Please wear a helmet guys and gals

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Comments

  • Neil_aky
    Neil_aky Posts: 211
    Always wear a helmet myself; however, I believe in choice. If you look at Europe where people cycle as a means of transport to the local shops etc (on cycle friendly roads / lanes) very few wear helmets or any cycling specific clothing at all. I would love to see the same here where cycling is normalised and people can decide what to wear based on how far they are going, what type of riding they are doing, risk etc. (I know an accident can happen any time with any type of cycling but I can't see why people shouldn't be able to balance risk with convenience).

    Unfortunately I think in the UK the roads are just too dangerous for this to be practical at the moment.

    Another issue which gets me thinking about this subject is that when we were kids (70s and 80s) we used to be on our bikes all the time and this is why I am still riding today. If I had been made to wear a helmet etc. to ride as a kid, I am not sure that I would have cycled as much - to us it was just a way of getting around... I don't know the answer here, as it seems sensible to protect kids by making them wear helmets but it seems to stop cycling being normalised...
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    GiantMike wrote:
    A helmet is designed to dissipate the energy of a crash. The destruction of structral integrity is a sign that the helmet has absorbed energy that could otherwise be transferred to the head. It's not a sign of weakness.

    No, the idea behind bike helmets is that they absorb energy through crushing the foam. If the foam snaps it just means the force was applied at an angle the helmet was not designed to withstand. It takes hardly any energy to snap the foam - try it for yourself on an old helmet.

    You're missing my point. A helmet is designed to dissipate energy. Up to a certain yield point this won't be destructive, above the yield point it will. IN ALL CASES this absorbs energy that would have been transferred to the head if a helmet hadn't been worn, and over a larger area than if a helmet hadn't been worn.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Neil_aky wrote:
    Always wear a helmet myself; however, I believe in choice. If you look at Europe where people cycle as a means of transport to the local shops etc (on cycle friendly roads / lanes) very few wear helmets or any cycling specific clothing at all. I would love to see the same here where cycling is normalised and people can decide what to wear based on how far they are going, what type of riding they are doing, risk etc. (I know an accident can happen any time with any type of cycling but I can't see why people shouldn't be able to balance risk with convenience).

    Unfortunately I think in the UK the roads are just too dangerous for this to be practical at the moment.

    Another issue which gets me thinking about this subject is that when we were kids (70s and 80s) we used to be on our bikes all the time and this is why I am still riding today. If I had been made to wear a helmet etc. to ride as a kid, I am not sure that I would have cycled as much - to us it was just a way of getting around... I don't know the answer here, as it seems sensible to protect kids by making them wear helmets but it seems to stop cycling being normalised...
    Ah - there is someone else who thinks the same as me then!
  • awavey
    awavey Posts: 2,368
    GiantMike wrote:
    Putting data aside, what does your common sense tell you about that picture?

    It tells me that helmets are flimsy and easily broken.

    Mine wasn't. Mine was smashed to sh!t in my recent accident and so much force was transferred through it when I hit the road at 34mph I had a graze on the side of my head. A combination of my head and helmet absorbed the weight of my head and neck falling from 5(ish) feet at 34mph and disintegrated as designed. Did my helmet save my life? I don't know, but when I was in hospital I never once thought I wish I hadn't worn it.

    My helmet looks worse than that picture. I often descend faster than 34mph, regularly get punctures, have wildlife throwing itself in front of me etc all of which points to a high likelyhood of a high speed high energy impact with the ground.

    but do you descend at that speed because you wear a helmet, which makes you feel its "safer" to have the high speed energy impacts with the ground, which you take as part and parcel of travelling at that speed because your helmet will help protect your head if it happens.

    I dont know the answer personally just curious, as I had a MTB'er friend who was very pro helmet as he swore blind his helmet saved his life once as he got it very wrong on a trail descent and managed to headbutt into an inconveniantly placed rock.

    But he used to leap off vertical drops and take crazy risks descending,always be going too fast and close to falling off, because he had the "safety" gear on, and youd say things like well if you didnt wear you helmet would you ride like that, and he'd always agree no because that would be stupid, but it was ok to take those risks and rely on the helmet to get him out of trouble almost.

    it just seems so far in this thread, though not representative of course, that lots of these helmet destroying head saving crashes appear to happen at speeds that youd say maybe wearing a helmet isnt a bad thing to be doing in those examples, but maybe theres more to it.

    fwiw I do wear a helmet but its just a personal choice thing, I worry more about getting clouted on the back of my head by lorries/buses who pass way too close to me, than falling off,being knocked off and headbutting anything.

    as it happens the only time Ive ever properly had an accident on my bike, which involved hitting a stationary object and flying over the handlebars I wasnt wearing a helmet, and landed on pavement, but I was a kid and you bounce more at that age Id guess :) might also explain how I managed to survive tripping over head first into a concrete wall as a kid too.
  • peat
    peat Posts: 1,242
    Anyone see the match?
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    Peat wrote:
    Anyone see the match?
    Are you missing one?
  • ct8282
    ct8282 Posts: 414
    It is actually a fascinating read. Ignorantly I just assumed that the only people who don't wear helmets are those under 16 because it isn't cool. I honestly did not even imagine so many adult people were against the use of a helmet but the arguments are very interesting. Doing some research on this subject last night turned up no conclusive evidence either way which also surprised me.

    Perhaps we should send this off to Mythbusters as I'd love to see someone actually conduct scientific tests to measure how the impact forces affect heads with helmets and heads without. However, it seems that there are so many other variables that will affect the outcome of a crash and/or the injuries sustained, and even whether a crash will occur or the circunstances surrounding one, to make this a really tricky one to call.

    In my ignorant mind it just seems logical to put at least some kind of safety barrier between my skull and the very hard Tarmac. I wonder however how much my risk is increased because in fairness I am one to go flipping bonkers on descents and try to max out my top speed, and thinking it through I would probably go at least 30 to 40% slower down some hills if I wasn't wearing a helmet so maybe the strongest argument for not wearing one is that it reduces the likelihood of actually having an accident. Regardless of what anyone says in this thread however I am sufficiently convinced that having a helmet between my head and the Tarmac would possibly save my head from a potentially fatal injury should the worst ever happen so I will most certainly wear one every time I ride.

    What this thread has done however is made me think about readjusting my perceived level of safety and I might lower my top speed threshold a little. My guess is when I'm thumping down Rusper hill at 45mph that if I come off at that speed I'm probably buggered, helmet or no helmet!
  • ct8282 wrote:
    It is actually a fascinating read. Ignorantly I just assumed that the only people who don't wear helmets are those under 16 because it isn't cool. I honestly did not even imagine so many adult people were against the use of a helmet but the arguments are very interesting. Doing some research on this subject last night turned up no conclusive evidence either way which also surprised me.

    Perhaps we should send this off to Mythbusters as I'd love to see someone actually conduct scientific tests to measure how the impact forces affect heads with helmets and heads without. However, it seems that there are so many other variables that will affect the outcome of a crash and/or the injuries sustained, and even whether a crash will occur or the circunstances surrounding one, to make this a really tricky one to call.

    In my ignorant mind it just seems logical to put at least some kind of safety barrier between my skull and the very hard Tarmac. I wonder however how much my risk is increased because in fairness I am one to go flipping bonkers on descents and try to max out my top speed, and thinking it through I would probably go at least 30 to 40% slower down some hills if I wasn't wearing a helmet so maybe the strongest argument for not wearing one is that it reduces the likelihood of actually having an accident. Regardless of what anyone says in this thread however I am sufficiently convinced that having a helmet between my head and the Tarmac would possibly save my head from a potentially fatal injury should the worst ever happen so I will most certainly wear one every time I ride.

    What this thread has done however is made me think about readjusting my perceived level of safety and I might lower my top speed threshold a little. My guess is when I'm thumping down Rusper hill at 45mph that if I come off at that speed I'm probably buggered, helmet or no helmet!

    I think you've made some very good points here. Specifically; 1] that there is no conclusive evidence either way. If there was, there wouldn't be an argument. Getting Mythbusters or some similar programme to test out the way an impact effects a helmet with some measured tests is a good idea. Helmet manufacturers have to do these to pass safety standards but it would be good to see the tests first hand. I was told once helmets are only required to resist an impact at a maximum speed of 12mph, because making them stronger would also make them unacceptably heavy. 2] I agree, at 45mph a helmet is unlikely to save you.

    If you've read my posts you'll know I'm against helmet wearing. In ordinary everyday riding, I remain confident a helmet is unnecessary because the risk of a serious head injury is very, very small. Someone else said that you have to balance that against the consequences should you be unlucky enough to suffer such a thing, but how do you do that? You could estimate the chances of a crash resulting in a bad head injury (10,000 to one, or whatever) and the cost of medical treatment and care (in £'s) but you can't use those estimates to come up with a figure because they use different units of measurement. So it all comes down to whether you feel safe without a helmet for the type of riding you do, and everyone will 'feel' differently about that.

    One other thing; if cycling should continue to increase in popularity, we should be worried, because then the government might start to take an interest, rather than pretending to as they do at present. This will inevitably mean more regulation and legislation, because there is nothing a politician likes more than telling people what to do. The first thing on the agenda will be compulsory helmet wearing, which may make some of us here happy (and some of us not), but it wouldn't end there. There would be vehicle (bike) tax, compulsory insurance, MOT's, a test before you were allowed to cycle on the road, registration plates... in short, everything you have if you're a car owner. Not sure I'd want that...
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    ct8282 wrote:
    Doing some research on this subject last night turned up no conclusive evidence either way which also surprised me.

    The trouble with evidence is that few people would be able to attest to the benefits of not wearing a helmet when they had suffered a high energy impact involving their head slamming into the ground. People who hit their head and smash their helmet think they were lucky. People who have a similar speed crash but don't hit their head probably won't think about it.

    I have fallen off a lot when my head didn't hit the ground and in all those cases a helmet did nothing for me and may have made me an advocate for not wearing one. Until I see/hear evidence from somebody who has slammed their head into tarmac/granite at 30mph and not fractured their skull, I'm not taking any chances.

    The Snell standard of testing is here if anybody is interested in seeing it: http://www.smf.org/standards/b/b95std#add

    The standard is designed to provide protection from a fall at relatively low energy levels and doesn't test the protection in a high speed high energy impact per se.
  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,921
    GiantMike said

    Did my helmet save my life? I don't know, but when I was in hospital I never once thought I wish I hadn't worn it.

    There it is folks, what it boils down to. Is there anyone, still alive that is, who received blunt trauma to the head, who thinks they were better off without a helmet.
  • bernithebiker
    bernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    I am anti any kind of 'compulsory' rules, so making helmets compulsory is a bad thing, IMO.

    If I'm just popping down the shops on the MTB, I won't usually wear one - the time/distance is too small, the risk has diminished.

    BUT, if I'm out on the road bike, I'll always wear one because a) the speeds are a lot higher, b) the time and distances are a lot higher, and c) often riding in groups raises the risk of accidents.

    To the non/never helmet people; go outside and find the nearest kerb. Kneel down and head butt the edge gently. It will hurt a bit. That's like 2mph. Now imagine 30mph. Your skull would split like an egg.

    (Oh and if you're follically challenged like me, a helmet helps you pretend that you're not......!)
  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,921
    I am anti any kind of 'compulsory' rules, so making helmets compulsory is a bad thing, IMO.

    If I'm just popping down the shops on the MTB, I won't usually wear one - the time/distance is too small, the risk has diminished.

    BUT, if I'm out on the road bike, I'll always wear one because a) the speeds are a lot higher, b) the time and distances are a lot higher, and c) often riding in groups raises the risk of accidents.

    To the non/never helmet people; go outside and find the nearest kerb. Kneel down and head butt the edge gently. It will hurt a bit. That's like 2mph. Now imagine 30mph. Your skull would split like an egg.

    (Oh and if you're follically challenged like me, a helmet helps you pretend that you're not......!)

    As an aside, I too am folically challenged. I sometimes suffer little knocks and grazes to my shiny pate. I put this down to not having the layer of hair to act as an early warning system, telling me I am going to bump my head. :lol: Or I could be just clumsy. :(
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,651
    Ballysmate wrote:
    As an aside, I too am folically challenged. I sometimes suffer little knocks and grazes to my shiny pate. I put this down to not having the layer of hair to act as an early warning system, telling me I am going to bump my head. :lol: Or I could be just clumsy. :(

    good point, maybe this explains why i keep whacking my head on the hand rails above tube doors!
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    To the non/never helmet people; go outside and find the nearest kerb. Kneel down and head butt the edge gently. It will hurt a bit. That's like 2mph. Now imagine 30mph. Your skull would split like an egg.
    See this, and the other guy who posted the same thing a couple of pages ago? This is the nub of what gets on my wick with the helmet fans and their incessant banging on.

    I recall falling off a bike quite badly when I was about 7, ripping some skin off my elbows & knees. In the 44 years since then I've come off a few times but still haven't had the sort of bump that a helmet would have made any difference to. I've done a face plant but like the nurse said, I'd have needed a huge peak to have kept my face off the road and that would probably have snapped my neck anyway. These days the chance of me coming a cropper seem to be less and less by the year, what with not riding in groups as much, barely seeing a kerb in the whole 20 miles to work or regular 46 trips to visit the old folks. You welcome to believe that me & others like me don't wear a hat because we believe we have super skulls that don't break (we don't, but you carry on with that idea), but you've got the wrong argument. I don't bother with a helmet in normal riding because I probably won't fall off, and if I do it'll be the legs arms & hands that hurt, not my head. That's what 44 years of falling off bikes has taught me, and I'm happy with that.

    Some of the comments on here against the 'no thanks' non-helmet wearers aren't too far removed from the Pay More Road Tax commentards attitudes to cyclists in general in the popular press. Well done to those that have a sub-group of an easy out-group to have a pop at. And enjoy proving that a helmet helps if you bash it against a kerb. I'll leave you to it thanks.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    GiantMike wrote:
    The Snell standard of testing is here if anybody is interested in seeing it: http://www.smf.org/standards/b/b95std#add

    The standard is designed to provide protection from a fall at relatively low energy levels and doesn't test the protection in a high speed high energy impact per se.
    E4.3 Test Impacts

    Each sample will be subjected to no more than four test impacts. Test impact sites shall be on or above the test line. Rivets, vents and any other helmet feature within this region shall be valid test sites. Similarly, no allowance shall be made for the cut of the helmet either between the fore and rear planes or at the rear centerline; no matter how closely the edge of the helmet encroaches on the test line. However, if a test impact is sited closer than 120 mm to any previous test impact site on that sample, that impact shall be declared invalid.

    There is no restriction regarding test anvil selection except that each anvil shall be used at least once for each helmet sample tested. The impact energies for each test impact are as follows:

    a. For each impact against the flat anvil, the impact energy shall be 110 J for certification testing and 100 J for all other testing regardless of headform size or weight. Given an ideal frictionless mechanical test facility, this impact energy represents a 2.2+ meter drop of a 5 kg headform and supporting assembly.

    b. For each impact against the hemispherical anvil, the impact energy shall be 72 J for certification testing and 65 J for all other testing regardless of headform size or weight. Given an ideal frictionless mechanical test facility, this impact energy represents a 1.3+ meter drop of a 5 kg headform and supporting assembly.

    c. For each impact against the kerbstone anvil, the impact energy shall be 72 J for certification testing and 65 J for all other testing regardless of headform size or weight. Given an ideal frictionless mechanical test facility, this impact energy represents a 1.3+ meter drop of a 5 kg headform and supporting assembly.

    d. If the impact energy for any test impact exceeds the energy specified by more than 3%, that impact shall be declared invalid.
    Er .. wow .. am I reading that correctly that the tests are a 5Kg head wearing a helmet dropped from a static 2.2 meters?

    I would hope that some of the more respected helmet manufacturers do more than just ensure their helmets comply with this minimum test ... I regularly reach speeds of 40mph (downhill) and have pushed passed that on occasion - at which point "not falling off" is my main priority, but I would hope that if I did come a cropper then the helmet would afford reasonable protection.
  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,921
    CiB wrote:
    To the non/never helmet people; go outside and find the nearest kerb. Kneel down and head butt the edge gently. It will hurt a bit. That's like 2mph. Now imagine 30mph. Your skull would split like an egg.
    See this, and the other guy who posted the same thing a couple of pages ago? This is the nub of what gets on my wick with the helmet fans and their incessant banging on.

    I recall falling off a bike quite badly when I was about 7, ripping some skin off my elbows & knees. In the 44 years since then I've come off a few times but still haven't had the sort of bump that a helmet would have made any difference to. I've done a face plant but like the nurse said, I'd have needed a huge peak to have kept my face off the road and that would probably have snapped my neck anyway. These days the chance of me coming a cropper seem to be less and less by the year, what with not riding in groups as much, barely seeing a kerb in the whole 20 miles to work or regular 46 trips to visit the old folks. You welcome to believe that me & others like me don't wear a hat because we believe we have super skulls that don't break (we don't, but you carry on with that idea), but you've got the wrong argument. I don't bother with a helmet in normal riding because I probably won't fall off, and if I do it'll be the legs arms & hands that hurt, not my head. That's what 44 years of falling off bikes has taught me, and I'm happy with that.

    Some of the comments on here against the 'no thanks' non-helmet wearers aren't too far removed from the Pay More Road Tax commentards attitudes to cyclists in general in the popular press. Well done to those that have a sub-group of an easy out-group to have a pop at. And enjoy proving that a helmet helps if you bash it against a kerb. I'll leave you to it thanks.

    I happily wear a helmet. I don't care either way if you or anyone else chooses not to. I just see the sense in wearing one myself.
    You are right, you probably won't fall off and injure your head. You have used your experience and in today's parlance, done the risk assessment and made your decision. Your choice.
    When I cycle around the lanes near me, approaching a T junction, experience has shown me that there will probably (That word again) be no traffic coming. I still choose to stop, just in case.
    You are right, the chances of me or you smashing our heads in are low, but I choose to wear a helmet, just in case.
  • murvis1er
    murvis1er Posts: 57
    "Brain injuries of this sort are caused by the shaking of the brain inside the skull, something a helmet will do nothing to stop, as it is a result of sudden loss of momentum - the brain keeps moving after the skull has been stopped by the impact - not by shockwaves that might be absorbed by the helmet." - oblongomaculatus

    A ridiculous arguement. A bike helmet is designed to reduce the intensity of deceleration of the head by spreading the force over time and area. This will effect how your brain moves within the skull. A climbing helmet by contrast is fairly rigid with little padding to protect the skull from sharp knocks (rocks).

    If you want to imagine how a helmet works to protect the brain have a look at vehicle crash tests. Compare a car with crumple zone to a rigid one without, and note the effect this has on the movement of the passengers. The principle behind a cycling helmet is the same.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Slowbike wrote:
    Er .. wow .. am I reading that correctly that the tests are a 5Kg head wearing a helmet dropped from a static 2.2 meters?

    I would hope that some of the more respected helmet manufacturers do more than just ensure their helmets comply with this minimum test ... I regularly reach speeds of 40mph (downhill) and have pushed passed that on occasion - at which point "not falling off" is my main priority, but I would hope that if I did come a cropper then the helmet would afford reasonable protection.
    Yes. Like I posted earlier (even though it doesn't count as the bloke who wrote it was a Kiwi so too far away to have an opinion).
    So Bell / Giro et al lobbied to have the standards lowered to the point where 200gm of Swiss cheese foam gets an ANSI/CE mark as being 'safe'. But 'safe' means adequately decelerating a 5KG mass dropped from 2m onto a flat smooth surface. The idea that a 6' cyclist weighing 80kg going over the bars at 30MPH equates to 5kg dropped from 2m is so laughable as to be, er, laughable.
    Indeed. Coming off at 40+ on a hill or being hit from any angle by a car doing 60 is going to hurt, and the helmet really isn't going to make a lot of difference.

    And this.
    Ballysmate wrote:
    When I cycle around the lanes near me, approaching a T junction, experience has shown me that there will probably (That word again) be no traffic coming. I still choose to stop, just in case.
    The probability of having an accident in the first place, and that accident involving the head, and the severity of that crash being sufficient to cause long term damage, that equates to the probability of a road that cars use being populated with a car when you arrive at the T? Wear a helmet if you want, I do sometimes, but don't use flimsy arguments like this to prove their need.
  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,921
    CiB wrote:
    Slowbike wrote:
    Er .. wow .. am I reading that correctly that the tests are a 5Kg head wearing a helmet dropped from a static 2.2 meters?

    I would hope that some of the more respected helmet manufacturers do more than just ensure their helmets comply with this minimum test ... I regularly reach speeds of 40mph (downhill) and have pushed passed that on occasion - at which point "not falling off" is my main priority, but I would hope that if I did come a cropper then the helmet would afford reasonable protection.
    Yes. Like I posted earlier (even though it doesn't count as the bloke who wrote it was a Kiwi so too far away to have an opinion).
    So Bell / Giro et al lobbied to have the standards lowered to the point where 200gm of Swiss cheese foam gets an ANSI/CE mark as being 'safe'. But 'safe' means adequately decelerating a 5KG mass dropped from 2m onto a flat smooth surface. The idea that a 6' cyclist weighing 80kg going over the bars at 30MPH equates to 5kg dropped from 2m is so laughable as to be, er, laughable.
    Indeed. Coming off at 40+ on a hill or being hit from any angle by a car doing 60 is going to hurt, and the helmet really isn't going to make a lot of difference.

    And this.
    Ballysmate wrote:
    When I cycle around the lanes near me, approaching a T junction, experience has shown me that there will probably (That word again) be no traffic coming. I still choose to stop, just in case.
    The probability of having an accident in the first place, and that accident involving the head, and the severity of that crash being sufficient to cause long term damage, that equates to the probability of a road that cars use being populated with a car when you arrive at the T? Wear a helmet if you want, I do sometimes, but don't use flimsy arguments like this to prove their need.

    If you had read the entire post you would have realised that
    a. I have no interest in whether anyone else wears a helmet , easter bonnet, turban or lamp shade on their head. I have therefore no need to prove their need.

    b. I was pointing out that we all make decisions based on our experiences, but in some circumstances caution over rides experience - just in case.

    I will try to be clearer in future for the hard of thought.
  • A ridiculous arguement. A bike helmet is designed to reduce the intensity of deceleration of the head by spreading the force over time and area. This will effect how your brain moves within the skull.

    No, I don't think so. There are two separate effects at work. The helmet will spread out the force from the point of impact, reducing the chances of damage at that point. But if you hit a kerb at, say 20mph, your head will decelerate from that speed to zero in a very short time interval. Your brain will 'try' to keep going at that speed, causing it to jar inside your skull. As I said originally, this will happen whether you are wearing a helmet or not.
  • I was pointing out that we all make decisions based on our experiences, but in some circumstances caution over rides experience - just in case.

    Well the just in case argument isn't very logical; as I pointed out at the start of all this, if it was you ought to be wearing a helmet as a pedestrian (or in the shower, as someone else said), just in case. But that's OK, if you feel unsafe without one on a bike, or want to stop at a junction even if there isn't likely to be anything coming, that's fine. We all make dozens of judgements every day about what's safe and what's not, often instantly and by instinct. Everyone's judgement is particular to them. And as you rightly say, it shouldn't matter to you what everyone else is doing (with regards to headwear) as long as you're happy with what you're doing.
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    CiB wrote:
    Indeed. Coming off at 40+ on a hill or being hit from any angle by a car doing 60 is going to hurt, and the helmet really isn't going to make a lot of difference.

    75kg bloke at 34mph was survivable and I was walking the same day. But that's not the point. All helmets will have an impact scenario where they will not be able to offer protection, but they offer adequate protection in the most likely scenarios against the risk they are mitigating.

    I'm not trying to convince anybody either way, but saying that a helmet won't help if hit by a car at 60mph is a moot point as the cyclist is likely to die of a whole range of other injuries anyway. It's like saying you wouldn't wear a seatbelt because it won't protect you from a lorry rolling over onto my vehicle. It's not designed to protect against that risk.
  • bernithebiker
    bernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    But if you hit a kerb at, say 20mph, your head will decelerate from that speed to zero in a very short time interval. Your brain will 'try' to keep going at that speed, causing it to jar inside your skull. As I said originally, this will happen whether you are wearing a helmet or not.

    True.

    But without the helmet, your skull would have a big crack in it and with, it wouldn't. (The helmet would though).

    (Just to reiterate, for the thick of thinking, I do NOT advocate compulsory helmet wearing).
  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,921
    I was pointing out that we all make decisions based on our experiences, but in some circumstances caution over rides experience - just in case.

    Well the just in case argument isn't very logical; as I pointed out at the start of all this, if it was you ought to be wearing a helmet as a pedestrian (or in the shower, as someone else said), just in case. But that's OK, if you feel unsafe without one on a bike, or want to stop at a junction even if there isn't likely to be anything coming, that's fine. We all make dozens of judgements every day about what's safe and what's not, often instantly and by instinct. Everyone's judgement is particular to them. And as you rightly say, it shouldn't matter to you what everyone else is doing (with regards to headwear) as long as you're happy with what you're doing.

    You are talking out of your hat, or should that be helmet? :lol:

    The whole reason for any safety equipment is 'Just in case'.
    People wear a helmet..... just in case
    Safety glasses........ just in case
    Hi Viz clothing .......just in case
    Seatbelts in cars.....just in case

    NB I said people NOT all people. I am aware that in some cases, safety equipment is mandatory.

    People think for themselves, weigh up the risks, dangers and options, thereby making an informed decision about what to wear....just in case.
  • murvis1er
    murvis1er Posts: 57
    edited July 2013
    A ridiculous arguement. A bike helmet is designed to reduce the intensity of deceleration of the head by spreading the force over time and area. This will effect how your brain moves within the skull.

    No, I don't think so. There are two separate effects at work. The helmet will spread out the force from the point of impact, reducing the chances of damage at that point. But if you hit a kerb at, say 20mph, your head will decelerate from that speed to zero in a very short time interval. Your brain will 'try' to keep going at that speed, causing it to jar inside your skull. As I said originally, this will happen whether you are wearing a helmet or not.

    I understand what you're saying but my point would be that the helmet is designed to deform making the very short time interval very slightly longer. Momentum change stays the same, but the force exerted on the brain from that change is less. The shock will be less with rate of deceleration being reduced as a result of the extra few ms of impact time.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    GiantMike wrote:
    75kg bloke at 34mph was survivable and I was walking the same day. But that's not the point. All helmets will have an impact scenario where they will not be able to offer protection, but they offer adequate protection in the most likely scenarios against the risk they are mitigating.

    On the basis of that statement you seem to be agreeing that the desire to wear a helmet is linked to the risk of a head injury during the activity.
    Everyone's perception of risk is different - eg I'd quite happily freewheel down a hill at 40mph whereas others feel that's too fast and apply the brakes before 30mph - so I can conclude that their perception of risk is higher than mine and they're more likely to be cautious where I'm not.

    To be fair to the cautious, they may have a greater chance of having an accident for several reasons - mostly down to bike handling and experience.
    To be fair to the less cautious, they run the risk of over confidence and hurting themselves that way.

    Like getting fitter, your perception of risk changes with experience.
  • The whole reason for any safety equipment is 'Just in case'.

    Yes, but no reasonable person would wear a helmet in the shower or as a pedestrian just in case, because no reasonable person would think the risk was big enough for it to be necessary. I'm saying the risk of head injury while cycling is similarly low, therefore, in my judgement, I don't need one when cycling either.

    And, just because it would be nice if we could all agree on one point, does anyone here think wearing a cycle helmet should be compulsory? I can't recall anyone saying so.
  • I understand what you're saying but my point would be that the helmet is designed to deform making the very short time interval very slightly longer. Momentum change stays the same, but the force exerted on the brain from that change is less. The shock will be less with rate of deceleration being reduced as a result of the extra few ms of impact time.

    Yes, I'd agree with that, but would those few ms difference be enough to prevent the sort of brain injury we're talking about? Very difficult to say I'd have thought.
  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,921
    No I reiterate I don't think they should be compulsory.
    The whole reason for any safety equipment is 'Just in case'.

    Yes, but no reasonable person would wear a helmet in the shower or as a pedestrian just in case, because no reasonable person would think the risk was big enough for it to be necessary. I'm saying the risk of head injury while cycling is similarly low, therefore, in my judgement, I don't need one when cycling either.

    And, just because it would be nice if we could all agree on one point, does anyone here think wearing a cycle helmet should be compulsory? I can't recall anyone saying so.


    But can I draw you attention to my post above.
    People think for themselves, weigh up the risks, dangers and options, thereby making an informed decision about what to wear....just in case.

    The pedestrian in the shower has worked out for himself that all things considered he will be safe without a helmet. Similarly you have weighed up the risks and options and decided not to wear a helmet.
    Makes no odds to me what you wear.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Ballysmate wrote:
    The pedestrian in the shower has worked out for himself that all things considered he will be safe without a helmet.
    Yes - but what about the cyclist in the shower?! Or does that depend if he's got slicks or knobblies on ... ;)