Cutting edge helmet research or more of the same?

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
Since a serious RTA injury I suffered earlier this year i have been giving much consideration to my current 'no helmet required' stance. I have obviously come under considerable pressure to begin wearing a helmet from partner, freinds, medical staff and every Tom, Dick & Harriet who has heard about my injuries.
I spotted this today and wonder how this affects my helmet dilemma?

https://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/bike-helmet-safety-ratings-virginia-tech-concussion-risk-reduction-assessment-52514/
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
Arguing about the merits of helmets does your head in.
 
OP
I like Skol

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
Is it peer reviewed research with reproduccable results? No. Nuff said.

Is it on Bike radar? Yes. Nuff said.
I did try to pick out who had initiated/funded the research? Closest i could see was a collaboration between a university, a commercial sports equipment tester and an insurance association? Does this make it independent or trustworthy.......
 
OP
I like Skol

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
OK, digging a bit deeper.

Here is the test results, straight from the horses mouth - www.beam.vt.edu/helmet/bicycle-helmet-ratings.html

And this snip from the top of the page....
upload_2018-6-27_8-44-36.png


So working through what we are told here, 1st who is Virginia Tech?

https://vt.edu/about.html - On the face of it a educational research establishment. There is some info about the annual budgets but not a lot about funding, unless you count the page where they ask for donations. How are they funded? Possibly by a lot of large donations from the manufacturers of the very items they are 'independently' testing?

This, initially innocent line, does start alarm bells ringing...
upload_2018-6-27_9-0-1.png

What does this mean? Does this mean the university does funded research for large corporations, or is this the business arm of the Virginia Tech organisation? Maybe Virginia Tech are two of the triad, both university and commercial sports equipment tester?


Then we get to IIHS - http://www.iihs.org/iihs/about-us

These guys do seem to be separated from the manufacturers and funded by insurance companies, i.e the people who pick up a lot of the bill for injuries that occur on the road.

upload_2018-6-27_9-8-11.png


So far so good, some concerns but nothing that screams 'vested interest'. However, I see this enormously significant statement right up there near the top of the page.

upload_2018-6-27_9-12-0.png


I didn't think there was any evidence available to back a claim of this significance. In fact, I am sure I have heard of helmet manufacturers having to withdraw adverts making such statements as it is an unsubstantiated claim?

I am a simple person but I know that for every highly publicised 'A helmet saved my life' story there must be at least as many 'they wore a helmet but died anyway' tragedies that do not get publicly discussed?

All I want to know is, in a million bicycle accidents, how many were wearing helmets and is there any difference in the proportion of fatalities in either group? I know it is not that simple for a number of reasons that skew the results and have been discussed at length in other parts of the forum, but surely some clever statistician somewhere can produce validated, meaningful figures that state 'Given current data, wearing a helmet will/will not reduce your chance of suffering a life changing head injury when cycling'.

Once we can clear that point up then I can begin to consider the value of helmet testing to identify the better products.....
 
I think the best way to decide about the helmet debate for yourself is to get yourself into a pretty nasty accident. Once you have done that and realise the merits of a helmet then dont bat on to everyone else about how wonderful they are.

I had a bad off last year and spent 4 days in the hospital. I was an occasional helmet wearer and just happened to pick my helmet up off the bench as I left home. In the hospital I saw my helmet and it was a mess. It took a lot of the impact but more importantly it took all of the scraping and it was considerable. All of the scraping would have been on my head and face.

I wear a helmet all the time now. I am happy with it. I wont force my views on anyone because that would make them dig their heels in even more. There is a knee jerk reaction about helmets and being told what to do. I learnt the hard way but I am glad I learnt.
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
I think the best way to decide about the helmet debate for yourself is to get yourself into a pretty nasty accident. Once you have done that and realise the merits of a helmet then dont bat on to everyone else about how wonderful they are.
The only way to approach a question of public health is to use SCIENCE.
 
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I think the best way to decide about the helmet debate for yourself is to get yourself into a pretty nasty accident. Once you have done that and realise the merits of a helmet then dont bat on to everyone else about how wonderful they are.

I had a bad off last year and spent 4 days in the hospital. I was an occasional helmet wearer and just happened to pick my helmet up off the bench as I left home. In the hospital I saw my helmet and it was a mess. It took a lot of the impact but more importantly it took all of the scraping and it was considerable. All of the scraping would have been on my head and face.

I wear a helmet all the time now. I am happy with it. I wont force my views on anyone because that would make them dig their heels in even more. There is a knee jerk reaction about helmets and being told what to do. I learnt the hard way but I am glad I learnt.
Whilst that's a perfectly understandable reaction to experience, and indeed the helmet may well have helped, maybe a lot.

However, whether wearing one has benefit on average is a very different thing. Proper numbers pre and post compulsion fro australia seem to suggest little or no benefit on average, or maybe even making things worse on average. Thus the good (your example) is counteracted by the bad (maybe neck injuries from greater leverage, or misses become hits because your head is now a lot bigger and so on)

By way of example, a friend's dad never wore a car seatbelt and claimed that he'd only survived a severe road accident as he'd somehow been thrown into the passenger footwell. I've no particular reason to doubt his story, but not wearing a seatbelt is still very much the wrong bet
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
If you land on your head it may help. If a car runs over your head they are a complete waste of time.
If a motor vehicle runs over your head they are also a complete waste of time.

Tapping hats twice at six points seems like still an extension of the current unrealistic testing regime. Where are the realistic crash test dummy results? I suspect they're nowhere because no-one will fund it because it'll show just how irrelevant helmets are.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I think the best way to decide about the helmet debate for yourself is to get yourself into a pretty nasty accident.
Whereas I think it's better to avoid getting into a nasty crash, more than try to mitigate it. I crashed far more when I used a helmet, so I stopped. I am now less likely to suffer a nasty crash, at the expense of a fairly tiny increased risk in head injury. That's a win, logically.

I was an occasional helmet wearer and just happened to pick my helmet up off the bench as I left home.
And if my hypothesis is correct, that's part of why you crashed. I suspect it's that donning head insulation raised brain temperature which is known to dull reactions. Soooo many helmet users post about having crashed, despite them being a minority, that it seems likely there's some link, but there's little research into it. Funders would rather pay researchers to tap hats.

Also, users write that crashing is why'll they'll keep using, instead of mentioning what they're doing to address the causes of their crash. The classic example is people who will happily ride on icy days only if helmetted but won't fit ice tyres - a helmet won't prevent a broken collarbone or arm (unless you believe the notorious "88%" study).
 
I dont really know what "On Average" means in this case. If you mean, most of the time you dont need a helmet. I agree with you. I have ridden bikes for over 50 years and this is the only time I think that a helmet has been of help to me.

But lets make this clear. In this accident it is not a case of "a helmet may well have helped". There is absolutely no doubt that it did. The anti helmet lobby would skirt around that by saying possibly, perhaps, maybe. But it saved my head and face. I was there, I saw it, I know.

I am not pro or anti helmet for everyone. But I am now pro helmet for me.

The law does not insist I have to wear a helmet. But it says I have to wear a crash helmet to ride my motorbike. I do that without question and nobody ever complains about it on any forum I have been on. Not because we all think its a good idea to wear a helmet on a motorbike. Some dont think its a good idea. But thats the law and we have to follow it.

To stop the cycle helmet debate. Make it law and the discussion will eventually go away. Just the same as the seatbelt debate did.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
But lets make this clear. In this accident it is not a case of "a helmet may well have helped". There is absolutely no doubt that it did. The anti helmet lobby would skirt around that by saying possibly, perhaps, maybe. But it saved my head and face. I was there, I saw it, I know.
But let's make this clear: you are making the mistake of assuming there's no drawbacks to helmet use, even on a personal level. Did helmet use help cause the crash? That's what we simply don't understand yet. It would seem a reasonably likely explanation for why cycle helmets don't reduce injury rates in the real world. After all, why did you crash in this way on this particular occasion when you used a helmet, rather than the times you didn't?

And then there's the far more famous drawbacks on a societal level from discouraging cycling.

There's an even easier way to stop the cycle helmet debate, respecting the majority who don't use them. Ban them in law outside closed-road racing and the discussion will eventually go away.
 
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