numbers between Jan 99 and Oct 06 run something like 100 killed at light controlled junctions out of a grand total of 135. All of the 100 were obeying the lights, none of the cyclists killed were jumping the lights. There is a Road Transport Laboratory report, commissioned by Transport for London, that looked into the phenomenon of traffic light compliant cyclists being killed. The conclusion was it is safer to jump lights as a cyclist than to obey them. You can obtain a copy with a freedom of information request to Transport for London.

    Ŵell looks like your the ultimate censored cyclist then. Red light is a law for all road users. Just ******* obey it. They are killed by vehicles, not by waiting at a light... In many cases turning into the path. One can argue the cyclist shouldn't be going up the inside of a lorry etc in the first place.

    London is different to other parts of the country. Drivers and cyclists are more dickish down there to begin with. Promoting a London culture of disobeying laws of the road just to suit you is wrong.
    Your attitude is the classic arrogant cyclist people are beginning to despise. Which in turn is leading to more anti cyclist behaviour and media.


    And yes. Helmets do make you safer. I guess by your logic, motorcyclists, all professional cyclists in tdf etc, people in winter sports, racing drivers and everyone else who wares a helmet will do just fine without one.

    Interestingly, for many years almost all pro riders in the Tour and other races didn't wear helmets. It's an interesting comparison because we can compare similar circumstances, similar routes, similar numbers of crashes even ( actually probably more crashes years ago). Given many people's views on here we might expect to see significantly less head injuries since helmets became compulsory - but even discounting motorbike related incidents, this isn't the case.

    That, also applies to seat-belts.

    Where DO these MP's get their statistics from to have their bills supported to force through legislation to force you to adhere to laws that they produce?

    No! It can't be from the manufacturers of the stated 'safety products', can it? (Not the very companies, with MP's that supported the bill that was proposed - who are sat on the board of directors of the said 'safety product' companies!).

    Well, I never!

    Def ;-)
  • Defactio wrote:
    Why are full head helmets a legal requirement for motorcyclists (that ride at 30mph for 90% of the time) and yet no requirement for cyclists that ride at 30mph for say 30% of the time?
    Where do you get your stats from? From my observations motorcyclists ride at 30 mph or below for approximately 0% of the time, and the only time I get up to 30mph on my bike is if I am going down a hill. Most of my cycling is fairly flat, and it takes me about 4 times as long to get up a hill as down it. That doesn't work out anywhere near 30% :-)
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,320
    Studies at winchester university show wearing helmets affects the wearers perception of danger, making it more likely that theyll take risks that someone without a helmet wouldnt.

    http://repository.winchester.ac.uk/189/ ... 289-94.pdf
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Studies at winchester university show wearing helmets affects the wearers perception of danger, making it more likely that theyll take risks that someone without a helmet wouldnt.

    http://repository.winchester.ac.uk/189/ ... 289-94.pdf

    Ha - gotta love that eye-tracking equipment - no wonder the helmet wearers took more risk: they couldn't see where they were going! :shock: :lol::lol::wink::wink:
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    Studies at winchester university show wearing helmets affects the wearers perception of danger, making it more likely that theyll take risks that someone without a helmet wouldnt.


    I cant believe they required a study to figure that out. Body armour has done more to improve my snowboarding and mountain biking than skills ever have :D
Sign In or Register to comment.